By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)
Album: Koi No Yokan
Release Date: 11/13/12
Not many artists can claim the ability to balance Smiths-esque indie sensibilities with heavy-as-fuck riffs quite like the Deftones. Come to think of it, probably no one can! Deftones have a knack for making hypnotically beautiful, powerfully heavy metal rhythmic tantrums without letting their metal influence overshadow the aspect that they write amazing and challenging songs. And it’s never been more apparent than on their latest release, Koi No Yokan.
After 2006’s commercially disappointing effort, Saturday Night Wrist, the Deftones experienced a series of setbacks. They parted ways with long-time producer Terry Date and while recording what was to be their 2008 album Eros, bassist Chi Cheng was involved in a motorcycle accident and remains to this day in a semi-comatose state.
However, in 2010 they managed to pull it together and release their most creative and overall best effort since their landmark 2000 album, White Pony. It was Diamond Eyes, the album that not only placed Deftones back on the map, but forever solidified that they’re a creative force to be reckoned with.
Diamond Eyes was a very hard album to top. With every track easily flowing into the next, they album felt very concise as a whole with no real clunkers or skipable tracks. This year, they’ve managed to do it again with Koi No Yokan, picking up where Diamond Eyes left off.
Koi No Yokan is eleven tracks of pure energetic beauty. From the album’s opening smashing grooves on “Swerve City” to the metallic dissonance of “Romantic Dreams” and “Leathers” through the pounding singalongs of “Poltergeist,” “Entombed” and lead single “Tempest,” the album takes the listener on a perfect sonic journey. It finally concludes with an incredible trio of closing tracks, “Rosemary,” “Goon Squad” and “What Happened To You?”
Both lead singer Chino Moreno and the band as a whole have stepped it up with positive results. Moreno’s dreamy yet angst-y vocals meet guitarist Stephen Carpenter’s 8-string guitar riffs to perfection, while the sophisticated drumming of Abe Cunningham and final textures of keyboardist/sampler Frank Delgado round out this artistic masterpiece.
Koi No Yokan does not have a weak track on it. Much like Diamond Eyes and White Pony, the songs on the album just flow into one another, with no need to hit the skip button at any time. Certainly an album worthy of going out to your record store, paying for the physical copy and taking in the experience. Because that’s exactly what this album is, an experience!