The Phoenix Network:
See all in CD Reviews
Off the Couch: From Allysen to Apathy
Deftones | Koi No Yokan
Reprise Records (2012)
November 12, 2012
Deftones | Koi No Yokan
" alt="photo of 'Deftones | Koi No Yokan'">
Deftones aren't — and never were — a nü-metal band. Sure, they play 25-string, drop-Z guitars and feature a keyboardist disguised as a turntablist, but they're as much a nü-metal band as they are a barbershop quartet. Deftones' brand of metal is artful and spacey, patient and textured: Stephen Carpenter's de-tuned distortion washes over like menacing storm clouds; Abe Cunningham's dextrous drumming takes cues from both hip-hop and prog; and, at his most melodic, Chino Moreno is the greatest art-rock vocalist on the planet. The problem, from day one, has been making that formula work over the course of an entire album: early LPs like 1997's
Around the Fur
grew monotonous the longer they played, whereas recent efforts like 2006's
Saturday Night Wrist
have been plagued by filler.
Koi No Yokan
, the band's seventh studio album, is their most consistent batch of songs in more than a decade, and it's also their most dynamic — blending the trippy atmospheres of 2000's
with the balls-out aggression of 2003's
. This is the band's second album with rock producer-extraordinaire Nick Raskulinecz (who recently assisted Rush with their most focused album since the Reagan administration), and, sadly, it's also their second since the 2008 car crash and subsequent coma of longtime bassist Chi Cheng. But that tragedy seems to have given the band an aching urgency: "Swerve City" commences with a trademark space-metal surge, with Moreno harmonizing over miles of fuzz, a porcelain bass groove, and subtle washes of synth. In the past, the band's heavy and atmospheric sides were often used as jarring contrasts; here the combination is seamless on anthems like "Gauze" and "Tempest," which pummel with brick-wall propulsion one second and soothe with dreamy melodicism the next.
Koi No Yokan
is not only the year's best metal-rock-space-pop album — it's also the finest Deftones album, front to back, to date.
See more deals
ARTICLES BY RYAN REED
WAVVES | AFRAID OF HEIGHTS
| March 18, 2013
"I Can't Dream," the closer on Wavves' fourth studio album, opens in a drunken lo-fi stupor — Nathan Williams warbling bratty, tone-deaf nonsense over hissy acoustic power chords.
THE VIRGINS | STRIKE GENTLY
| March 06, 2013
After a half-decade of semi-obscurity, frontman Donald Cumming is redefining his band as the hipster sultans of swing.
ATOMS FOR PEACE | AMOK
| February 26, 2013
Kid A , Radiohead's confounding electro-rock masterpiece, is officially hitting puberty.
ATLAS GENIUS | WHEN IT WAS NOW
| February 20, 2013
Atlas Genius are schooled students of modern pop architecture, seamlessly bouncing from Coldplay-styled acoustic rock to fizzy Phoenix funkiness to deadpanned Strokes-ian guitar chug. But When It Was Now is more like an alt-pop NOW compilation than a joyous synthesis.
FOALS | HOLY FIRE
| February 11, 2013
Even at their most expansive, Foals are digging into more primal territory.
See all articles by:
Photos: Dudesmash 2 @ the Met
Photos: The Westboro Baptist Church tour
Featured Articles in CD Reviews
Marnie Stern | The Chronicles of Marnia
The Men | New Moon
Atoms for Peace | AMOK
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | Push The Sky Away
Beach Fossils | Clash The Truth
Film + TV
Food + Drink
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Advertise With Us
Work For Us
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2014 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group