19 March 2014

Deftones - Koi No Yokan

It's been a while since I posted on here, I've been away doing all sorts of things. Mostly involving the gym, work, fatherhood and Assassins Creed 4. I've also spent time trying to ingest this album. It's proved a bit of a struggle as although I like it, trying to find the words to put my feelings into print has been hard. This is easily the hardest blog I've ever written so far, hope you enjoy it.

Deftones are not a band I've ever been a great fan of but neither have I hated them. In truth, I've not really given them much of a thought, although I know they're very They've been out since the early 90's, coming to prominence with 'Adrenalin' in 1995 although it was 1997 album 'Around The Fur' which made them superstars. I heard that album on the recommendation of a mate at the time and wasn't very impressed. Sure, it had two good songs but I just wasn't very bothered by it. I think part of that was because they were lumped in with the (then emerging) nu-metal scene along with the likes of KoRn and Coal Chamber. But unlike those bands, they were able to break free from that tag. Mind, Coal Chamber only inspired people to look like a scrapyard in candyland so they probably don't count.

This album came out in 2012 and is their seventh studio album. It's the second album with bassist Sergio Vega, who replaced Chi Cheng due to the latter's accident (Unfortunately, he passed on in April 2013). And, it's a great album! I was given a copy of this by a mate who said "Just give it a go" as they knew I was never bothered about this band. I was certainly surprised.

The general mood of this album is one of heavy ambience. By that, I mean that it's equal parts heavy and equal parts ambient. I think a lot of it is to do with Chino's vocals. The man tends to croon over the music and with a slight addition of a couple of FX here or there, it certainly makes for an interesting sound. It's certainly a change from what is now a most common dynamic - alternating between growling and clean singing, which was big news at the time. Sounding both anguished one minute and defiant the next, it's definately something I could get used to. I'm guessing it's something he's been doing for a while as he definately sounds assured while doing this.

As for the music, then what can I say? It's very heavy but not in a 1000MPH kinda heavy. It's more to do with dynamics and groove (Although not groove metal). There are some awesome riffs in there, as well as some neat basslines. Production is awesome too, not all pro-tools but definately tidy. It captures the band perfectly - as Doge would say: Wow, such clarity, much power. For some reason, the album reminds me of Blade Runner, possibly to do with the very sci-fi looking front cover. Mind, you could imagine Deckard and Roy Batty knocking bells out of each other to this album. Then Deckard realises he is also a replicant and gets out of town straight away. What? It's been common knowledge since 1990 and is therefore hardly a spoiler any more!

Whether this album inspires me to check out more Deftones stuff remains to be seen. I've a feeling I'd be best off sticking to the new stuff if that was to be the case. For the casual listener - like me - I'd recommend this as it may change any preconceptions you have of the band.

9/10 - Almost perfect. Almost...

Chris J.

Top Track: Graphic Nature.

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