We like Deftones but they’re hard to review: they’re just Deftones. They sound like Deftones and their sound is very Deftones. This new album is like Deftones, but quieter.
For those who don’t know, Deftones are nominally metal but it’s a singular metal. It’s like a wall of sound, dominated by singer Chino Moreno, who variously whispers in your ear, screams and sings normally in a decent rock tenor. The sound is a metal take on ambience, a background hum played loudly through a Marshall stack. There are no solos or virtuosity but they have that nu-metal sound that’s quite emotive. It’s aggressive gentleness, and atmospheric.
We played the band’s breakthrough album White Pony through a couple of times; it’s a little more abrasive and there’s a bit more of the hip hop about it, but the sound’s not changed much for this.
Prayers/Triangles opens things nicely, with vocals and shimmery guitar before a big riff, while Acid Hologram offers a cleaner guitar (a bit Black Sabbath) and more formal singing. Doomed User has an almost de-tuned guitar intro before a regular metal sound. Geometric Headdress is a more nuanced song (and has a great title). We like the dense Xenon, with its more accessible chorus, and Phantom Bride, the nearest you’re going to get to a guitar solo.