Deftones

Koi No Yokan

Written by: PP on 27/11/2012 21:32:07

"Koi No Yokan" marks the shortest break between two studio albums for Deftones since their pioneering debut "Adrenaline" and its aggressive follow-up "Around The Fur". If we recall almost ten years ago, many argued that the band had lost their touch, saying that's when they wrote the best albums of their career. That's simply not the case in 2012, and it's no coincidence that "Koi No Yokan" arrives so soon after 2010's "Diamond Eyes". Their creativity and songwriting prowess is at an all time high, and for the third album in a row, Deftones deliver their quintessential sound of alternative metal marked by its impeccable quality an unmistakable sound that, to date, no band has been able to clone successfully. It's a tour de force to have pioneered a genre, but its an altogether more impressive trait to uphold yourself as the sole owner of a sound as epic and gargantuan as this without an imitator in sight.

So if you've ever heard a Deftones release before, "Koi No Yokan" is really no different from their previous output. It consists of lofty song structures made sound even more ambitious than they are by Chino Moreno's signature croons, which dominate the soundscape alongside Stephen Carpenter's crunchy experimentation with what is possible to do with guitar in what is essentially nu-metal on surface. Moreno's vocals again range from the dreamy and restrained melodies to the sublime and voluminous choruses capable of filling stadiums of any size through their echoing penetration of space as they spread across the soundscape. The heartscraping long-distance screams are also still there as a contrasting element to the occasionally whisperous delivery elsewhere, but these are probably at an all time low on any Deftones album to date. For the most part, Chino woos us through his technically flawless, instantly recognizable ghastly croon that some may call whiny, but in reality it's his melancholia and subdued desperation that has always been the primary draw to Deftones in general. He has an ability to capture the entire venue, whether a good pair of headphones or the Orange Stage at Roskilde Festival, into a mood and atmosphere unlike no other band.

Of course, Carpenter's unique riffs are the other contributing element, or in general, the band's incredible songwriting talent that makes even the mere mention of nu-metal insulting in the context of a Deftones review. They have an immeasurable skill to avoid sounding polished or over-inflated despite writing some of the most colossal organic soundscapes you'll come across in mainstream metal. Come to think of it, Deftones is the very definition of the latter genre, and "Koi No Yokan" is as vintage Deftones as it comes. It's but another example in the band's illustrious career of how transcending mortal issues like relevancy and stylistic evolution as they progress forward in a universe wholly their own. It may not be their best album - it's missing something groundbreaking along the lines of "Shove It (My Own Summer)" or "Digital Bath" to achieve that - but it is as good as it gets for this genre, a renewed benchmark against which all alternative metal will be judged by.

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Release date 13.11.2012
Reprise / Warner

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