Review Summary: Some would call it crunchy
Deftones to much anticipation released their 6th studio album in the heat of the Obama campaign, people were giving out stickers and picketing signs and all of this propaganda filtered through the lense of Chino Morieno resulted in the most progressive, health care reforming metal album of the last few years. Quite an impressive title to hold but unfortunately it is also the album to carry such a title.
It is hard to hear a description of this album without the mentioning of the word crunchy and for a good reason. The riffs are very tight, compact yet still hit really hard. Chino’s sex moans pronounce in pleasure over the banging, heavy riffs to create a sort of contrast between porn and crunch. It is a concept that hasn’t really been trodden down before, but living under a black president I guess there is a lot we haven’t seen before.
This album features some neat individual tracks but as a whole can grow tiresome. This album can be compared to a granola bar as it is sexy, crunchy and enjoyed one at a time. The songs don’t necessarily complement each other very well, but individually tracks can stand quite strong on their own. This of course leads to a ‘Queen dilemma’ much like how you’ll only ever end up drunkenly singing ‘Bohemenian Rhapsody’ just because it is too good is also a problem this album shares.
Although I’m not sure how many parties include the slobbered, college choir of ‘Diamond Eyes’ it makes for a real hoot (owl hehehe). It has a super heavy riff and thunderous drums that repeat and crash in such a fashion that they become nearly hypnotic. All while you are warped out in awe Chino takes this ripe opportunity to butt bump you with some contrasting vocals that speak out like an angel in the thick heavy mess. The chorus is massive and clean allowing for a nice break in the heaviness and really sets in the tone of the song. 5/5
Then other tracks unfortunately don’t work as well as ‘Diamond Eyes’ such as ‘Rocket Skates’ as it has a repetitive structure just like the former which is fine however this time around it just isn’t convincing enough. There is nothing that really sucks you in and the chorus is simply there for catchy value rather than adding to the atmosphere or as to progress the song, rather we are left with a flat song that doesn’t really go anywhere. 3/5
Although this album attempts to lure in the unsuspecting into uncle Chino’s van with the promise of candy coated heavy riffs it just doesn’t always pay off. When each song doesn’t flow into each other too well you lose what could have been a really cohesive, immersive atmosphere. Choruses often fall short of being anything than something thrown in there for the sake of being catchy and end up taking away from what could have been a really intense, interesting listen.