One of my favorite bands for the main reason that they are unique in themselves and will not conform, The Deftones have once again pushed the boundaries of modern rock/metal and delivered another brilliant escape from the norm. On their fourth (self titled) disc Chino and the boys dig deep and hand us 11 tracks all different, all spectacular. I will admit that when I first heard the single ‘Minerva’ I was less than impressed, but even that track has grown on me since purchasing the album.
‘Hexagram’ opens the album with ferocity and brutality that lets you know to expect a true to form Deftones album. ‘Needles and Pins’ though is what really kicks this album off. Mix Chino’s haunting vocals and brilliant lyrics with Carpenter’s crushing guitars and Delgado’s soundscapes and added textures and you have a perfect song. The follow this brilliant direction in ‘Bloody Cape’ as well, delivering brutal force and seductive elegance all at the same time. And I want to make mention that ‘When Girls Telephone Boys’ is one of the most brutal tracks Deftones have ever put out…Chino is god, I swear.
They turn a softer leaf with tracks like ‘Good Morning Beautiful’ and the closer ‘Moana’, songs that have more of a ‘White Pony’ feel to them. ‘Deathblow’ and even ‘Battle Ax’ carry this same feel, not much screaming, more like yelling over some heavy yet not brutal riffs. The later two though hold my attention better than the former.
It’s the haunting beauty of ‘Lucky You’ though that stands out as the most inspired track here. It appeared on the Matrix Reloaded soundtrack, and it fit…but here, in the element that is Deftones it holds much more presence beings the only of it’s kind. The chorus is just so calming and soothing…it’s one of my favorite songs ever penned. This beauty is also worked into ‘Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event’, which if it had been up to me would have been swapped with ‘Moana’ for it serves as the better closing track, winding things down and leaving you serene.
Chino’s vocals are top notch here, and the musicianship is top of the game as well, the whole package being one of the best albums to be released in a long time. Deftones will always be one of the most inspired and original acts in rock/metal music and I’m sure with each release they will hone and perfect their craft.