Deftones - Diamond Eyes
Reprise Records
Experimental Alt. Metal
11 songs (41:12)
Release year: 2010
Deftones, Reprise Records
Reviewed by Goat

There’s an immediate temptation to label Deftones’ sixth full-length as some kind of phoenix, rising from the flames of tragedy like the owl on the cover in metaphoric contemplation of former bassist Chi Cheng’s ongoing coma. It’s certainly notable for being like and yet unlike previous album Saturday Night Wrist, like for the confidence, smoothness and overall professionalism that makes Diamond Eyes a joy to listen to, and unlike because it’s superficially the band’s most straightforward album in years. Big, boomy, almost Nu Metal riffage and Pop melodies and choruses combine in a marvellous feat of songwriting that is sure to have the band’s fans stamping their feet joyously –there’s little to criticise, especially considering that Diamond Eyes is actually the band’s seventh full-length, the previously-planned Eros being put on hold out of respect for Cheng. From start to finish you’re on a smooth yet enjoyable ride, moments of the band’s signature histrionic stomp matched well against gentle melody and the verging-on-beautiful vocals that they’re known for. The opening title track shoots straight in, heavy riffs leaving the melody to Chino’s better-than-ever vocals with a spectacular chorus and backing shrieks keeping the tension high. Royal flows in after, a softer, less epic chorus and more varied structure drawing you in and increasing the band’s signature vaguely pervy sexual atmosphere, at its menacing height on the Stoner swing of You’ve Seen The Butcher.

Very little to complain about, overall. Cmnd-Ctrl pumps up the hardcore riffing and crunches along enjoyably – think Elite after a chill pill – whilst Beauty School is the sort of laid-back little sing-song that everyone wishes U2 were capable of producing. Even though they’re hardly prog rock, there are still steps forwards and leftwards – first single Rocket Skates is a bouncy pounder with a lovely atmospheric breakdown, for instance, the kind of song that lodges itself firmly in your head and never lets go. Risk‘s almost Tooly guitar-driven nature stands out, but all the songs are terrific, and make up a fine album. This is quite a triumph for Deftones, considering that bands have split up in better circumstances. With each album they release they don’t just improve on a formula, but their image as a whole as a solid purveyor of sound - further away from their shaky Nu-Metal origins, and further towards a pretty unique status in the Metal world. Heck, which of their erstwhile peers’ upcoming albums are going to receive such a warm welcome as this? Korn’s latest attempt to cack-handedly rip Primus off? Please. Limp Bizkit’s forthcoming reunion album, the perfect soundtrack for that vasectomy you’ve been saving up for? Really, now. Let’s give Deftones the praise that they and Diamond Eyes deserve, praise that will doubtless be repeated when (the apparently more experimental) Eros sees the light of day.

Killing Songs :
Diamond Eyes, Royal, Cmnd-Ctrl, You’ve Seen The Butcher, Beauty School, Prince, Rocket Skates, Risk
Goat quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Deftones that we have reviewed:
Deftones - Ohms reviewed by Goat and quoted 88 / 100
Deftones - Gore reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Deftones - Koi No Yokan reviewed by Khelek and quoted 87 / 100
Deftones - Around the Fur reviewed by Tyler and quoted 80 / 100
Deftones - Deftones reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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