Deftones
Diamond Eyes


4.5
superb

Review

by Deviant STAFF
April 29th, 2010 | 197 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Its okay, I'm alright

Fight or flight?

The loss of a band member, be it from any means, is one of the most trying times for any band. Whether you're still cutting your teeth in the industry or old salts who have been around the block and back again, there's no getting around the undeniable void that appears when an opening slot within the group opens up. How do you cope in the wake of tragedy, when one of your own leaves, or as the case is here, taken from you? Do you put on the brave face and continue on even as the scars are only beginning to heal, or do you leave it all behind, realizing that the man you called brother was too essential to the group for you to be anymore than a hazy shadow of what you once were if you kept the show running in his absence? In the case of the Deftones, they took a route often avoided by their peers who have been befallen by similar circumstances; discard everything that you had conceived up until that point, take a step back, and then start all over again. And even though the Deftones have always played the reinvention card with an almost expectant glee and and an unmeasurable amount of tact, the notion that the band might have just bitten off more than they can chew this time around was always going to be bought into question. Eros, the as yet unreleased album that was in the works at the time of Chi's tragic accident was pieced together over the course of roughly 3 and a half years; and even though we've come to expect the lengthy periods between releases from the 'tones, that was still a bit of a stretch. And yet after indefinitely postponing the release of Eros in June of last year until now, the band have resurfaced, slightly shaken yet still as potent as ever, with this, Diamond Eyes, and after (technically) their shortest song writing period yet, Chino and the gang have managed to pull off what is quite possibly the metal album of the year, and an album that when stacked up along side their previous works is perhaps only overshadowed by that juggernaut of influence, White Pony.

What sets Diamond Eyes apart from their last release, 2006's Saturday Night Wrist, is the overwhelming feeling of passion you get from the performances, something that seemed to be somewhat lacking from Wrist.That's not to say that SNW suffered from a lack of focus or direction, or even that it was a lackluster release, but here every sound, every nuance and quite frankly, every note, is filled to the brim with an untold amount of emotion and drive. Now that might seem like a strange concept given the recent events surrounding the band, but what seems to come across the most on this album is their joy to simply be playing music again, at being able to hold all the negativity at bay and just throw everything that they had into this album, all the emotions locked up inside of them finally been given a chance to be let out. And as a result of this new found passion the band have possibly given us their most entrancing and varied singular performances yet.

The songs themselves find the lads moving into a more image heavy soundscape, reminiscent of their ground breaking and genre defying White Pony LP. Tracks like 'You've Seen The Butcher' and 'Beauty School' weave rich aural tapestries of sonic euphoria, rising and falling, creating crests and peaks that hold up throughout the course of the album. 'Beauty School' in particular is rich in imagery, the music adding to the ideas and feelings that Chino only hints at. Even 'CMND/CTRL', more of a simpler number is given plenty of time to build up its crushing assault, with Chino descending into an Around The Fur style of delivery, spastic and abrasive, yet haunting and chilling in equal measures. 1st single 'Rocket Skates', weighty and rich in its style sees Chino once again going against the grain, crooning his verses over the destruction of the rhythm section, reserving his trademark inhaled screams for the chorus alone. And while it may not be the standout of the album, the eerie yet memorable chorus of GUNS. RAZORS. KNIVES hits harder than anything the Deftones have pulled out in a long time.

Every band member is playing up to their usual appealing strengths, yet adding in new twists and turns at every corner, that while remaining nostalgic in parts, also reveals a new and exciting edge to the band's dynamic. 'Royal', while following the group's meticulously detailed blueprint, throws in a few surprise punches, that resonate throughout the course of the track, right up until the knockout that is Chino, in all his schizophrenic and frenzied detachment, descends into a maddening and fury filled outro that goes for broke and just doesn't look back. But perhaps the true gem on offer here is 'Prince', a track steeped in White Pony mythology. Quietly beginning with underlying bass and subtle yet mysterious imagery, its not until the bridge where the 'tones hit their biggest landmark of the album. Wall of sound guitars pummel and absorb you into the maelstrom as Chino proves once again that he is one of the most versatile singers in the business today. Scrambling for purchase over the manic cacophony he laments over being shut away for so long, but looking outside and returning to the world to not worry any longer, that he is in fact, okay. And its here that the emotion and the intensity hit you like a ton and you realize that Diamond Eyes is just as much for the fans as it is for the band themselves. Like finding new air even as their sermon was potentially being written, the boys have returned to prove everything and nothing all at once. Like a kind of divine catharsis, Chino tells us in as many words as he wants everything that needs to be said, to spill it out and be done with it.

What Diamond Eyes reveals to us is the Deftones steadfast refusal to hide behind anything they've ever done before; and in taking a huge risk in exposing a new side to them in the wake of such a tragedy has exposed just how high they really can go. Its obvious that they've taken all the weight off their shoulders and used it to their advantage, and in the process have crafted one of the most starkly honest and forceful albums of their career. And while it might not be the overwhelming achievement that I give it credit for upon the first few listens, every new take reveals another facet of their mindset, another idea buried in the rough waiting to be dug up and examined. And while Diamond Eyes may exist simply because of the loss of another it holds absolutely nothing back, it gives its all and expects nothing less in return. Or maybe it exists simply because, in the words of Chino himself:

One more time, just because I can



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user ratings (3317)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2010


31629 Comments


Streaming at different locations, take your pick: http://kikaxemusic.com/news/hard-rock-and-metal/616-hear-deftones-new-album-diamond-eyes-now

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

Piglet
April 29th 2010


4665 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice to see you on a reviewing spree.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2010


31629 Comments


I gots the urge

Felt good to review some metal though

Inveigh
April 29th 2010


25209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey, you reviewed some metal! ;-)

POS'D. great review man, only thing I was wondering...

genre defying White Pony LP

did you mean "genre-defining"? I mean, when you think about it, it makes sense either way (White Pony certainly defied the confines of nu-metal), I just was expecting "defining" for some reason.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2010


31629 Comments


It can work either way I guess, but I think they defied a lot of people's expectations of them at the time. I guess if a lot of people question it i'll change it.

hey, you reviewed some metal! ;-)

Happy now???? haha

Urinetrouble
April 29th 2010


5764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

cover reminds of rushes fly by night

Inveigh
April 29th 2010


25209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very happy bud.

I wasn't saying it was wrong, I just wondered which one you intended. If "defy" is what you meant -- then keep it! I actually think it's cool that way, it's just normally when you read that term it's "genre-defining", y'know? Be different Deviant, be different.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2010


8393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Deviant and I agree, this is a huge grower. Still, it hasn't absorbed me in a way it has clearly absorbed others, and because of that, I just don't quite appreciate it as much. Yes, it is a great album, but not likely to be in my top 5, or even top 10 at the end of the year.

Inveigh
April 29th 2010


25209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh man... it's still my number one haha. High Violet is really the only thing that's coming close right now. After that it'd be Option Paralysis, Vessel and OMNI. I think.

Inveigh
April 29th 2010


25209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, it's overrated, but I still think the average rating will continue to go down with time. This, however, has the possibility of seeing its average rating go up with time.

I still have Option Paralysis at about a 3.8-3.9 range (meaning it's a 4 haha).

Inveigh
April 29th 2010


25209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

out of 10

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2010


31629 Comments


SNW still feels like a comp to me

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2010


31629 Comments


And right now, this is my #2 of the year

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2010


31629 Comments


Betya I can try

Inveigh
April 29th 2010


25209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what's your aoty so far Dev, Noisia?

and you Maniac?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2010


31629 Comments


Noisia?

Of course ;)

Ponton
Emeritus
April 29th 2010


5820 Comments


time for me to try the tones... again,

great job deviant

Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2010


31629 Comments


Cheers Jared

Living Sacrifice's was pretty good

Inveigh
April 29th 2010


25209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think it's been a pretty great year so far.... I mean, Gorillaz, Immolation, Throats, The National, Deftones, Dillinger, High On Fire, Dark Time Sunshine, Wu-Massacre, Broken Bells, Dessa, The Hold Steady, Daughters, The National, even the new As I Lay Dying's pretty good. I definitely can't complain.

Inveigh
April 29th 2010


25209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ooh you would probably really like High On Fire, Daughters and Throats.



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