It’s been a while since I put an album review on here.
A small part of it has been due to procrastination, but it’s mostly been due to writing music reviews for Cool Try; something that I’ve been enjoying quite a fair bit.
This is the most recent review I’ve written for Cool Try.
It took a while to write it as I stopped listening to most of the album about a week after it was released and subsequently had to (kind of) force myself to listen to it to work out what I wanted to say.
Anyway, here’s the review.
Throughout their career, Deftones have continued to work hard at ensuring that they put out the best of what they can. Despite some slight missteps, they’ve continued to release solid albums that have furthered their sound without compromising the songs themselves.
Is Gore another solid release from Deftones?
Songs range from arid-like and vaguely melancholic (“Prayers / Triangles”), tense and nervous (“Geometric Headdress”), and frenetic and heavy (“Doomed User”).
They flow in a fairly logical order, peaking and dipping when required, and carrying the listener along fairly smoothly through lighter, “dreamier” sections and hard-hitting moments without much feeling too out of place against each other, as the band seem to have worked towards emphasising atmosphere more than on previous releases.
All the instruments serve an almost strictly rhythmic purpose, usually only doing something different to add additional textures that still fit within the context of the song, whilst the vocals sit above everything and sing lyrics that seem less cryptic than usual.
However, there are times when the band sound as though they don’t know where they’re trying to go within a song.
“Phantom Bride” ends in a fairly heavy section reminiscent of the ending of “Beware” or “Diamond Eyes”. It’s a nice twist on a fairly straightforward song, but it can come off as though the band didn’t know how to end the song, despite it seeming as though it already had one.
Other songs might have a part that doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the song, sounding as though it was dropped in only to add something different (“(L)MIRL” has a section thrown in during the second half seemingly for the sole purpose of adding drama to the song).
Moments such as these aren’t unwelcome and don’t make the album feel longer than it is. They usually work, but at times it can come off as though Deftones were not certain and not knowing what to do.
Unfortunately this compounds with the mix / master.
It’s overly loud and has a lack of breathing, sounding compressed and clipping a fair bit.
The songs are clearly meant to have energy but they sound flat and lifeless.
The vocals seem much louder than almost everything else, the guitar sounds muddy in a lot of places, and the keys and drums seem to be much quieter than they should be.
Unfortunately the album can be challenging to listen to due to this.
It’s difficult to say that Gore is bad.
It has some really good ideas and tight performances. However, the mix / mastering job taking a lot of the life out combined with sounding directionless at times leaves a lot to be desired.
If they were going for a certain sound, then trying something out in the mix / master is understandable.
It could have been pulled off in other ways though.
In it’s current state, the quality of Gore is almost an insult to Deftones’ fan base.
They deserve something that sounds better than this.
Ultimately, how much you’re going to like Gore is going to depend on how willing you are to put up with it sounding bad. It is worth giving a few listens, but don’t go in with expectations.