Deftones: Diamond Eyes

RIYL: P.O.D., Soulfly, Black Sabbath

Diamond Eyes delivers a concise, effective and heavy record. The Deftones have been the most interesting band to emerge from the ’90s and has consistently delivered music that entertains, provokes and never bores. Currently in heavy rotation, the title track is the perfect opening to an excellent 41-minute ride. Alternating between Sabbath-esque deep riffs and a soaring chorus, “Diamond Eyes” sets the tone for the rest of the record.


The evolution of Diamond Eyes needs to be noted. Originally, the Deftones started recording a still-unreleased record titled Eros (as a follow up to 2006’s Saturday Night Wrist) but shelved it shortly after bassist Chi Cheng was in serious car accident, leaving him in a coma. Feeling the need to go in a completely different artistic direction, the band started constructing Diamond Eyes. With Cheng’s condition unchanged, Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega stepped in, played on the current record and is a touring. One would expect a bunch of songs about the angst surrounding the tragedy; instead the lyrics are more abstract and enigmatic while accompanied by the atmospheric, heavy and borderline progressive arrangements. Occasionally, the music is reminiscent of a much heavier and hookier Pink Floyd (on cuts like “Sextape” and “976-Evil”) but Chino and the boys offer enough guitar crunch to meet your metal jones and the record has just enough screaming to be effective without being obnoxious.

Diamond Eyes is akin to the brilliant P.O.D.’s 2008 When Angels and Serpents Dance, which was an example of a band evolving, perfecting and deepening their sound. Diamond Eyes is the same. The Deftones have a unique sound, most of it due to Chino Marino’s hypnotic vocals contrasting with the harder arrangements. Marino can scream, hit the highs and flat out sing when he feels like it. Diamond Eyes is satisfying enough at 41 minutes but leaves you wanting just a bit more. Isn’t that the way it should be? (Reprise 2010)

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