There is a method to the madness that is Deftones. Only, it is never easy to decipher.
[firstpara] Because in Diamond Eyes, the band's 6th full-length album, the moments where you lose yourself in a Chino Moreno signature melody are far too numerous.
You try to make sense of it all, but just when you think you're getting comfortable with the flow of the album, Deftones twists it in another direction.
And your head is left spinning again. It is this dynamic that makes Diamond Eyes a ride that thrills.
Album opener, "Diamond Eyes" brings out the heavy guns right away with Stephen Carpenter's chopping guitar riffs in the verses contrasting perfectly with the subtle yearning present in Moreno's voice in this track.
The mood turns to controlled rage in the next song, "Royal" where Moreno incites with his guttural screams (reminiscent of White Pony's Elite) while also offering reprieve in certain moments where he sings a vaguely comforting tune.
Abe Cunningham's kinetic drum playing in "CMND/CTRL" along with Moreno's spitting (I can't tell, how's this shit my fault.
It's a department I fill, but they should) confirms the band's return to old-school, almost nu-metal aesthetics without exactly becoming Korn or any of the nu-metal bands that, surprise, are gone now.
Deftones have always had this ability to explore new soundscapes without totally abandoning their roots, and Diamond Eyes, is a peak, a pinnacle in this exercise.
And the next songs "You've Seen The Butcher," and "Beauty School" are perfect examples of what we just said. The former is a song that combines ogrish heavy riffs, ambient synths with Moreno's confident yet sensitive (but never wussy) melody. It also reminds us of the band's obssession with sexual imagery, as the lyrics (Don't wanna take it slow. I wanna take you home. And watch the world explode. From underneath your glow would) would suggest, or rather, just bluntly state.
The latter, "Beauty School," has this hypnotic quality with its relatively laidback riffs and electronic melody. And just like that, you've witnessed both the riotous and calmer sides of Deftones.
"Sextape" is as beautiful a Deftones song could probably be. "Tonight, the sound of the waves collide," Moreno belts in the chorus, which is as poetic a line we've heard from the band.
"Prince" is Deftones at its most insidious with lyrics that go "The mindset of a killer, with your gaze, you paint the room blood red, with tears, pouring from the stage." Following that is the most relentless track in the album, "Rocket Skates," which is essentially the band baring their teeth, as if someone had asked them if they could still get loud. And if "Rocket Skates" weren't enough, "Risk" and album closer "This Place is Death" doesnt have any qualms getting heavy either.
By all standards, Diamond Eyes could be the band's best album. This is what they've been working to achieve after their phenomenal third outing, White Pony.
It is in this album that the band finally, perfectly fuse their thirst for experimentation and their naturally fierce instincts. From the first to the last track, this is an album that just grips you.
We'll be able to experience their music live soon as well, because Deftones will be coming to Manila on February 12 for their concert to be held in World Trade Center in Pasay. It's certainly something no self-respecting rock fan would dare miss.
WORDS BY: GELO GONZALES