Review Summary: Deftones paint a beautifully abrasive canvas of sound that fits perfectly into their consistent catalogue.
Most Deftones fans will give a similar explanation for their fondness of the group: their seamless blend of serenity, eeriness and full-fledged chaos in their music. At least, that's the reason I love this band so much. Over thirty years and nine albums into their career, Deftones’ catalogue has remained ever so consistent, expanding on their own trademark sound in plenty of fresh, creative ways. Earlier works such as Adrenaline and (my personal favorite album of theirs) Around The Fur give the listener a little more bite, while albums like Saturday Night Wrist and the more recent Gore focus on creating dense yet gorgeous atmosphere. Either way, Deftones have proved they know how to do their sound, and do it well. So how does this year’s Ohms compare to other albums?
I believe it’s one of their best yet.
Every song on Ohms has its own personality, the album never feels repetitive and not a single song feels drawn out. Songs like Genesis and the The Link is Dead boast some of Chino’s most visceral screams and put all the accusations that Deftones had “gone soft” after Gore to the grave. Furthermore, The Spell of Mathematics has one of the densest, most hypnotizing atmospheres the band has ever created. Chino’s lyrics on this track apply to me personally as the listener. His vocals do indeed feel like they are placing a spell on me. Radiant City is another favorite of mine on the album, with a super fun riff and a catchy, yet haunting chorus. Speaking of haunting, this album is very haunting, and even abrasive at times, which adds to its appeal for me. Now let’s talk about the song Urantia. Holy ***. This might be one of Deftones’ best songs. Period. The way the atmosphere blends with the heaviness on this track sends chills down my spine every time I listen to it. If you’re looking for a song to give the album a preview, this one is perfect.
Ohms kind of sounds like a mix between Diamond Eyes, Around the Fur, and White Pony, which should tell you a lot considering White Pony and Diamond Eyes are considered to be high points in the band’s catalogue. The album, however, is not perfect. Some songs don’t have that wow factor that the rest of the tracklist gives me. For example, Pompeji and The Link is Dead I could honestly take or leave (not that they’re bad, they just pale in comparison to Ura- I mean the rest of the album). But overall, this may be a top three Deftones album and if not, definitely a top five album. Bringing Terry Date back to produce this album also did wonders for it’s sound. It’s dense, abrasive, haunting, and a Deftones album done damn well. I can’t wait to hear what’s next. If you like Deftones, you’ll love this album. If you like metal in general but have never checked this band out, start at White Pony, but definitely come back to give Ohms a spin.
The Spell of Mathematics