Just a few years ago things weren’t looking great in the Deftones camp. Following a couple of albums which divided fans opinions in the form of 2003’s self titled and 2006’s ‘Saturday Night Wrist’. Things went from bad to worse when on November forth 2008 the band’s bassist Chi Cheng was involved in a tragic car accident which has left him in a coma to this day. Many bands when faced with such problems would call it a day, luckily Deftones didn’t. They released ‘Diamond Eyes’ in 2010 to overwhelming acclaim from critics and fans alike, and now the Deftones resurgence only gathers more momentum with new album ‘Koi No Yokan’.
As soon as the razor barbed riffs of album opener ‘Swerve City’ kick things off in style it sets the precedent for what is to follow. There are instant shades of ‘White Pony’ and it is fitting as this album has most in common with the band’s seminal album. At their most experimental again the likes of ‘Tempest’ and ‘Rosemary’ clock in at over six minutes and the Deftones sound is pushed to its extreme limits throughout the album. There’s textbook Stephen Carpenter heavy riffs throughout such as on the angst ridden ‘Goon Squad’ and ‘Gauze’ however the ambient, dreamy side to the band is ever present such as on ‘Entombed’.
While there be no big obvious singles in the vein of ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’ or ‘Rocket Skates’, ‘Koi No Yokan’ is an album that gets under your skin and grows with you with every listen. There are always new things to pick up on and the intense emotional spectrum covered only resonates more and more with repeated spins. The dark, groove driven riff of ‘Poltergeist’ is nothing short of sinister, while ‘Romantic Dreams’ produces one of the band’s most beautiful choruses to date. It is always propelled by Chino’s unique and instantly recognisable vocals, the passion displayed on ‘Leathers’ results in a song that is as infectious as it is breath taking.
While it may not be what many traditionally would class as accessible, Deftones have taken everything that makes them such a superb band and built on their renowned style to create an album that is immensely listenable. The band are once again going from strength to strength and have produced an album that fans will eat up and a late contender for many albums of the year lists.
Reviewer: Gavin Lloyd