Diamond Eyes review by Deftones

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  • Released: May 4, 2010
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (128 votes)
Deftones: Diamond Eyes
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Sound — 9
The record opens with the ambiance of Stephen Carpenter's untouched phaser/distortion hanging in the air for just a moment before Chino Moreno proclaims, "To the edge... til we all get off!". Well, we've seen the edge in the creepy, darker offerings of late by The Deftones and Diamond Eyes is where all the muddling through the painfully beautiful masterpieces of the past 2 or 3 records truly pays off. Not to discount those records, they ALL eventually grew on me like moss on a rock. But Diamond Eyes is exactly what music I'm looking for at the moment. A custom made nightmare, to borrow a phrase from Chino. Built from the hearts, souls, blood, and guts of Adrenaline and Around The Fur, Diamond Eyes shines in it's dark beauty. Stephen Carpenter is listed as simply playing "Strings" on this record. Apt. Very much so. He conducts a symphony in Drop B. His work on this record is amazing and simple. Melodic and complex. It weaves nicely around some of the most aggressive lyrics, snarls and melodies from Chino in years. Still cryptic but loaded with a lot more bravado. "So I send commands/Just because I can". Or breaking into a screaming yelp of, "GUUUNS! RAZORS! KNIIIIIVES!" inviting us to F--k with me! in the middle of what may be my favorite track on the record, "Rocket Skates". It's not something I can really put into words, Chino already did it well enough that anything I could say about it wouldn't do it justice. The rest of the bands more than hold their own in the sparring match between Moreno and Carpenter. It's really the lyrics and the guitar that dominate this record, but Cunningham pounds right along playing some of the more up-tempo beats he's laid down in a while. Delgado brings that extra layer of sinister to the sound with his haunting work on the keys; it would be hard to imagine this record without his part. Now for the elephant in the room. The one with the double edged sword. For the first time since Adrenaline, The Deftones are without Chi. A tragic car accident during the recording of what would have been the follow-up to Saturday Night Wrist left the bassist in a coma. Reports indicate his condition is improving! Fans, anyone who's gone to a show, heard a record, has a heartgot to OneloveforChi.com That being said, Sergio Vega does a more than competent job filling in the gap. He's been around for a while and really shows his chops on this record. I wouldn't have wanted to shoulder the role he was stepping into but he does so with a seamless transition. The record has a more polished feel than the last few but even from the first few seconds of a welcoming, swirling, "brace for the storm" pace riff, you can tell. This is The Deftones.

Lyrics — 9
Once again Moreno treats us to beautifully horrific images. Chino doesn't so much sing as he paints with words. I recommend listening to this record at least once through a set of headphones. Certain nuances in Chino's vocals are driven home even more so this way. You get a better feel for the layers of his voice this way. And, it helps (me, at least) get a better hold on the phrasing. In a world where most singers are swapping their vocal cords for an AutoTune, Moreno wields his weapon of choice like a true master. From the sultry, dare I say "sexy/scary" sound of "You've Seen The Butcher" to the outright barking of "Prince" Chino brings his A game. Diamond Eyes has him running the full gambit of sounds he's been working out since Adrenaline. There are tracks that would make even the most saccharine saturated pop star jealous and other that, even though Chino pulls it off, would cause the throat of any mortal to tear, bleed and collapse. The lyrics themself are standard fare for Moreno. Painting pictures of heart break, terror and redemption.

Overall Impression — 9
Once again Moreno treats us to beautifully horrific images. Chino doesn't so much sing as he paints with words. I recommend listening to this record at least once through a set of headphones. Certain nuances in Chino's vocals are driven home even more so this way. You get a better feel for the layers of his voice this way. And, it helps (me, at least) get a better hold on the phrasing. In a world where most singers are swapping their vocal cords for an AutoTune, Moreno wields his weapon of choice like a true master. From the sultry, dare I say "sexy/scary" sound of "You've Seen The Butcher" to the outright barking of "Prince" Chino brings his A game. Diamond Eyes has him running the full gambit of sounds he's been working out since Adrenaline. There are tracks that would make even the most saccharine saturated pop star jealous and other that, even though Chino pulls it off, would cause the throat of any mortal to tear, bleed and collapse.

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