Music / Reviews

Big, Bold And Brutal: Why Deftones ‘Koi No Yokan’ Delivers On Its Promise Of Love

Since late this summer alt rock veterans Deftones have been teasing us with snippets of their 7th studio album.

Now that it’s here it’s safe to say that Deftones are still one of the most consistent bands around today.

It’s been 17 years since the release of their debut album Adrenaline and Deftones have somehow managed the rare feat of wearing that time as a badge of experience, rather than one of weariness.

In fact, if there were a graph charting the quality of each of their albums, the line would just climb higher and higher.

17 years is a long time for any band and considering that one of the core members, Chi Cheng, has been in a coma for five years, it’s more than impressive that their new album ranks among their best.

Because Koi No Yokan is an album that simply doesn’t wait around.

Opener ‘Swerve City’ stomps through its less-than 3 minute runtime without stopping for breath, leading straight into the second track, ‘Romantic Dreams’, which immediately establishes itself as one of the best tracks the band have come out with yet.

This and the following track ‘Leathers’ both set the tone for the rest of the album. Gut-punching guitar sections that meet with Chino Moreno’s vocal mixture of swoon and scream.

Moreno has one of the most unique voices in alt rock and he certainly doesn’t squander it on Koi No Yokan. Mixing soft melodies with violent yelps, particularly on single ‘Tempest,’ Moreno’s epic vocals have lost none of their punch or potency.

The highlights of Deftones’ back catalogue are those which blend soft rhythmic melodies with a swift, hard injection of anthemic riffs. This is a combination which seems to work wonders for the band, and it is one which they have perfected on every song of the new album.

The best examples of this marriage of sound are on the tracks ‘Rosemary’ and ‘Goon Squad.’ The latter conjuring echoes of early 90’s Smashing Pumpkins, before exploding into a sonic boom of guitars, a la ‘Silverfuck’.

For a band to constantly outdo themselves nearly two decades into their career is a great achievement, and Koi No Yokan is exactly that. It’s yet another album that proves that Deftones aren’t going anywhere soon, and it suggests that they’re almost certainly just going to get better.

All hail Koi No Yokan. And long live Deftones.

Bring on album number eight boys.

By Daniel Kenyon

 

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