Bludgeoned by beauty
With bassist Chi Cheng in a coma following a 2008 car crash, you couldn’t blame the Deftones for being angry. Well, angrier than the notoriously aggressive Sacramento metal act already were.
So it’s to their credit that Diamond Eyes – the second album recorded since 2006’s Saturday Night Wrist but first to be released – is as concise and consistent as they’ve ever been.
Sitting somewhere between 2000’s White Pony and 2003’s Deftones, Diamond Eyes is brutal, bludgeoning and quite brilliant but never over the top.
Check out the thrilling opening impact of the tormented title song, the pure aggression of Royal and the raw CMND/CTRL for proof.
But it’s the restrained anger, twisted rage and occasional beauty of singer Chino Moreno’s vocals that really shine here. He adds plenty of venom to first single Rocket Skates, makes Prince’s schizophrenic mood so enjoyable, soothes out Sextape’s spaced-out atmosphere and brings a touch of class to Beauty School’s pop-metal hooks.
And Moren helps provide the album’s best moment on Risk, a track that mixes classic Deftones’ riffs with a soaring, spine-tingling chorus that will make you ache to see it played live. Get them down to New Zealand, quick. Yes, there’s nothing rough about this diamond; it’s the Deftones’ best album to date. If Cheng never comes out of that coma, he can rest knowing his band have found the form of their careers.