Deftones: Diamond Eyes
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While sitting on my high horse, I had shunned the Deftones for a few years. I considered them to be "nu-metal" and thus, below me. However, when my brother recommended I check out White Pony, I acquiesced and gave the band a listen.
And was pleasantly surprised.
Diamond Eyes, their latest release, and the first since serious trauma to the band in the form of a car accident involving Chi Cheng (he remains in a "minimally conscious state"). And it is the work of a band that is feeling the result of this trauma.
Diamond Eyes starts off incredibly strong with the title track. The riffs are full, heavy, and meaty. In fact, the riffs are sufficiently heavy that my first thought was "Wow, these guys have shed the nu prefix and have gone full metal." The chorus is suitably singable, as the Deftones tend to do so well. Likewise, "Rocket Skates", the first single kicks in with another killer riff, and carries that throughout.
There are other strong tracks on the album, with plenty of Chino's trademark whisper/scream dynamics. The guitars are more full, with more depth to the sound. When Diamond Eyes is good, it is very good.
However, there are a number of tracks that, for one reason or another, send my finger straight to the "skip" button. Some of them just feel out of place nestled amongst the other tracks. "CMND/CTRL", "Sextape" and a number of others just don't work for me. As a band, the Deftones have never been content to play the same song over and over again. Yet these experiments just fall flat.
Final Verdict: Explore it
I actually wanted to like Diamond Eyes more than I did in the end. It starts off very strong, but just can't seem to keep that momentum going for the full 11 tracks. As such, I don't find myself wanting to go back to the whole album. There are certainly tracks worth listening to again and again (and again, some are so good). But as a whole, it doesn't stand up to some of their other albums.