Sound — 8
Deftones return with their anticipated follow up to "Diamond Eyes" with an effort quite reflective of that innovative release. The 8-string guitar of Stephen Carpenter is still out at full force, making use of every possible riff at his disposal from both ends of the low and high end spectrum with full backing of Abe Cunningham, Frank Delgado and Sergio Vega, warping the sound into a very atmospheric outing. Comparatively, "Koi No Yokan" is to "Diamond Eyes" as "White Pony" was to "Around The Fur"; the smoother and more experimental follow-up while still featuring some heavy riff-based songs. There are the straight-up headbangers like "Swerve City", "Gauze" and "Polterheist" as well as the soft, mellow compositions of "Rosemary", "What Happened To You?" and "Entombed". In the middle, we also have the songs that blend the two opposites to form the likes of "Leathers", "Romantic Dreams" and the impressive "Tempest". There's a lot to like here, particularly for the more eclectic Deftones fan with little to be disappointed with. Conversely, if there is anything to be said negatively of the album, it would be that it does sound like a more passive outing of "Diamond Eyes" which may not necessarily be a bad thing but does not give it a lot of ground to stand on its own. Some songs may even sound identical to ones on the previous outing like "Swerve City" slightly resembling a more up-tempo version of Royal while others sound reminiscent of other artists, the low F# riff on "Polterheist" sounding too close to Meshuggah and Chino's chorus vocals on "Romantic Dreams" loosely reflective of U2's "With Or Without You". That said, none of these aspects make "Koi No Yokan" a dull or uninspiring listen, rather the complete opposite.
Lyrics — 8
Chino's back with his dream-like vocals that perfectly capture the atmospheric nature of the album, along with his loud yells to enhance the more aggressive parts of the songs. A notable absence from "Koi No Yokan" are the pterodactyl screams he has previously employed on the likes of the self-titled album but they are not missed too much on this occasion. With Moreno's lyrics, it's safe to say he does not explore unfamiliar territory with his subject matters with his writings reflecting romance at most opportunities (no doubt a concept of the album's title this time round). Compared to previous albums, there are a lot less songs referencing drugs and more based on personal feelings from a first or third person perspective. While not covering new ground, there's no doubt Chino knows how to graft a well-written song with the likes "Romantic Dreams" and "Tempest". A minor gripe to be had with Chino would be that his vocals tend to blend into each other when listening to the album as a whole. Often it's hard to differentiate the songs by their choruses for this reason but it is this same aspect that brings out the best of his voice and is something that can be looked aside after a few listens.
Overall Impression — 8
There's no doubt that "Koi No Yokan" is an impressive album with the band putting their full effort into making it. There is little here to dislike and features a wide range of sounds that expands beyond Deftones' entire back catalogue. The complaints of the album would be that it may appear to have used "Diamond Eyes" as a template when creating it which hurts its originality and it may not appeal to the more heavy fans of the band who would expect a few brutal songs reminiscent of the likes of "Hexagram", "Cmnd/Ctrl" and "Elite", instead opting to blend their heaviness with their soft side a little too often here. It's also questionable whether this album will stand the test of time for the aforementioned reasons but that is merely a matter of debate. "Koi No Yokan" is a strong effort and will satisfy most Deftones fans with its broad musical integrity.