Release Date: Nov 13, 2012
Record label: Reprise
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal
To say the members of Sacramento’s finest, Deftones, have experienced the more extreme ends of life’s unpredictable spectrum would be an understatement. From creative and commercial success to personal disasters, inter-band tension to reconciliations, damning addictions to rehabilitations, these guys have lived through noteworthy highs, as well as some bitter lows. In light of this, the fact that this band is still together and creating music 25 years on is an achievement in itself; even more so when you consider that their peers from the heyday of the ‘90s nu-metal scene have either imploded or descended into self-parody.
Inevitably, success builds expectation. Few would have predicted that Deftones’ 2010 release Diamond Eyes would be quite so monumentally well-received: here was a band who had already shelved a still-yet-unheard album, Eros, been the victim of persistent in-fighting during the sessions for 2006’s Saturday Night Wrist, and whose bassist, founding member Chi Cheng, lay in a car crash-induced coma. These were hardly the circumstances for a stone-cold classic, but with former Quicksand bass player Sergio Vega handling the low-end, the Sacramento quintet returned with an album that came close to the consistency of 2000’s era-defining White Pony.
Conventional wisdom holds that Deftones peaked well over a decade ago with the 2000 release of White Pony. Less genre-defining than genre-transcending, the Sacramento-based quintet’s third album proved what their first two merely hinted at: that they were never just another nü-metal band. Toning down the hip-hop and screechy vocals of those early efforts in favor of an emphasis on atmosphere and mood, they took the first, but by no means most accomplished, steps toward achieving the balance that has since defined their sound.
When Robert Smith died, the remaining members of The Cure did the only thing they could – detuned their instruments, employed a screaming banshee as their frontman and called themselves Deftones. OK, that never happened. But listening to the band the Sacramento quintet have evolved into since forming in 1988, it’s not such a crazy idea, such is their fondness for new wave atmos, disarming melodies and sadistic, low-slung riffs.
Why do the Deftones get away with it? Like, why do people who’ve long junked their nu metal collections out of embarrassment continue to hang onto their copy of White Pony or wonder what they’re up to 12 years on? Come on, it’s not that easy to see. Like Radiohead, to whom they’re often compared (in their genre anyway), Chino Moreno’s sexual-yet-asexual whisper is liquid enough to slip out of any style when it’s time to go somewhere else. Chameleonic, calculated, whatever.
Love starts with lust. It keeps us awake at night, drives us to drinking and thinking too much and listening to sad songs. We pursue the accompaniment of another because our hearts tell us to. The presence of certain individuals—their appearances, their personalities, their smells—triggers endorphins in our brains.
Review Summary: Incredibly tepid and uncharacteristically dull, "Koi No Yokan" sees Deftones forget what has made them a household name.Sitting down to pen my feelings on Deftones’ new album, Koi No Yokan is tough work. This isn’t because of its powerful impact, nor its groundbreaking or game-changing sound, no, it has more to do with the fact that Koi No Yokan evokes almost nothing in me. At 52 minutes, Deftones play Deftones in a shockingly pale manner most unlike them.
It stands, monolithic, as a testament to the power and tenacity of human spirit. Mischa Pearlman 2012 The title of this, Deftones’ seventh studio album, is a Japanese term for the notion of love at first sight. Don’t be fooled, though – the Sacramento alternative metallers haven’t gone all soft and soppy. Far from it, in fact.
Though the band emerged on the fringes of nü-metal, one of metal's more unfortunate pushes into the mainstream, Deftones' steady shift toward a more artful, experimental sound has made them one of the more enduring and influential groups to come out of the '90s. In their continued exploration of the intersection of heaviness and harmony, Koi No Yokan finds the band returning with a warm, dreamy sound that feels more like heavy dream pop or shoegaze than light metal. Always finding new ways to use old tools, the driving sounds on the album feel more like they're meant to envelop the listener than enrage them, with a sonic gulf -- created by Chino Moreno's soaring vocals and Stephen Carpenter's shuddering, extended scale riffs -- so large and inviting, it feels like the only option is to dive in and explore its depths.