Deftones – Diamond Eyes

January 01, 1970

(Reprise)

 

www.warnerbrosrecords.com

 

With
the disastrous events that have occurred in recent years, Sacramento, Calif.,
based music makers Deftones seemed to have been hexed by some slighted rock ‘n’
roll god hell-bent on the band’s destruction.

 

After
the release of the highly acclaimed White
Pony
in 2000, hostilities began to brew between lead singer/contributing
guitarist Chino Moreno and lead guitarist Stephen Carpenter over Deftones’ musical
direction – a dispute that almost caused the band’s demise. Then in 2001, Moreno suffered damage to
his vocal cords due to his aggressive, scream-style singing in songs such as
“Lotion” from 1997’s Around the Fur. Most
tragic is the nearly fatal car accident involving longtime Deftones bassist Chi
Cheng in 2008, a crash that has left him in a minimally conscious state ever
since.

 

The
newest saga surrounded what was to be their sixth studio album, Eros. Fans waited…and waited…and waited
for the repeatedly pushed back release, only to find out that the project had
been scrapped altogether due to the band members’ dissatisfaction with the musical
work presented on the record.

 

Then,
seemingly out of nowhere, Diamond Eyes hit music shops. It’s an 11-track album that took Deftones six months to
complete with the assistance of producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush,
Alice in Chains), and features former Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega filling in
for the debilitated Cheng. So has their luck changed? Well, while the record is
not as applause-worthy as some of their previously released material,  it passes with a “B” grade – just enough to
keep a band that has been around for over two decades from fading into the
shadows.

 

Diamond Eyes is a hectic 41 minutes,
jam-packed with hi-hat hits, octave-obsessed riffs, and provocative
vocals.  While the instrumentals are often
extremely heavy, poetic lyrics balance out the musical madness, making for an
artistically acceptable piece of work from start to finish.  The album begins with the title track
“Diamond Eyes,” a love song that romances lyrically, yet intimidates
instrumentally. As violent guitar chords confront cymbals that relentlessly
clang, Moreno croons, “Time will see us realign/Diamonds rain across the
sky/and shower me into the same realm.” Moreno’s voice carnally slithers
throughout the sexually-charged “You’ve Seen the Butcher,” while “Beauty
School” slows down the musical adrenaline with gentle singing and a consoling
melody. Moreno squeals “Guns, razors, knives” as percussionist Abe Cunningham
assaults his drum set in the lead single “Rocket Skates,” a wonderfully
chilling number that creeps under the skin. Simply put: every melody adds
another layer of complexity to the album, a compilation that proves that
Deftones are still as relevant to the music industry today as they were 22
years ago.

 

It’s
difficult to categorize the genre of music Diamond
Eyes
would fall under. Forget the old saying “a little bit country, a
little bit rock ‘n’ roll.” Deftones are a little bit heavy metal, a little bit
alternative – and everything in between. And for them, it works.

 

Standout Tracks: “Diamond Eyes,” “CMND/CTRL,”
“Rocket Skates” CECILIA MARTINEZ

 

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