Deftones

Koi No Yokan

01. Swerve City
02. Romantic Dreams
03. Leathers
04. Poltergeist
05. Entombed
06. Graphic Nature
07. Tempest
08. Gauze
09. Rosemary
10. Goon Squad
11. What Happened To You?

[11/12/12]
[Reprise Records]

Many bands have had to go through great lengths in order to attain the superstar status that they have sought for so long. These bands constantly jump through hoops to attain the critical highs their idols have achieved over years and years of experience. Then you have a band like Deftones, who can succeed at every turn without breaking a sweat, continually churning out some of the best music that the world has to offer. Experimenting with different sounds and techniques, mixing heavy metal songs with softer, post-rock pieces is something that normally would be very hard for one single band to do without losing a large portion of the original lineup. However, Deftones have managed to craft album after album of beautiful music, and Koi No Yokan is no different.

The opener ‘Swerve City’ is a very short intro track, but is one of the heavier songs on the album. The main riff is an infectious groove that shows off Stephen Carpenter’s ability to still craft beautiful guitar parts even after nearly 20 years. After the opener the album blazes right through two great tracks in ‘Romantic Dreams’ and ‘Leathers’, the latter of which was the first single released from the album. The album then goes into the heaviest track on the record, ‘Poltergeist’, which happened to be the best song on the album as well. The intro clapping parts sound more like the intro of a rap song, not a metal song, However once the main riff kicks in on Carpenter’s 8-string, you come to realize it’s going to be heavy. The chorus riff is absolutely superb, and is a highlight from the album as far as music goes.

The album then takes a mellow turn, heading into ‘Entombed’, a haunting track reminiscent of post-rock in such a way that the song is filled with many different textures that make it eerie and spacey. ‘Graphic Nature’ is next, and at times the drums sound like a tribute to their song ‘Digital Bath’ from their heralded album White Pony. Unfortunately it’s the weakest song on the album, though it’s most definitely not a bad song. It’s like saying ‘Informal Gluttony’ is the worst song off of Colors; you know it’s the weakest song, but it’s still a kick ass tune. Then the album goes post-rock again, going into the band’s second single, ‘Tempest’, which is another favorite on this record. The entire six minute duration is comprised of haunting melodies, a super memorable chorus, and gives Frank Delgado a time to shine, where he creates some beautiful atmospheric elements, which they first experimented with on White Pony.

Gauze’ is next, and is another heavy track, and has one of the most memorable choruses Deftones have ever created. Chino is definitely in his prime on this release, as are the rest of the players. Instead of plateauing like most people their age, they get better and better with each subsequent release, proving to the world they can stack up. ‘Rosemary’ is next, and is another post-rock influenced track. The outro is haunting, with just Frank and Stephen creating beautiful layers together. Finally ‘Goon Squad’ and ‘What Happened To You?’ close the record, the former being a pretty great standard rock track and the latter being a chill-out song, a great way to come down. These two songs help round off the album in a way that makes you feel as if you’ve just been walking for 7 hours and are finally at your destination. You’ve done it, and now you can rest.

The production on this record is flawless. Pronounced and pitch perfect, it is an album that hopefully sets a precedent for the future of sound engineering. The lyrics are some of Chino’s best, and the drumming is very well executed. It is a great album as a whole and the songs are all great individually. It’s one of the best albums to come out this year and is bound to make many year-end lists all around the world, this reviewer’s included. It is a compilation of everything Deftones have done, from their early nu-metal influenced days to the present, where they are free to experiment with layering, electronic ambiance, even lower guitar tunings, and making song catchy as hell. There isn’t a second on this record where you will get bored. Prepare to be amazed, everyone. One of the best records on the year is upon us all.

Deftones – Koi No Yokan gets…

4.5/5

-SS