Exclaim!'s Top 10 Metal & Hardcore Albums Best of 2016

7. Deftones
Deftones have always made room for both beauty and aggression in their music, a hallmark that saved the group from the nu-metal dustbin. That yin-yang balance continues on the group's eighth album, the appropriately titled Gore, which finds the Sacramento, CA quintet leaving the mosh pit behind as they push out into increasingly impressionistic territory.
Following the precise, economical aggression of 2012's Koi No Yokan and 2010's Diamond Eyes, the group have used guitarist Stephen Carpenter's bludgeoning riffs as a tableau over which the group weave impressionistic rhythms and melodies, rather than letting themselves become fenced in. Gore pushes both sides of this dynamic to extremes, at times it feels like these two forces are working against one another. Emerging from that struggle is a record on which experimentation is matched only by Deftones' ability to inflict blunt-force trauma.
Ian Gormely