Deftones - Diamond Eyes
Deftones have done a brave thing in releasing Diamond Eyes. After the accident that put bassist Chi Cheng into a coma in 2008, the band scrapped an already complete album in respect for their fallen bandmate, and instead decided to write and record a completely brand new record. This is the product of those sessions, with former Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega stepping into the fold - and doing a fine job too.
The Sacramento five-piece have always been one of those enigmas in modern rock. An act that emerged from ‘nu-metal’ but transcended it as well, never losing any credibility and generally putting out top-notch releases. The title track is a perfect melding of everything that has made Deftones brilliant in the past: crushing riffs and thudding drums mixed with the atmospherics of a big chorus fusing old and new. Though there does seem to be a slight return to the more harsh sounding days of Around the Fur, ‘CMND/CTRL’ and ‘Rocket Skates’ are unrelenting and full of the vigour and excitement that made those early albums so refreshing.
Chino Moreno is on top form as always, his melodic vocals gliding over the brilliant and at times ethereal ‘Beauty School’, while they float through ‘976-Evil’ like an almost ghostly presence. But the standout point of the album comes in the form of ‘Sextape’, a song awash in echoing guitars, dreamy synths and Chino urging to ‘take me one more time’.
Deftones have crafted a fitting tribute to Chi Cheng, and if there were any doubts as to whether they should continue without him, this has shattered them. Diamond Eyes is easily the bands heaviest and most cohesive album since White Pony and one I’m sure that Cheng would be proud the band have made.