Deftones - Diamond Eyes
posted on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 @ 09:51 | permalink
Written for Pugwash News, also published here on Rhythm Circus.
Released earlier this month, Diamond Eyes is US melodic rockers Deftones' sixth studio offering, presented with artwork that is quite frankly terrifying for an ornithiphobic like yours truly. To give a brief background, the band have been around since 1988 - although debut album Adrenaline was not released until 1995. After the release of fifth album Saturday Night Wrist (2006), the band began work on their next release, due to be titled Eros, when bassist Chi Cheng was seriously injured in a car accident. The band made the decision to indefinitely delay Eros, and instead start work on an album that became Diamond Eyes.
The opening, title track has the unique sound of the band marked out in under a minute, with vocalist Chino Moreno's vocals ethereal and distant-sounding, almost as if the were recorded in a completely different place and time. Make no mistakes though, Deftones are no chillout band, and their often heavy and highly experimental style is showcased on this album of delicate, distinctly different tracks.
As tracks such as Beauty School and Sextape particularly reveal, Diamond Eyes is perhaps one of the outfit's lighter album offerings as a whole, concentrating more on creating a ghostly, atmospheric sound. But the band's heavy roots still show through, CMND/CNTRL showcases a more angry vocal, and the verses in particular give a nod to the nu-metal influenced music that came hand in hand with the skateboards and baggy jeans of the 1990s/2000s. However, there's no staleness or nostalgia here, as Deftones manage to still keep their sound modern and interesting.
The closing track, and a standout moment on the album, is a cover of Japan's Ghosts - a song the band completely put their own stamp upon. The echo effect on Moreno's vocals combined with experimental, disjointed riffs, percussion and drone elements creates an almost unsettling, eerie feeling. Although the album doesn't quite live up to previous offerings, such as Saturday Night Wrist, Diamond Eyes continues to demonstrate perfectly the band's ability to create complex and beautiful songs. Even when using someone else's song, as seen with Ghosts, the final product of whatever Deftones create is sure to be original, captivating and unique.
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