The Metal Minute Awarded 2009 Best Personal Blog By Metal Hammer Magazine

Friday, May 21, 2010

CD Review: Deftones - Diamond Eyes

Deftones - Diamond Eyes
2010 Reprise Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.



With a band, adversity can turn you into a vengeful pack of junkyard dogs or it can refine you into the epitome of a show-to-win pedigree. Not that the Deftones have ever been sweetness and effervescence, the reaction they've cast in answer to the near-loss of bassist Chi Cheng is a heroic outlay of controlled mayhem and a polished crunch of Cure reinventionism on their latest album Diamond Eyes.

Diamond Eyes champions the Deftones' own cause, even as as Cheng continues to recuperate from his injuries sustained in an auto accident. Cheng's coma had an adverse effect on his bandmates, who abruptly halted work on their Eros album and in the midst of stagnance tripped across the willing services of Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega.

Thus weaves the legend of Diamond Eyes, the most confident album the Deftones have ushered since White Pony. It is as much an aural stand-up against their inner trauma as it is against their critics tattooing the Deftones' self-titled 2003 album and the subsequent Saturday Night Wrist from 2006. Many people are likening Diamond Eyes to White Pony, though the only real parallels between both albums lies in the hammering riff punches of the title track and "Royal," the verses of "Beauty School" and "Prince," which is a slicked-out, metalhead's cocktail hour regroove of "Rx Queen."

If there ever was an argument for the Deftones' affinity towards The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Smiths, Diamond Eyes is the album to prove it. "Beauty School" might've sit snugly on The Cure's Wish, but all the better for its metallic snarling beneath the aquatic timbre. The jazzy tempo of "You've Seen the Butcher" is straight out of Japanese Whispers, Head On the Door and Disintegration, and Chino Moreno plays his vocal slides with a true Robert Smith shuffle-shamble.

In fact, Diamond Eyes will go down to this point in the Deftones' careers as their most textured and swirling effort to-date. Part of it has to do with Frank Delgado's otherworldly electronics, which have fully redefined this band since the proto-punk fang years of Adrenaline and Around the Fur. Delgado morphs "Diamond Eyes" from dense to beauteous, particularly on the emotive choruses and his prescence is felt all over this album.

Diamond Eyes hardly strays from the heavy despite numerous outreaches which all work to the good. "Royal" is a trad Deftones stomp-n-shout ditty, while "Rocket Skates" is one of the mightiest songs this band has ever penned. On both of these tracks, the always-trusty Abe Cunningham goes apeshit on his snare and toms and his flexible energy raises the Deftones accordingly. The harder Cunningham strikes, the louder Chino Moreno shrieks and the meaner Stephen Carpenter strums. The inflictive groove of "Cmd/Ctrl" elevates from Cunningham's mondo pounding and shimmies the cut into louder pastures beyond the primary Cure schisms guiding the melody.

The surprise track of Diamond Eyes is one of its shining, er, diamonds, "Sextape." This is frankly one of the most gorgeous songs the Deftones have recorded and the dichotomy between self-gratification and confused innocence is established by Stephen Carpenter's romantic and temporal guitar lines. His Johnny Marr-like back fills heats up "Sextape" with a barely-suppressed angst. Never has the urge to wank felt so guilt-free. Tonight, indeed...

Would Diamond Eyes have as much verve if it wasn't created in the heat of near-tragedy? Interesting there's very little flashpoint to this album, only a dialed-in set of tracks which embraces just enough of the dark side to keep it a legit metal album. If anything, Diamond Eyes is the most progressive album the Deftones have done. Chino Moreno turns in the vocal performance of his career (he's wonderfully lost in the moment on "976-Evil" and "Rocket Skates") and Sergio Vega makes a snug companion to Abe Cunningham in the band's snapcase rhythm section. What will Eros do for an encore once the Deftones revisit it?

Rating: ****

21 comments:

Jeff said...

I was shocked at how good this album was. I've never been too high on the band and I always sort of thought White Pony was over-hyped. I thought White Pony had some amazing moments ("Pink Maggit" and "Change"), but wasn't that incredible aside from the few really good songs. Diamond Eyes on the other-hand is awesome from begining to end. It shows a band with a ton of power, charisma and determination.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I was listening to White Pony on the way in so I could compare the two albums a second time...I wouldn't say WP is overhyped because for its time it was really earth-shattering stuff (considering nobody would stop lumping them in with Korn and Limp Bizkit, whom Deftones are superior to)...there are a couple of drag tracks on WP and towards the end too long of a buildup on the final tracks, but "Change" and "Digital Bath" are two of the most amazing songs written in this generation and I think the rest of the album hammers like a beast...that being said, Diamond Eyes is far more mature and in the zone of what they're trying to accomplish...in this case, it's just getting their motors back in the light of Chi's accident and it's a resounding success....

glad you dug it...I can't stop playing it an I interviewed Frank Delgadoa few weeks ago, so it's been with me a bit, lol

viagra online said...

Nice album, Deftones is the only worthy nu metal band of our country, can you post their whole discography ?

meal replacement shake said...

Great post! I am just starting out in community management/marketing media and trying to learn how to do it well - resources like this article are incredibly helpful.

free online pakistani tv channels said...

Watch free online Indian , Pakistani and international tv channels ,mostly sports, news, music, movie, geographic and entertainment channels from: mastytv.com.

buy alprazolam online said...

Superb work! The data supplied was very useful. I hope that you maintain the good work accomplished.

Viagra kaufen said...

Great album. One of the best.

world said...

It's always my pleasure to read this type of stuff.I am very much interested in these types of topics and it's my habit to read this.
Generic Viagra

Buy Kamagra said...

Hey,
These are amazing themes found here... Very interesting. Thanks a lot for the share.and very beautiful....

Thanks For Sharing This blog........

Resistance Bands said...

Very good album!

pharmacy said...

Great post! Keep it up the good work and also keep posting.

philip said...

its really a nice one.thanks a lot for sharing.
Generic Viagra

Multiplayer Rummy said...

Hi , i got this Article , i was searching some thing relevant to this, And i am feeling lucky, as its the perfect one for what i am looking for. I will share this link on face book.

muebles said...

Well, I do not really imagine it is likely to have effect.

Logo Design said...

Very interesting stuff you have posted here. Keep sharing more informative stuff like that. Amazing share!
Web Design Service | Brochure Design

PCB said...

Really nice job,There are many people searching about that now they will find enough sources by your tips.

Jennifer Deelly said...

Welldone, very interesting Blog.i loved to read this. keep it up.I will share this blog with my friends.If you search Jobs in delhi then visit http://www.jobdezire.com.

Cincinnati art museum said...

Oh man! Always i saw your post. You shared unbelievable information for us that why i am prefer you as a author.:) Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

purchase xanax xanax and alcohol side effects - effects quitting xanax

Anonymous said...

Me and ozzy fucked tougher, trying to show to my god!
FUCK YES!' just before cumming inside my warm pussy. were still fucking

Feel free to visit my website hcg injections

Anonymous said...

What's up to all, since I am actually eager of reading this web site'ѕ post to bе updateԁ
daily. Ιt includes fastidious infοrmation.

Alsο visit my blog ... diet programs comparisons