Monday, 12 November 2012

Review: Deftones - Koi No Yokan

 So, what kind of things can I talk about when dealing with the most consistently brilliant and underrated bands in metal? Many modern metal and alternative bands have taken time to become absorbed within the likes of Deftones' White Pony, Around the Fur and Adrenaline. All albums have found their way to becoming massive points of influence within some of the best names in metal and alternative music today and I can think of no band more deserving as being fully seen as a group of individuals who inspire others to make art like they do themselves.

 Now, everyone was left begging for more after the blinding return to top form that came with 2012's Diamond Eyes, the band's first full album after bassist Chi Cheng tragically went into a coma following a car accident in 2008 and even at that time, it was startling enough that the band were willing to bring out a new album, never mind bringing out one so amazing. So, you can never be too demanding when expecting a new Deftones release. But man, a new album from them is always worth getting excited for and if seventh album Koi No Yokan doesn't have you feeling that way, I can only offer my sympathies because this album really is the sound of divinity recorded.

 You hear bands claiming that they have it all. They can bring together the best of all kinds of music and it works for lots of bands, but Deftones truly is on another level. They could honestly make an entire album filled with jaw-droppingly heavy riffage and make a full on metal album and it could still be one of the best metal albums ever heard. Just look at the intense pit-stirring riffage that opens the album of Swerve City, a powerhouse blaze of chunky guitars from Stephen Carpenter and the drilling basslines of Leather from current bassist Sergio Vega, a nailing performance that proves Vega to be more than just a stand in for Chi Cheng. And as Poltergeist slams into it's main sections, the combination of bizarre guitar switches and blasting bass is a sign of the band sounding at their most punk-like and youngest, sounding like Deftones-meets-Dillinger.

 But as proven through various side-projects, Deftones could also make an album that focuses only on creating lush textured soundscaping and it would still be a constant wonder to listen to with musical passages that you can lose yourselves in with every breath of keyboards. Tempest boasts the perfect fresh atmosphere's that you can simply sink into while the beauty of Rosemary in it's state of synthesizer led tranquility is a moment more jaw dropping and eye opening than some other bands can manage with their album's heaviest moment.

 But the fact that the entire album is made of the union of these two musical styles once more makes this album a feast of beautiful alternative metal, refreshing in the band's ability to still make music that keeps you guessing what's coming next. And it's tied together so finely in the gripping wonder that is the vocals of alt metal icon Chino Moreno, whose seamless transitions between soothing melodic vocals and frenetic screams boasts the kinds of emotional tone that can convey a man having a breakdown. And the depth reached on the likes of Gauze and the effortlessly simple What Happened to You? is made of star reaching wonder. It makes you fall in love with the world, with life and with music.

 Can I say any more about how beautiful this album is? Can I say any more about how wonderful, influential and powerful a force in music the Deftones are that they can still make what is a very pure piece of artwork that stuns, shocks and amazes in all they do, whether it's crushing heaviness and absorbing electronics and bring it together in a form that ranges from boastful to intimate. And with six powerful albums behind them, they still have the creativity and strength to make something as beautiful as Koi No Yokan. They truly are one of the most consistently great, influential and underrated bands of all time. And now that the blog name of "Ramblings" is truly living up to it's name, this is one of the finest metal releases we've heard in a long time.

Deftones' Koi No Yokan is out now via Reprise. The band will tour the UK in February.

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