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Deftones Diamond Eyes Album CD Review

10 May 2010 6 Comments

By: A. Estes

Deftones Diamond Eyes

When it comes to recording albums, Deftones seem to have some of the worst luck around. While the usual inner-band turmoil and creative differences served as obstacles in the past, nothing could have prepared the band (or their fans) for the near-crippling blow they were dealt in late 2008 when bassist Chi Cheng slipped into a coma following a near fatal automobile accident. Having already completed album number six — Eros – but feeling the timing wasn’t right, the band decided to shelve the product until Chi got better in favor for this, their proper sixth album, Diamond Eyes.

For the recording of the album, the band recruited Sergio Vega (Quicksand) to take Chi’s place and collaborated with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Alice in Chains, Rush) for new material that is reportedly of a different tone than that of Eros. In spite of tragedy, the band appear to have not missed a single beat, turning in their most concentrated and focused effort since 2000’s White Pony. All of the hallmarks of a Deftones album are here, with singer Chino Moreno’s signature whisper-to-a-shriek hitting the wall of sound created by Stephen Carpenter’s dense and hypnotizing riffage. Meanwhile, Drummer Abe Cunningham (currently one of rock’s most under-rated drummers) finds a comfortable groove with Vega, who blends into the scenery all too naturally. All of this, of course, is set to the back-drop of band DJ/keyboardist Frank Delgado, the unsung hero of the band, whose brilliant textures are underplayed quite considerably compared to his work on Saturday Night Wrist, but which only serve to enhance and round out the massive soundscape of this album.

While the band’s previous two efforts tend to leave the fanbase divided, Diamond Eyes is perhaps the perfect Deftones album in that it delivers everything their listeners have come to expect and more. Songs like “Rocket Skates” and “Risk” are classic Deftones, with Carpenter busting out an 8-string (!) guitar to add to the already ridiculously heavy sonic assault the album delivers. The opening title track, with its soaring melodies, will no doubt serve the band well on their arena tours, while the more experimental “Prince” and “976-Evil” (named after a delicious slice of 80’s horror cheese starring and directed by Robert “Freddy Krueger” Englund) push the band’s quirky sound even further away from the predictability of their peers and the bands they inspired, proving that there’s still enough energy in the band to keep pushing the envelope well into the future.

For the most part, Raskulinecz steps back and allows the band to stick to what they are best at, and unlike albums past, there doesn’t seem to be a tendency to grab at radio-play here. Instead, the band seem intent on proving their creative worth, and in turn, have crafted one of the most inspiring and audacious albums of their career. Even though Chi’s absence is a bummer, to say the least, it’s great to see the band alive and this healthy this far into their career. The mainstream may have never caught onto what makes this band so special, and maybe they never will, but one thing is for sure: if you’ve been listening to this band since the 90’s, can recite every lyric and hum every riff, you’ll still be surprised by what they have to offer here.

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6 Comments »

  • OzonePtkBaller said:

    My expectations were high.

    My expectations were unrealistically high.

    DIAMOND EYES EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS TEN FOLD! THIS CD IS AMAZING!

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  • Loch Ness said:

    ALBUM OF THE YEAR (IN CAPS!!!!)

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  • Andrew said:

    I agree with both prior comments, as well as the entire review. My expectations were through the roof, and I have no idea how Deftones exceeded them.

    I think Chino did an interview with Metal Hammer recently. Does anyone have a link to the entire article?

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  • Carla said:

    The aesthetics of every facet of this album has blown my mind.

    10/10

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  • Jesse said:

    If the Deftones would release SEXTAPE as a single to the radio stations, I would guarantee that their album sales would go through the roof! I want to see them somewhat successful in the album sales department. They deserve it! They have been putting out amazing music for many years now, and Diamond Eyes is the icing on the cake! Defones help yourselves and release SEXTAPE as a single..

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  • 867-5309 said:

    SEXTAPE? That’s the worst track on the CD, man. BEST BAND EVER!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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