Diamond Eyes by Deftones

Diamond Eyes

by Deftones

Click on image to buy CD

Released: May 4th 2010
Genre: Alternative Metal/Experimental Rock
Label: Reprise/Warner Bros.
Number of Tracks: 11

DEFTONES are an alternative metal band from Sacramento, California, consisting of Chino Moreno (Vocals/Guitar), Stephen Carpenter (Guitar), Chi Cheng (bass), Frank Delago (keyboards and turntables) and Abe Cunningham (drums). After the release and subsequent tour for Saturday Night Wrist (2006) the band began working on their next album titled Eros. Following the recording of the album bassist Chi Cheng was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and fell into a coma, delaying the albums release. The band was unsure whether they would continue to play together. In 2009 they began to play a number of shows and festivals around the world with bassist Sergio Vega (of Quicksand) filling in for Cheng on bass and instead of releasing Eros the band decided to record a new album that year with Vega. Diamond Eyes was released earlier this year, four years after their previous album. For the short time span in which this record was written, recorded and released it is an incredible record.

SOUND: To me Deftones are one of those bands that have a different sound and feel to each album they release. This is true with Diamond Eyes and previous releases. The interesting thing about all of Deftones albums is the increase in “heaviness” throughout their career. The guitars they used on their first record were in the standard tuning and as they released more albums the guitars started to become tuned lower and even lead to the usage of seven string guitars and on Diamond Eyes the introduction of the eight string guitar. Although this is a “heavy” record I wouldn’t let this put off non-metal listeners. Although the sound is loud and at times abrasive it’s also clean and well polished meaning it isn’t a difficult listen. The music they create is also quite intricate. It’s already been mentioned that the band utilises keyboard and turntables. When you give the album a first listen it seems that these parts are non-existent, when in fact they are quite subtle within the music. In terms of the tracks themselves they vary in style quite a lot. Most of the tracks use a light distortion (at least it sounds light to me anyway!) while other tracks like Sextape stand out using clean guitar and delay effects. Some of the songs give off a feeling of sort of staggered feel such as Rocket Skates, Cmnd/Ctrl and Royal but generally the songs are quite upbeat and mid tempo. Overall I would give the sound a solid 9 out of 10.

LYRICS: For an album that was created based around a tragic event, the easiest thing that they could of done would have been to write a angst-ridden and bleak album. The lyrics however aren’t like that at all. It could even be argued that like the music they are quite upbeat. The lyrics like most of Deftones lyrics are still quite cryptic and often aim at providing messages or telling stories about something. For that reason it’s difficult to look at lyrics out of the context of the song. They do however explore a range of emotions. “Time will see us realign, Diamonds reign across the sky” from Diamond Eyes (song) and “Let’s drown beneath the stars” from Rocket Skates seem to symbolise the longing to be together with someone again. The themes that run through the lyrics all seem to be like that. To talk about Chinos voice I would describe it as having Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) and Morrissey (The Smiths) influences which can be heard at times. He has an interesting voice, it can be quiet and soothing at times but it can also be loud and intense. There is screaming in this record but there is not a huge amount of it (I can only think of it really being in one song and in that song it was quite sparse) so if you are not a fan of it I wouldn’t let it put you off. The song Cmnd/Ctrl almost sounds like it is rapped with the rapid delivery of vocals provided. Overall the lyrics are varied enough to make it interesting and the vocal delivery is excellent. I would easily give it a 9 out of 10 for vocals.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I waited a long time for this album to be released and I was certainly not disappointed with what I heard. The production is great and the songs in general are of very high quality. It’s one of the best metal albums I have heard that has came out in recent years and I would certainly encourage everyone to give it a listen!  9/10.

Reviewed by Joshua Chism.


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