Released: May 4, 2010
Any fans who thought the Deftones had dropped out of the game since bassist Chi Cheng’s 2008 car accident may want to take note: This is most definitely a band that perseveres. Diamond Eyes is the band’s long awaited sixth studio release, and is the follow up to 2006’s Saturday Night Wrist. Diamond Eyes contains a healthy helping of the signature sound that has made the Deftones so popular throughout the years. It also speaks volumes to the progressive and experimental nature of the group.
Worth mentioning is that Diamond Eyes is the Deftones’ second attempt at a release. In 2008, the Terry Date produced, Eros was completed and ready to hit shelves. However, after Cheng’s car accident and subsequent coma, the band decided to indefinitely shelve the release and start over, writing an album that more accurately represented the state of the group. For this new offering, Rush and Foo Fighters producer Nick Raskulinecz took the producer’s chair, with bassist Sergio Vega, a long time friend of the band, filling in for Cheng. Henceforth, and expectably so, this record is almost flawless in its production and execution.
Slated to be a classic in the world of alternative metal, this album is just as good, if not better than 2000’s White Pony. All the usual elements that make up a great Deftones record are present here, with vocalist Chino Moreno’s lonely howling alternating with emotionally charged melodic crooning. Stephen Carpenter’s axe work is possibly at its finest on this album, keeping a steady droning against the backbeat of drummer Abe Cunningham. Vega’s bass is low in the mix, but perfectly locked in with the drums, and would most certainly be Chi Cheng approved.
Diamond Eyes might be listened to with the presumption that following the tragedy that have struck the band in previous years, the concepts dealt with on this album would contain a negative vibe. This is most definitely not the case. The band has stated that this is a positive album from start to finish, with lyrics that focus more on visual imagery, and less on storytelling. The refreshing results speak for themselves.
Highlights of Diamond Eyes include the title track, which also happens to be the second single. The song, both musically and lyrically is rich with atmosphere, yet nevertheless retains the element of heavy alternative rock that has come to be a Deftones trademark. We’ve heard tracks like this before in the Deftones catalog, but just like an old classic movie, familiarity can be a virtue, and it certainly works here. In the same manner, the lead single off the album, “Rocket Skates” is faster paced. However it contains all the crunchy guitar topped off with a driving progressive keyboard.
Diamond Eyes very well could be one of The Deftones’ best offerings to date. Persevering through personnel changes, direction changes, and band tragedies, it’s good to hear the Deftones come back sounding better than ever. This is almost guaranteed to be a favorite of Deftones fans, as well as fans of hard rock in general. Welcome back guys. We hope to hear more very soon.
Rating : 9.5/10