On their eighth full-length album, the Deftones step away from their alt-metal crunch and instead push their love of shoegaze-informed art rock into the spotlight. Though not nearly as hulking as 2000’s White Pony, arguably the band’s definitive statement, Gore does revive its ancestor’s gloomy alienation and disorienting haze. The title track and “Acid Hologram” are eccentric pileups of lunging grooves, cruelly smeared reverb and singer Chino Moreno’s cryptic lexicon of growls and wails. While cut from a similar cloth, the perfectly titled “Doomed User” ratchets up the intensity with dense, scowling guitar riffs; the languorous “Hearts/Wires” feels downright narcotic in comparison. In terms of emotional desolation, the cut is vintage Deftones and Moreno sounds like a guy teetering on the edge of psychic collapse when his world-weary voice emerges from a pool of echo and pleads, “Nothing can save me now. It’s what I believe.
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