Gore is easily Deftones’ most engaging record since White Pony, filled with carefully crafted hooks disguised as bridges and transition. As with all of their best music, it sounds like the brutal, beautiful result of the band being passionate enough to rip each other’s heads off. There’s still plenty of the palpable tension between Chino Moreno and Carpenter that drives Deftones records and sometimes derails them. If Diamond Eyes and Koi No Yokan were a vindication of Deftones’ formula, Gore captures the inimitable essence of the band: the thing that makes people reference them when discussing Deafheaven, Sigur Ros’ Kveikur or basically any heavy rock album that strives to be prettier than its peers or vice versa, a truly new metal that’s sensual without resorting to shoegaze tropes, aggressive and unconventionally freaky in a way that never suggests predation or regressive machismo. Nothing short of a name change will likely convince skeptics at this point,Gore proves that Deftones can remain vital as they are relevant, if they don’t kill each other first.