Deftones
Koi No Yokan


4.4
superb

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
November 18th, 2012 | 3209 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A remarkably consistent effort from the band that triumphs without altering its style.

Out of all nu-metal bands that went platinum in the late 1990s, Deftones are truly unique. While the trend they were clearly a part of was hardly long-lasting with many popular acts disbanding quickly or releasing subpar records that could only appeal to their hardcore fans, the Sacramento outfit have remained relevant since pivotal Around The Fur. The following disc White Pony took their style to the new level integrating notable ethereal qualities into the band's endearing, if basic brand of alternative metal. Their music was still based on sharp, down-tuned riffs of Stephen Carpenter and outstanding vocal skills of Chino Moreno, yet the layers of haunting atmosphere on many tracks coupled with masterful songwriting resulted in their magnum opus. Even though their three subsequent releases were great in their own right drifting either in relentless heaviness or a dreamier, more shoegaze-inspired territory, the quintet's elusively titled new record Koi No Yokan is certainly the closest they've ever been to recapturing the magic of formidable White Pony.

As opposed to “love at the first sight,” the Japanese phrase “koi no yokan” refers to love that isn't immediate, but it is totally inevitable. Similarly, the seventh Deftones album may not be instantly alluring, yet it easily ranks among the band's very best work. Chino Moreno was the first to admit that the band feels rejuvenated now. This kind of statement tends to be overused these days, but in this case the music perfectly justifies it. Although Koi No Yokan doesn't represent any significant stylistic shift settling in a signature Deftones style, its refreshing approach to meshing familiar influences cuts through the entire disc.

The album mostly revolves around dynamics, and the act's fusion of sounds heavy and fragile is in a class by itself. “Leathers” softly kicks off only to suddenly burst into bombastic verses climaxing in an enthralling chorus. In contrast, “Tempest” avoids jarring shifts gradually releasing tension to supremely chilling effect. Both these tracks heavily rely on Moreno's vocals that seem more passionate and emotionally wrenching than ever before. The singer has always been amazingly versatile, and his performance on Koi No Yokan is no exception. He expertly contrasts intense screams with wistful, frequently ethereal melodies. The songwriting has vastly improved though giving him an opportunity to shine in a multitude of memorable choruses.

Koi No Yokan also flows way better than the previous three releases of the outfit. The infectiously straightforward “Swerve City” makes room for the brooding sensuality of “Romantic Dreams,” while the colossal groove of “Poltergeist” is juxtaposed with atmospheric dreampop of “Entombed”. The album’s second half is more ominous in its tone with sinister “Graphic Nature” and jaded “Gauze” that's packed with atonal riffs. The production of Nick Raskulinecz seems more spacey than on Diamond Eyes allowing listeners to trace the subtlest nuances more easily.

Overall, Koi No Yokan is a remarkably consistent effort from the band that triumphs without altering its style. Deftones seem to believe in the power of quality song craft rather than innovation, and that attitude has turned out to be extremely rewarding for them. The album glitters with supreme melodies as much as crushes with massive riffs showcasing the quintet's most accomplished material in over a decade.



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user ratings (2279)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (4)
    ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    fiendish (4.5)
    Yeah, it’s a Deftones release, but it ain’t just another Deftones release. They’ve o...

    someguest (5)
    Love....

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

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

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

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

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

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


Comments:Add a Comment 
dammets
November 18th 2012


2035 Comments


good review

GiaNXGX
November 18th 2012


4867 Comments


I hope this doesn't gets featured, even if it's a contributor review, too much Deftones D. sucking
going on lately.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2012


16388 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pukka review, pos, not a fan of the band tho

chambered49
November 18th 2012


1727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

style over substance on a lot of this album

bakkermaarten007
November 18th 2012


3929 Comments


"style over substance on a lot of this album"
[2]


dammets
November 18th 2012


2035 Comments


album needs more screams like the ones on royal and prince on diamond eyes. besides that, vocals are chinos best since white pony

TheNotrap
November 18th 2012


8253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Very good review as always.



Need to give it another spin to rate it, but the first impression was good.

DrGonzo1937
November 18th 2012


9506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yay, another review along the same lines as all the others...



First three songs suck, but the rest of the album is great.

Digging: Steve Roach - Skeleton Keys

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2012


16327 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, but that average rating still makes me scratch my head every time.

Digging: Gay Kiss - Preservation Measures

Scoot
November 18th 2012


18132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol



wish graphic nature didn't suck otherwise it'd be a 5

Digging: Friendzone - While U Wait

Maniac!
November 18th 2012


26264 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

doesn't suck

Scoot
November 18th 2012


18132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

boring

greg84
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2012


7514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

The only track that seems underwhelming to me is the last one.

Digging: Luna Sol - Blood Moon

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2012


16327 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@andcas, you should 5 it without listening like 150 people did before it was released.

Scoot
November 18th 2012


18132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

like that's never happened before



*cough*stevenwilson*cough*

Youtellme
November 18th 2012


1351 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

"@andcas, you should 5 it without listening like 150 people did before it was released."



Funnily enough there was a score wipe.

Cygnatti
November 18th 2012


24623 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

crap over crap

Digging: John Wiese - Deviate From Balance

FrozenVain
November 18th 2012


2585 Comments


damn...

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2012


3620 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Greg, pos. Finally there's some staff/contributors reviewing this. The album is great, most probably AOTY for me, even though Greenleaf's Nest Of Vipers it's still cool haha.

Digging: Blur - The Magic Whip

greg84
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2012


7514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Thanks. I have a feeling (lol) it'll top many year-end lists. Not so sure it'll top mine though.



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