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Deftones - Diamond Eyes Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 10
Musicianship 9.5
Lyrics 8.5
Production 9.25
Creativity 9.25
Lasting Value 9.5
Reviewer Tilt 10
Final Verdict: 94%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.68
Musicianship 9.59
Lyrics 9.14
Production 9.68
Creativity 9.45
Lasting Value 9.66
Reviewer Tilt 9.93
Average: 96%
Inside AP.net
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.

Deftones - Diamond Eyes

Reviewed by: Drew Beringer (05/03/10)
DeftonesDiamond Eyes
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Record Label: Maverick/Warner Bros.


It was supposed to be the album that brought Deftones back to the top of the rock universe. Their upcoming sixth album, Eros, was to be their most aggressive and personal album to date. The most unified the band has ever been. There was minimal arguing between vocalist Chino Moreno and guitarist Stephen Carpenter, both notorious for going at each other’s throats during past recordings. This was supposed to showcase this band at its best, ready to turn our world upside down.

Then Deftones’ world got flipped.

On November 4th, 2008, bassist Chi Cheng was seriously injured in a car crash, which left him in a coma. While he is now in a minimally conscious state, the band shelved Eros indefinitely. In January 2009, the band released a statement announcing that former Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega would take over at bass during Cheng’s absence. With Cheng’s condition weighing heavily on their minds, Deftones returned to the studio that summer with a new mindset and direction. What emerged from those sessions is Diamond Eyes, an album that showcases the best work of the band’s illustrious two decades-plus career.

While Deftones’ last two albums, the self-titled effort and Saturday Night Wrist, have plenty of highlights, they came across as incohesive bodies of work. For every killer track like “Hexagram” or “Cherry Waves,” there were the quizzical cuts like “Lucky You” and “Pink Telephone.” With Diamond Eyes, the band takes every high point from their entire discography and fuses them together to create their heaviest and most ambient album to date. While Deftones have always taken polarizing sounds and dynamics and melded them into something beautifully destructive, Diamond Eyes takes it to a new level. It’s vicious yet sensitive, despairing while still maintaining a sliver of hopefulness.

The contrasting sounds are immediately heard on the title track, opening up atmospherically before crushing guitar chords intrude in. It’s part metal, part shoegaze, and Moreno’s silky voice brings the two genres together. It’s an awesome way to begin Diamond Eyes, and the crazy thing is, this is the weakest track on the album. The party really gets started with “Royal,” a fast-paced track that balances melody with chaos impeccably, as Vega shines over the bridge. What puts this track over the top is Moreno’s vocals. It’s a constant battle between viciousness and sensuality, with a blood-curdling scream at the end of the track delivering the knock out punch.

The simple yet banging “CMND/CTRL” is Moreno at his maniacal best; blistering lyrics are yelped in a vocal style similar to “Elite.” The White Pony references continue on “Prince,” which flows like a hybrid of “Feiticeira” and “Digital Bath.” Keyboardist/engineer Frank Delgado sets the tone early before Carpenter’s guitar chords pulverize the chorus. Then the band shows off their versatility in “Beauty School.” From drummer Abe Cunningham’s killer drum pattern to Carpenter’s subtle guitar work, this is a track that’ll go down as one of Deftones’ most stunning – not an easy feat. Things get sinister on “Risk,” while “This Place Is Death” gives Diamond Eyes a somber close, similar to “Pink Maggit.”

So many vibes and flavors come to life on Diamond Eyes. At any moment, the band can absolutely melt your face off – like in the riot-inducing “Rocket Skates” - and then in the blink of an eye be soothing - the elegant “Sextape,” easily a career highlight.

While each band member contributes a key piece, it’s Chino Moreno’s vocals that make Deftones what they are, and Diamond Eyes is his magnum opus. Whether he is screaming his lungs out (“Rocket Skates,” “CMND/CTRL”) or perfecting his falsetto on the transcendent “976-EVIL,” he commands and owns everyone’s attention throughout Diamond Eyes.

Let’s be clear: this isn’t Around The Fur Part 2: Revenge of the White Pony, rather it’s a culmination and redefinition of the Deftones canon – it takes the best parts from previous albums and then takes it to the next level. Diamond Eyes is full of layers and dimensions, making it an auditory treat that listeners will want to continue to indulge themselves in. This is an album you can blast from my car stereo and then later dissect through headphones.

The “fight or flight” scenario presented itself to the band after Cheng’s accident. Thankfully they fought and realized that the best way to cope was to make music and Diamond Eyes is the end result, the best Deftones album to date. Simply put, this album is about survival: after everything the band has gone through (and continue to go through), this is the album Deftones needed to make.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Diamond Eyes
2. Royal
3. CMND/CTRL
4. You’ve Seen The Butcher
5. Beauty School
6. Prince
7. Rocket Skates
8. Sextape
9. Risk
10. 976-EVIL
11. This Place Is Death
Produced by: Nick Raskulinecz

Deftones are:
Chino Moreno – vocals/guitar
Stephen Carpenter – guitars
Abe Cunningham – drums
Frank Delgado – keys/samples
Sergio Vega – bass

Official Website; Official Myspace; Official AP.net Profile; Official Twitter Page

 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 114
03:22 AM on 05/03/10
#2
BoysNightOutie
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I love this album.
03:28 AM on 05/03/10
#3
reav
honestly, it was nothing.
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Quote:
the “Sextape,” easily a career highlight.

when is it not?
03:33 AM on 05/03/10
#4
introduction
You're not real musician!
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sounds like I might have to check this out.
04:49 AM on 05/03/10
#5
youngmountain
http://littlewaves.bandcamp.com/
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God, having to fight the urge to give this a download, looks incredible.
05:12 AM on 05/03/10
#6
Ryan Gardner
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Great review, can't wait to check this out.
05:19 AM on 05/03/10
#7
nobull89
Gille Mate
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I'm certain this is probably a great album. But I just can't take this review as seriously as I could if it was written by somebody who isn't a Deftones megafan. I can't help but think there must be an element of partiality in this review.
06:02 AM on 05/03/10
#8
PigDestroyer
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Great review. The riffs on this album are unreal. Steph is the man.
06:03 AM on 05/03/10
#9
BoysNightOutie
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I'm certain this is probably a great album. But I just can't take this review as seriously as I could if it was written by somebody who isn't a Deftones megafan. I can't help but think there must be an element of partiality in this review.
On the other side of the coin someone who is not a fan could just as easily give this a bad review. As a lifelong fan of the Deftones and someone who feels they should be payed attention to by fans of all genres I'm glad they have a good review on here.
06:13 AM on 05/03/10
taisalltherage
sell the poop on ebay
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if you are not a Deftones megafan then someone should poop all over your chest/neck area and smear it around. twice.
06:25 AM on 05/03/10
mmitrick
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Best album since White Pony
06:34 AM on 05/03/10
brent_ster
My Dinosaur Life
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Fantastic Review
I agree with everything you said extremely well done Drew

And Diamond Eyes is an amazing record
06:42 AM on 05/03/10
guitarman2189
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I have never really given Deftones a chance, perhaps this is the album that I do? I am definitely going to see them with Alice in Chains and Mastodon.
06:53 AM on 05/03/10
Cody Nelson
Your mouth to God's south.
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I'm certain this is probably a great album. But I just can't take this review as seriously as I could if it was written by somebody who isn't a Deftones megafan. I can't help but think there must be an element of partiality in this review.
It's called being unbiased and using the 'reviewer tilt' category.
06:56 AM on 05/03/10
whiterussian
awake my old dry bones.
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Sextape is a kickass song.

that said, I want to give S. N. Wrist some love. I think that album is almost perfect.
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