Deftones may very well be one of the most consistent and dependable bands of the past 20 years. Each new release sees the band further their musical scope while still retaining that immediately identifiable sound. I personally got hooked into the band with White Pony, specifically the songs “Passenger” and “Digital Bath” (god, I love that song). Since then, I’ve been an excited fan, always eager to hear new material. And now, on Tuesday, their latest effort, Koi No Yokan, the follow up to 2010’s Diamond Eyes will come out. But how does it measure up? Find out below.
Opening with “Swerve City”, the album immediately dives into a vicious rhythmic guitar crunch that is accented by the sharp snare tone. The verse then mixes in melody, the bass guitar taking the lead while the guitars open up with bright chords. Chino’s vocals croon in the verse before soaring sky high in the chorus. The bridge then adds a strange sinister quality, with downward chromatic runs before entering a guitar solo that can only be described as crystalline. It’s a song that encompasses everything the album holds in store, from aggressive rockers to ballad-esque beauties to eerie spinetinglers.
Two of my personal favorites are “Leathers” and “Tempest”, the former beginning with a clean delayed guitar and atmospheric singing drones. Suddenly, without warning, it violently bursts into the verse, Chino nearly howling his lyrics. The chorus is desperate, a plea begging for honesty. The latter song is the albums second longest song, allowing it to build and grow, wrapping itself around you, alternating between crushing you and giving you the opportunity to gasp for air, eyes wide open.
“Entombed” is a soft, dreamlike track where the choruses, even with distortion, manage to sound peaceful and tranquil. Meanwhile, “Gauze”, while having a beautiful chorus, has a unsettling verse and there are times when a shrieking, pulsating tone creeps in from the background and, before you realize it, overpowers the track. It’s slightly terrifying and unnerving.
“Rosemary”, which takes the crown for longest track on the album, clocking in at nearly 7 minutes, shifts from one style to another yet consistently maintains the same tone and feel. It ends with a beautiful airy etude.
From a production standpoint, this album is incredibly dense, with what seems like nearly limitless sounds to enjoy and appreciate. Wonderfully mixed, fans can feel safe knowing that the signature Deftones sound has not only been preserved but also amplified and perfected.
The Final Word: Like any good Deftones album, there are heavy hitters and softer, almost ballad-esque tracks. But this isn’t a good album. It’s a fantastic one. Deftones have taken the next step with Koi No Yokan and created something that will last through the ages.