Deftones
Koi No Yokan


4.5
superb

Review

by fiendish USER (9 Reviews)
November 8th, 2012 | 1042 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yeah, it’s a Deftones release, but it ain’t just another Deftones release. They’ve outdone themselves again.

Though singles get the majority of fans hyped for a release, they also bring about some paranoia. With singles like “Leathers” and “Tempest”, Deftones fans saw new material which topped everything they heard on “Diamond Eyes”. With singles like this you have two different opinions at work; the people chanting “AOTY” and the avid listener now unsure if the album will compare to the other gems of the Deftones discography. The latter opinion thinks of the times when good singles brought about terrible albums and wonders “is this album going to disappoint?” Over the years, Deftones have released great album after great album, and after 24 years, they don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. In 2010, “Diamond Eyes” finally saw the band making material which stood up to the seemingly unreachable benchmark set by their magnum opus, “White Pony”. Certainly an album of that stature is hard to follow up, is it not? Well worry not Deftones fans, they’ve outdone themselves yet again.

The sonic exploration we heard on “Diamond Eyes” is much more refined here. The massive wall of guitar heard on the aforementioned 2010 LP is still massive but more discernible, not overpowering any other part of the band. This refinement of sound reveals a pleasant surprise; the ambient textures from keyboard/turntable man Frank Delgado. The textures are simply magical, highlighting every stylistic nuance perfectly. The ever skilled vocalist Chino Moreno is in top form here, hitting notes that were never thought to exist and sounding incredible in the process. Stephen Carpenter is the riff machine that he’s always been and Sergio Vega has now proven that he isn’t just the replacement bassist; grooving melodically along with Abe Cunningham’s innovative approach to modern rock drumming. Yeah it’s basically like it’s always been, but when your sound is so enthralling and invigorating, why change it?

Like usual, when Chino and the boys make music, you better know that they make ***ing music. “Swerve City” kicks the newest Deftones offering off in a lively manner; the primordial sledge of an intro riff makes way for an absolutely delicious bass line from the likes of Sergio Vega. The bridge features something different from Stephen Carpenter, as he delivers a soaring high end melody opposed to the usual low end slab of chunky riffage. The band delves more into their newly refined sound on “Romantic Dreams”, featuring a chorus riff that sounds almost exactly like the bass line from their 2003 hit “Minerva”. Even with the haunting similarity, don’t think for a second that their running out of ideas; Deftones aren’t a band that simply runs out of ideas. My guess is that they did this intentionally to recall their past successes, or something along those lines. The first two tracks of “Koi No Yokan” are pretty “win”.

First single “Leathers” lights a fuse with its ominous intro and then explodes like C4, startling the listener even more than the infamous “Scary Maze Game” startled the poor man who punched a hole through his computer monitor. Now, before you flail at your surroundings from the onset of hysteria, at least listen to the rest of the song, its damn good. Usually, the singles off of Deftones LP’s tend to pale in comparison to the other tracks but contrary to popular belief, this is a surefire highlight. I know, I know most Deftones songs have the soaring tendency, but with this one you’ll be in outer space, kicking your feet helplessly as you’re wrapped in the distortion emanating from Stephen Carpenter’s guitar. This is a great track. Surely now there has to be a low point somewhere in this album, right? Not here. “Poltergeist” pummels through the headphones with the intensity that were used to seeing from the Sacremento alternative metal quintet. The low end is certainly being taken full advantage of on this track, as we hear Vega and Carpenter chugging along. The sludgy “Poltergeist” stops and makes way for the softer, illusory affair of “Entombed”. Also a highlight, “Entombed” shows Deftones in full emotional control of the listener. Mr. Carpenter is heard experimenting with different tones and in this experimentation he’s simply magic; the riffs contained in this offering are simply ear candy. Frank Delgado is also heard experimenting with a lush, retro sounding synthesizer. The band progresses into the somewhat lackluster “Graphic Nature” which drifts by a bit monotonously but interestingly enough we can hear Abe Cunningham recalling the drum track from “Digital Bath” near the end of the track. The album's second single “Tempest” lets the listener into more of that wonderful refinement that seems to be a recurring theme across the LP.

Now, the listener through 8 tracks will arrive on the sprawling “Rosemary”. The softer intro recalls “Sextape” from “Diamond Eyes”, and it was at this moment where I thought Deftones had finally tripped up and gaffed. Around the 1 minute mark however, Chino and Co. show us why they’re considered the “Radiohead of alternative metal”. We see a stylistic shift as well mood shift from almost fleshly melancholia to brooding low dynamic motifs. They continue on this softer path until a jewel of a riff appears as a wonderful bolt from the blue. Deftones have certainly mastered their dynamic changes and this track makes that notion so very apparent. In other mastered facets of music, Deftones sure know how to keep a listener on edge. Another revelation apparent in this progressively tinged offering is the soft ending. Usually, Deftones end with a surprise chorus, knocking the listener for six, but the real surprise here is the apparent lack of one, so to say.

Continuing on, I would have to say that the strongest performer here is vocalist Chino Moreno. It’s astonishing how seamlessly he goes from an angry snarl to an otherworldly display of melodic supremacy in one song. I know of many attempted singer/screamers that just don’t do very well (Greg Puciato, anyone?) but Chino proves he’s not only a coveted screaming vocalist but a master of the “cleans”. In “Goon Squad” we hear that visceral, frantic howl we know and love possibly in its best quality since, dare I say, “Around the Fur”? Also in the same track, he’s got those clean vocals at their melodic height. It’s just plain incredible how a man can go from singing his heart out to wanting to rip someone’s heart out. The band then progresses on to closing number “What Happened To You?” which more applies the idea of recalling other tracks from their discography perhaps as a dose of nostalgia for the Deftones fan. The soft, but not anti-climactic closer idea has been used in albums like “OK Computer” from Radiohead with “The Tourist”, providing a moment to reflect on what was just heard, and this song does its job wonderfully without tarnishing the overall effect of the album.

In the end, Deftones provide another absolutely brilliant release to fans and new listeners alike drawing ideas from previous albums as well as refining their blueprint making for a new, invigorating sound not too alienated from the former. “Koi No Yokan” gets its strengths from feelings like nostalgia, as motifs from past albums are recalled, possibly to show the listener how much progress they’ve made as a band over their 24 year existence. It’s recommended that you listen to the album as a whole but small hints of redundancy might turn off some, though not many, as much of it is completely original and enjoyable material. Chino and Co. distance themselves even further from their contemporaries with this release, but perhaps they’ve always been in a league of their own.



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user ratings (2143)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (4)
    ...

    wwba (2)
    Extremely mediocre (I can't see why so many people overrate it) but it has a few decent mo...

    Bwgrotha1s (4.5)
    Just another great CD you can have in your collection from the Deftones...

    Joe Denby (2)
    Painful in my indifference....

  • stalinrules (2)
    Introducing: 2012's most overrated album....

    NagasakiBomber (4)
    Many bands wish they were able to release an album as consistently jaw dropping as this on...

    Mike Denison (3)
    Beauty that assaults your ears for an hour, begging you to tell her she's pretty the whole...

    Elijah Andrew STAFF (2.5)
    Incredibly tepid and uncharacteristically dull, "Koi No Yokan" sees Deftones forget what h...

  • Greg Fisher STAFF (4.4)
    A remarkably consistent effort from the band that triumphs without altering its style....

    someguest (5)
    Love....

    MezoIsMusic (4.5)
    “Koi No Yokan” is a truly beautiful Japanese concept that is untranslatable. It is the...

    pbass0 (4.5)
    Continuing to blend beauty and primal aggression like no band before or after, Deftones re...

  • GiantMan (3.5)
    Deftones remain at the top of their game, but still with room to grow....

    Deadwing42 (4.5)
    Colors explode across the spectrum of a new Deftones sound that explores beauty, brutality...

    Adam Edwards (5)
    Deftones shed their superficial skin as an Alt-Metal band and finally show their textures ...

    Jeremy Bentham (4.5)
    Bursting at the seams with energy, aggression, and emotion, Koi No Yokan sits comfortably ...

  • Chinomaster182 (4)
    Deftones in their new record have managed to navigate the close gap between staying true t...

    Spagett (3.5)
    Maybe they're getting tired....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2012


50960 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

stream or gtfo

Digging: Friendzone - Collection 1

Shimana
November 8th 2012


544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Might get to a 4.5 but dunno bout 5

Digging: La Dispute - Rooms of the House

fiendish
November 8th 2012


44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

http://www.craveonline.com/music/articles/199520-streaming-deftones-koi-no-yokan-new-album

yer welcome

Youtellme
November 8th 2012


1351 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

No 5 or gtfo

Ignimbrite
November 8th 2012


5511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

There's a stream. Rolling Stone.

And although I feel like you may have rushed this review, as the album leaked yesterday, it's still well-written and it looks like you put a lot of work into it. Pos'd

Scoot
November 8th 2012


17916 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The first two tracks of “Koi No Yokan” are pretty “win”.

just no

a few there/their/they're mistakes but not a bad review overall

MO
November 8th 2012


19083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice a stream sweet

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2012


20165 Comments


here we go

Digging: Johann Sebastian Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2012


3516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was fast. Good review, but you didn't have to do a track by track one. You could've just wrote about the best songs (don't get me wrong, the review is good, I'm just saying this as my opinion). Also, you could've waited one or two days for the album to sink in, but I understand your choice since there will be a flood of reviews for it. Pos.

Anyway, IMO, "Swerve City", "Romantic Dreams", "Tempest", "What Happened To You?" and "Rosemary" are my Top 5 so far. The others are very close behind these.

Digging: Stonebride - Heavy Envelope

Maniac!
November 8th 2012


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tempest is so fucking good

EvoHavok
November 8th 2012


1516 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think the track by track is done very well in this review.
Atari change your rating asap.

Digging: DIR EN GREY - Arche

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2012


50960 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Track 5 lol

fiendish
November 8th 2012


44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Atari change your rating asap."
yeah dude this certainly isn't 2.5 material hahaha

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2012


7429 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Is the stream poor quality or are my speakers just shite?

Either way this is a beast, albeit an overhyped one.

HSThomas
November 8th 2012


668 Comments


Guessing some users will act like rabid fanboys and some staff will act like idiots calling the users retards simply because they don't agree with the users opinions.

Oh subjectivity how I love thee.

Also ok review if a bit too informal.

ChuckyTruant
November 8th 2012


15725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

omgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomg

apert
November 8th 2012


3072 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

don't bother guys its shit

Scoot
November 8th 2012


17916 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Guessing some users will act like rabid fanboys

omgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomg"

hahaha

good to see this isn't a 5 review either hats off to yew

MO
November 8th 2012


19083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Leathers is pretty damn awesome

Scoot
November 8th 2012


17916 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Entombed (Are a Better Band)"

haha touche



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