joel wosk reviews the latest from the la hard rock band…
On November 13th, Sacramento, California Alternative Metal stalwarts, Deftones, released their seventh full-length album entitled Koi No Yokan (Japanese translation: “Premonition of Love”). The follow-up to 2010’s stellar Diamond Eyes, and the second album to feature former Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega, filling in for founding member/bassist Chi Cheng; (who remains in a semi-conscious state following a near fatal car accident in 2008), is by far one of the strongest and well crafted albums released by the veteran hard rock group to date.
The album kicks off in full gear with the pummeling bass lines of “Swerve City.” Fans of bassist Sergio Vega’s former band, Quicksand, will find his contributions to the new material as breathing fresh energy into the group, while at the same time recalling the fierce bass attacks of classic Quicksand albums like Manic Compression (1995). Vocalist Chino Moreno consistently amazes throughout the album, with his signature breathy vocal delivery and powerful screams.
Since their formation in 1988, Deftones have certainly matured in terms of their material and musical approach. What sets the group apart from many of their contemporaries is their ability to consistently produce music that blends their obvious hardcore influences (i.e. Bad Brains, Suicidal Tendencies) with melody and poetic lyrics. With each new album, Deftones continue to weave beautiful and atmospheric musical tapestries without sacrificing the raw energy and ferocity that has earned them such a devoted and well-deserved fan base over the past twenty plus years.
The album flows together marvelously with many of tracks seamlessly transitioning into the next. Spearheaded by powerful singles “Leathers” and “Tempest,” the group is at the top of their game. However, the album also has a mellow side, with tracks like “Entombed.” One can’t help but wonder if the group is channeling the pain stemming from the tragic circumstances that have befallen bassist Chi Cheng, with lyrics, “From the day you arrived, I’ve remained by your side. In chains, entombed.”
Koi No Yokan is nearly perfect with nary a throwaway track or filler to be found on the album. It ranks amongst some of the best work released by the band thus far. With the group consistently delivering material of such high quality, Deftones are sure to please longtime fans as well as attracting newer and younger audiences.