Sunday, 13 February 2011

Diamond Eyes
Out Now
Rating: 3.5/5
Dear God, a review on here that's less than a four-out-of-five, shock horror! I guess, at the end of the day, Deftones are rather getting penalised for the hype surrounding this record. After Chi-gate and the shelving of the Eros project, there was a lot of talk of an expansive art-rock record, influenced as much by M83 as by Hum. What the band actually delivered was a solid metal record; it's not really got a bad song on it, but at the same time (the singles aside), it's pretty hard to bring to mind individual songs. Unlike the varied and sprawling Saturday Night Wrist, Diamond Eyes locks itself into a riffing groove and doesn't let up for the duration of the album. I think I'd been expecting a SNW: II, as opposed to what is more of an Around the Fur: II

Of course, everybody reading this is probably muttering "idiot" under their breath; my advocacy of SNW once garnered a reaction strong enough that a friend of a girl I was seeing started to work against me to break us up (seriously). Consquently, I suspect that most of the people digging Diamond Eyes are into a slightly different Defs to me; I'm after all perhaps as much of a Team Sleep fan as a Defs fan. 

In terms of tracks, the opening title track is pretty killer. Exchanging verse chugging for a sweeping chorus, it's simply breathtaking; the only lusher moment on the album is the waterfall vocals and guitar of 'Sextape', much later on. Fans of early Deftones will go crazy for the rifftacular 'Rocket Skates' and it's screech of "guns, razors, knives!", but for me the high-water-mark is the epic vocal peak on the verse/chorus break of 'CMD/CTRL'. Astute readers will notice that most of these songs are singles- true to my description, they really do feel like a cut above when compared to the album tracks. 

Overall then it's a decent Deftones record, but it could have been so much more. The quality is largely consistent, but when it does rise above the median (usually as a result of Chino's vocals) you long for all of the album to be that vital, not just isolated tracks and instances.

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