A decade ago the Deftones were one of the leading bands in the emerging nu metal movement. Albums like Around The Fur and White Pony are considered genre classics. The last couple of years things have been difficult for the band. The self-titled album and Saturday Night Wrist received mixed reviews and their popularity declined. On top of that bassist Chi Cheng got involved in a serious accident and he remains comatose until this very day. These are the events that lead up to the release of the new Deftones album, entitled Diamond Eyes.
Taking the previous events into consideration the new record sounds surprisingly lighthearted. Diamond Eyes is also a very mature and focused effort. There isn’t a single song or bit that feels out of place. This album is less aggressive than its two predecessors, however in my book that is no crime. Some might lament that, but I welcome the elaborate grandeur of songs like Beauty School, Sextape and This Place Is Death.
As a nod to the Around The Fur days, the band has also included harsher tracks on the album. Especially Royal, Rocket Skates and the title track come to mind. In the vocal department Chino Moreno sings more and keeps his screams to a minimum. This new approach works very well with the overall feel of the album. The unsung heroes on the album are the tasteful drumming by Abe Cunningham and the skilled sampling by Frank Delgado. They really add a lot of texture and colour to the album. Sound wise there is nothing to bitch about, thanks to the capable hands of producer Nick Raskulinecz.
What can I say? Diamond Eyes simply has everything to satisfy even the most critical listener. This is simply the best Deftones album since White Pony. Get it!
written by Raymond Westland