Sound — 10
The album starts off with the track "Diamond Eyes", and from an air woosh sound it blasts into a crushing yet simple mid tempo guitar riff with Chino's voice beautifully singing "To the Edge...". At first listen, it already feels like the Deftones have returned with their sound so many have loved for years, but also putting a new twist on it. That is exactly what this album has done. If you have been a Deftones fan beyond the "Adrenaline" album, then you should be familiar with their experimentation on the last 4 studio albums. They do not disappoint with "Diamond Eyes". It is a combination of all their previous work, combining fantastic drum tracks with heavy explosive guitars and even though Chi Cheng has been in a coma, Sergio Vega filling in on bass has provided some exceptional bass lines as well. The 2 things that really stand out on this album are of course singer Chino Moreno's vocals, as well as the different sounds coming from Frank Delgado's section. Chino's always had an amazing voice from his powerful vocal performances to whispering falsettos and the guttural screams. On "Diamond Eyes", his vocals shine in songs like "You've Seen the Butcher" "Rocket Skates" and "Risk", where he sings in a style that hasn't shown up on previous efforts. Songs like "Diamond Eyes" and "Sextape" showcase his powerful vocals similar to songs like "Minerva" and "Change". Each song is flawless in the vocal department, and is hard to establish a favorite. Frank's use of synthesizers in this album is also new, different, and refreshing. Very low in the mix but blended in still that it stands out and adds a flavor to the songs making them even more unique. Moments like the bridge in "Rocket Skates" and the subtle echoed notes in the verses of "Risk" add so much to the elements of the songs. For those who are fans of the heavier side of Deftones, "CMND/CTRL" and "Rocket Skates" deliver. As well as the bridge in "Prince", in which Chino's screams swirl up an array of emotions. The Deftones sound has evolved over the years, but in a positive way making this a stand out out album to be heard and remembered.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics on "Diamond Eyes" paint a picture hard to pin point. Chino stated in an interview "I don't like listening to people's problems -- I like music. Music has been smothered with that complaining since the early-'90s. It gets old. Instead of going to the opposite side of the spectrum and listening to Black Eyed Peas, which is just straight silly, I choose to listen to more instrumental music. I do very little singing about myself on this record. I love songs where I can totally take myself out of being human. I can sing about really odd things, and they don't necessarily have to pertain to me at all. It paints a picture. Those are the kind of lyrics I grew up with -- like The Cure. Really visual images and no storytelling." Visual is a great way to explain them. With lines like "..Diamonds reign across the sky, Shower me into the same, Realm.." from the title track "Diamond Eyes", a visual image is applied. An interesting use of words in the chorus of the song "Prince" is also shown in the lyrics "The mindset of a killer / With your gaze you paint the room, Blood red with tears born from the stage". It is difficult to define them, and is suggested that you take a chance to read over them yourself to get the full meaning to you. Overall, I am very impressed with the lyrics on this album. Beautiful, cryptic, and visual.
Overall Impression — 10
If you are a fan of every Deftones album to date, you will love Diamond Eyes. It has the raw feelings of "Around the Fur" and "Adrenaline" with the melodic nature of "White Pony" and "Deftones (Self titled album" and the experimentation of "Saturday Night Wrist". Even fan of Chino's side project "Team Sleep" can appreciate "Diamond Eyes", with songs like "Beauty school", "Sextape" and "967-Evil" which are examples of Chino's familiar writing style. I got this album over a month ago from a leaked copy, and still drove 45 minutes to buy it on the 4th because I am that impressed with it. It stays on repeat and I cannot get sick of it. My favorite tracks are "Risk" and "CMND/CTRL", but really, it is hard to pick a favorite. The album as a whole is excellent. I cannot pick one ghing about I do not like. Maybe the same will go for you. Worth a full listen, and with each listen, more layers unfold and more appreciation for a great album by the Deftones.