Recently I was able to get my hands on the newest release from the Los Angeles-based band Deftones entitled Diamond Eyes. The last Deftones album I listened to was the the groundbreaking White Pony (2000), so I was curious to give the latest release a listen.
I was shocked when the track “Do You Believe” began to play since it is a rather obscure cover to perfor. The song was originally recorded by the now defunct Swedish rock group The Cardigans off of their Gran Turismo (1998) album; it is simply one of the coolest songs to cover. The Deftones do a great job of covering the song and put their own gritty spin on the original; Moreno’s haunting voice effects make the song unique, bravo!
Diamond Eyes is a solid album, it is cleary well written and well produced. Although there are a few songs that I think are dead spots and nothing particularly ground breaking for the band, I do think that songs like the title track “Diamond Eyes” is powerful and moving. It provides a great introduction to a new album and gears the listener for the next track “Royal” equally as powerful and classic Chino Moreno lyrics and vocals, intense and beautiful at the same time.
CMND/CNTL is a decent song but not one of my overall favorites on this album; actually I find myself pushing fast forward since it just feels like a filler song; good yes, great no. The same can be said for You’ve Seen The Butcher; the song is ok; the chorus is about the best part of the entire song to be honest; otherwise it seems to go on forever never really changing and keeping things interesting. Beauty School is an interesting track, very melodic and well produced and the chorus is easy identify. The next song, Prince reminds me of tracks off of White Pony; hints of Moreno’s whisper type vocals and the haunting guitar and bass lines in the background providing a always steady growling undertone and then exploding in an intense chorus just to dive back into a near silent tempo. This song is classic Deftones all the way.
Rocket Skates is another song that explodes right out of the gate and has the listener shaking their head to the tempo of the guitars and drums. I can only imagine how awesome this song must be live and the crowds reaction, amazing I’m sure. Sextape is kind of a “Debbie Downer” for the album, not much meat to it and sounds like a song designed for radio play on other formats for a general audience; this song is clearly not a typical Deftones song in my opinion, although it does keep things interesting for the listener. What is does provide is some insight into the ability of the Deftones to write music other than just hard rock, clearly showing a dynamic contrast to the typical Deftones song.
Risk is a fun song that again, starts right of the gate with a tempo and beat. The song is good however I began to feel that I’ve heard this song before…or at least something like it in the album prior. That is a problem that I’ve found with Deftones albums, they begin to get repetative and mundane; even the key the band plays in is always the same, so songs begin to sound alike. 976-Evil is another song that although a solid good song, it feels like it was written for mainstream radio as a track that the general listening audience might be into, I find it somewhat mellow, actually to mellow for my taste for Deftones.
The remaining few songs the album really don’t provide anything worth noting; with exception to “Do You Believe” mentioned earlier in this review. The last song, Caress does breathe a bit of life in the end of the album and has a raw hardcore-punkish sound to it, definitely something different than earlier songs in the album. I think they should have considered this song in the middle of the album rather than some of the monotonous songs that began to sound the same after awhile.
My intent is not to trounce the Deftones, I love these guys, but I do feel that the album starts off really well and then kind of sputters out in the end. All in all the album is good, but don’t expect this to be the most amazing album you’ve ever heard from the Deftones. Chino Moreno has mentioned that this is the best album the band has released. I’m not sure I agree with this personally, I tend to think that White Pony is probably the most enjoyable album they have created since there is just much variety to the songs on the album.
The band recently toured my city and I was unable to see them, check them out if you can since I’m sure their live shows are great.
Deftones album Diamond Eyes gets a 6 out of 10