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Deftones' Koi No Yokan is Love At First Listen

Alternative metal act hits the right strings again with 7th record
by Gelo Gonzales | Nov 20, 2012
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Have you ever gone inside your room and turned off the lights just to listen to an album without distractions? We suggest doing so for Deftones' new record, Koi No Yokan, whose multi-layered attack might just make your heart howl and bawl like a banshee as it plunges into the seas of consciousness, only to rise again in a surreal gradiated environment with a brand new decibel. If we're waxing poetic, this is only because the record is another testament to the band's loyalty to reinvention, which almost always ends in something beautiful.

The seventh album in their mammoth catalog transcends the boundaries and anticipations of its genre—the very genre that they themselves made. Although truth be told, White Pony still stands as their magnum opus, Koi No Yokan offers us the stronger partnership of Moreno’s croons and Carpenter’s guitar playing artillery—a wonderful tension and a superb alternative metal construct. The album opens with "Swerve City," an apt firestarter of a song that lights up like a dynamite with a criminally and dangerously short wick.

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The lead single in the album, "Leathers" has a hauntingly cinematic appeal—crafted with resonant riffs and atmospheric, ethereal tenderness of Moreno. "Entombed" is arguably the best track in this record. It sends you afloat in a vacuum of space and time, beautiful and unrelenting. Heart-warming. Heart-wrenching. Lyrically heavy, Moreno’s heart explodes like volcanoes though silently to remind us of, what we think, is misplaced suffering. "From the day you arrived/ I’ve remained by your side/ In chains, entombed, placed inside/ Safe and sound," Moreno goes.

"Gauze" is a reminiscent of any heavy track from Saturday Night Wrist. It is filled with texture, the tamed and aggressive pounding of Carpenter's guitars pacified by the sooth of Moreno’s vocals. But the song glistens further as it is flourished with Delgado’s electronic fingertips. And that brilliance of Delgado continues in "Rosemary"—a track that builds up with a bit of vulnerability before it takes your hand at "Stay with me/ As we cross the empty skies/ Come sail with me."

"Poltergeist" will come down in Deftones history as one of their heaviest. Its sinister riffs are directly not proportional to the profundity of Moreno. It is a statement as it has always been, declarative and honest. "Tempest," the album's second single, seems to appeal closely to White Pony’s "Change (In The House of Flies)" but more subdued. Moreno’s vocals in this song cements him as one true artist both vocally and lyrically.

Koi No Yokan is a verification of Deftones' continuous evolution. The album title was derived from Japanese band Anzen Chitai’s song of the same title. Its Japanese interpretation is fundamentally having the presentiment that upon meeting someone for the first time, the inevitable happens—love. There couldn’t be any more fitting description for this album than that. Koi No Yokan is a testimony to the strength, fragility, and resolve of the human spirit – Moreno, Carpenter, Vega, Delgado, Cunningham – all coalesce to express incongruent feelings of loss, discontentment, happiness, grief and wonder of life.

Love at first sight should always sound this good.

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