Review Summary: Just another great CD you can have in your collection from the Deftones
Nothing seems to interfere with the endless and infectious groove that is the Deftones. This Sacramento-based quintet is no doubt an old pro at the alt-metal genre, and has proven to be one of the toughest, by overcoming the many obstacles set before them. On 2006's "Saturday Night Wrist," the group grew distant from each other, due to soured relations and Chino Moreno's gestures to develop a pill addiction, and spend time away with his Team Sleep side-project. After SNW was finally pieced together by separate recordings and writings, the boys began recording the scrapped "Eros." Whilst doing so, bassist Chi Cheng went into a coma from a sustained car accident injury. It seemed this ever-reliable band was at an end, but their recruitment of bassist Sergio Vega for Cheng's departure has proven a quick, bold, and successful move, with the release of the nostalgic and blistering "Diamond Eyes" and the most recent release, the trancey metal groove-opera "Koi No Yokan."
It is just like the Deftones to come in at the end of the year and toss out an album with quick promotion and imminently released captivating singles on the radio. Of course, the Deftones have been spinning this same wheel since 1995, and it has always gone smoothly for them, with each album bringing a different sense of inventiveness and creativity to the element of soundscapes. The guys pile layers and layers of guitar, synth, bass, and shoegaze tones on top of each other to create a complex drift-like atmosphere that serves as the background for nearly every song they've recorded. Listening to a Deftones album from Start to Finish is almost always a journey that leaves the listener wondering how they were carried all the way to the end.
2012's "Koi No Yokan" is no exception, in fact, it's the most entrancing and hypnotic release the band has produced. This doesn't at all mean it is the best Deftones album, but it is damn near close, with its wide-array of cleverly-assorted heavy metal mechanics and a blend of heavily sandwiched atmospherics. From the very beginning, the direct and concise "Swerve City" plays on a quick and lean opening riff, then dives into a spacey verse only to return to the pounding intro melody for its chorus. "Leathers" is heavier than standard gravity, but brings some zesty beauty to use on its chorus. "Poltergeist" is the heaviest cut the 'Tones have put out in a decade, and simultaneously manages to be highly addicting, by way of their incorporation of sensible and intelligent chorus/pre-chorus melodies. "Entombed" is shakingly beautiful, and an unexpected, but eventually welcomed following for the explosive "Poltergeist." "Tempest" prevails thanks to its thick main riff, but its intro is slow and meatless, and the chorus is only good.
"Rosemary" is mezmerizing in its being one of the slowest Deftones rhythms, with a crashing low verse riff, and a soaring chorus melody. "Goon Squad" is the most crushingly low tune on the album, but its earthquake verse is juxtaposed a conscious and cruising chorus featuring Moreno's flying vocals. "What Happened to You"" isn't the epic finale 2010's Diamond Eyes had with "This Place is Death" but it's intelligent in its unlikely melodic pursuit, and unique auditorium-appropriated composition.
The walls of sound that echo off of their performances remain as additional instrumentation on this album and give way to the entrancing signature sound of the Deftones. They are blistering heavy metal swirled with floating harmonious melodies, and hypnotic atmosphere, and they've maintained that flow through album after album. Whether or not the many troubles faced by this band have become inspiration or turmoil for their writing, they are faithfully staying relevant by keeping things fresh while sticking to their roots. They always find some way to make the next album have its own character, but you always get your fill of what you're looking for in a Deftones album.