Review Summary: Bursting at the seams with energy, aggression, and emotion, Koi No Yokan sits comfortably as one of the most memorable and unique records in the Deftones discography
If there's one thing that Deftones have proven over the years, it's that they have proven again and again that they stand out among their peers as one of the most original and unique alternative metal bands out there. Even back in the days before the groundbreaking album that was White Pony
they had a sound that not most bands couldn't emulate. Even Adrenaline
, given its nu-metal faults, was one of the best albums to come out of that genres early days. As time went on, the band began to make albums less and less as a group and animosity set in. Even though the self-titled record and Saturday Night Wrist
were both amazing records in their own right, the band has since dismissed them as "put together" pieces of work and that the band songwriting was "lazy" during the writing process for both releases.
The tragedy of bassist Chi Cheng's accident and the scrapping of Eros
were something that pushed the band into a new state of mind. Diamond Eyes
was both a reinvigoration for the band and a therapeutic record that saw them firing on all cylinders again and the songwriting process boasted some of the best, most well thought out songs the band had written since White Pony
. This is where Koi No Yokan
comes in. This record is essentially the band riding the euphoria of the newfound energy they discovered within themselves during the writing and recording of Diamond Eyes
, and it's one hell of a record. Like its predecessor, this album is bursting at the seams with energy, aggression, and beauty.
"Swerve City" wastes no time in setting the tone for the record with its mosh worthy main riff instantly forming an infectious groove that's sure to become a live favorite in the years to come. Chino flows through the verses in an almost perfect fashion, with bassist Sergio Vega's melodic and surprisingly audible bass lines taking center stage. This all culminates in the instantly memorable chorus. "Romantic Dreams" continues this with it's explosive chorus riff along with Chino's wails. Tracks like "Leathers", "Goon Squad", and "Poltergeist" harken back to the heavy days of old all while keeping the melodic aspects of the band's sound in tact. Perhaps the true gem of the album, though, is "Rosemary". Bringing instantly to thought memories of Saturday Night Wrist
with its atmosphere and melody, Chino rides Delgato's synths with his angelic vocals until the track descends into one of the heaviest sections the band has written before presenting one of their best outros to date. The whole record is exactly as Chino described it would be, and every song has a different feel and flow rendering the album an explosive, schizophrenic gem among the bands truly exceptional discography.
One of the things about Diamond Eyes
that made it so memorable was that no matter which track you were listening to, each individual member of the band had their equal moment to shine at some point on the album. On Koi No Yokan
, this is thankfully the same case. Chino's melodic singing has never sounded better, especially on album highlight "Entombed" where it reaches new heights of emotion and beauty. Stephen Carpenter's eight string madness is as present as ever, especially in "Poltergeist" and "Goon Squad", where he turns both tracks into some of the most intense the band has recorded since Around the Fur
with their Meshuggah style main riffs and grooves. It has been noted by the band that this time around bassist Sergio Vega had more contributions to the writing process and it shows instantly. As Carpenter has laid off of the overwhelming power of his eight string that was so prominent on Diamond Eyes
, Vega's bass lines have been given room to breathe on Yokan
and on tracks like "Swerve City", "What Happened To You"" and especially "Rosemary" he forms the perfect backbone with drummer Abe Cunningham, who has also never sounded as vital to the band as he does here.
With its many twists and turns, Koi No Yokan
has more than proved itself worthy of sitting in the Deftones discography. Every track here shows a different side of the band, and every member has their moment to shine throughout the context of the album. The band sound more inspired than ever and there are some true gems here that will no doubt become fan favorites, but what makes this album so great is that they have proved yet again that they are one of metals most unique and original acts and that they are showing absolutely no signs of slowing down.