Sound — 7
The thing I love about the Deftones is that they're albums are always different, for good or bad. With that said, this album has a great sound. Every time I listen to I feel like I'm dreaming or I'm freakin' high on something. The mood is definitely... Well moody. The songs are dynamic, not like a soft then hard then soft like in their past but really groovy. Chino's voice is awesome as usual; very soothing yet not as aggressive in the past, his guitar work has gotten way better as well, using more delay effects, the bass is very thick and loud, the synths shine a lot in this album, Abe's drums are the best that I've heard in this one; its really jazzy, and almost dancy in a way yet it grooves hard like some metal bands, to me he really stands out with chino the best. Now for the bad and I mean this in a sad, sad way. When I started out playing guitar back in 98' all I want to sound like was like Steph, and it makes me sob that is guitar, well sucks. Its really weak and repetitive on all the songs. His tone with the 8string just sounds muddy as hell, and its sounds too much like Korn/nu metal crap. Honestly I feel like he was just thrown in their, its boring with him on their. I mean the guitars on the last record was phenomenal! What happened Steph, you where known for your tone! In my opinion he needs to get back to 6 string, "Around The Fur"/"White Pony" tone. The album sounds like everyone has progressed except for Steph (man that hurt typing that).
Lyrics — 10
Lyrically Chino has the best out there, it sets the tone of the album. I feel like I'm having a wild dream when I list to his lyrics. He doesn't scream in this one, it would be just pointless if he did though. His voice is the best by far in any other albums. I really think he out did himself on this one but then again I thought he did on "Diamond Eyes" too! The music is really dreamy and moody which compliments Chino's voice, its almost like his voice is leading you to messed up dream. By far "Leathers" is the best song with the lyrics, I can't imagine what kind of story he's singing in his head. Its by far the best he's written since "White Pony".
Overall Impression — 7
Honestly I was expecting something more because "Diamond Eyes" was such a good album maybe even their best to debate but this could of been a better album but its not a horrible album either. I would compare it to "Saturday Night Wrist" or the self title with a sprinkle of "White Pony". The songs are good in their own way, yet theirs something in each that bothers me for example the opening track sounds like nu-metal Korn riff, but Chino's voice with Abe's drumming saved the song. The second song "Romantic Dreams" is such a cluster of songs mushed into one, its good but it sounds like I'm listening to 3 sample songs of Amazon into one. "Leathers" is a solid track kinda takes forever to get going though, "Poltergeist" is great too, "Entombed" sound good but all to familiar like it should of been on "Saturday Night Wrist". "Graphic Nature" is has an okay hook but its too repetitive. "Tempest", "Gauze" and "Goon Squad" stand out as the best for me. Again "Rosemary" sounds too familiar. And lets not forget the synth pop song they made so famous/infamous like in "White Pony" with "What Happened To You?" which is probably a good closer to the album. Over all it took me 3 listens to really get the album and enjoy it. Its not like the self-title or "Saturday Night" where I felt like it was rushed and kinda lazy but really melodic and different and well polished production. If you're expecting the crushing sounds of "Diamond Eyes" then think again, its not better but different in a good way. The album would probably sound better if the heavy guitars weren't involve or at least go back to the "White Pony" tone. I give it a solid 7 for dynamics, good production and originality!