WARNING: Contains Killer Songs
They're back! Deftones have returned with their newest studio album 'Koi No Yokan' - which translates as 'promise of love' (taken from a Japanese proverb). Although it's only been 2 years since their last album 'Diamond Eyes', some fans felt it was a bit lacklustre and that the band had found it incredibly tough to continue writing epic songs without bassist Chi Cheng, who was in a severe coma, but fortunately has recovered now. So they made this new album hoping that it would gain Chi's approval, as well as the fans.
To start with, I will say it's different to the majority of their other albums. They have taken an approach of a more relaxed and melancholy sound which works very well. It almost seems trippy in parts, like a cross between Tool and Opeth, just without the progressive elements. The album begins with the track 'Swerve City'. It's an incredibly bouncy tune packed with a punch. It's the kind of song that you'd expect them to open with in their live shows. The transition from song to song on this album is possibly the smoothest on any Deftones album ever, as the whole record seems immensely cohesive, like an epic voyage. The heavier moments, such as the songs 'Leathers' and 'Gauze' have solid chugging guitar riffs, empowered by vocalist Chino Moreno, blasting out ominous lyrics such as “Time to let everything inside show” in the song 'Leathers'. The screams are gritty, full of passion. However, not all the songs contain screaming, the clean vocals give the album a calmer vibe at times and make the album that bit more accessible. Every song has a distinctive part about them, they all sound fairly different, yet you can tell that they all belong on the same album. Deftones have basically perfected mid/slow tempo metal music, it doesn't ever sound boring or repetitive, simply blissful.
Usually, albums with a similar sound to 'Koi No Yokan' are hard to get into on the first listen as they generally require more concentration and exposure. However this album, each song hits you with full force instantly. It completely surprises you because every song is pure genius. As they say; "All killer, no filler". I was partly a Deftones fan before this album, we all knew the classic songs such as "My Own Summer", but after hearing this record, I am completely converted. The song "Tempest" is a genuinely amazing song, the sound is like a mixture of "Sober" by Tool with Dream Theater-esque vocals.
This is undoubtedly one of the only albums I've heard this year with an 100% classic song rate, there is not one song on this album that wouldn't appeal to any metal or rock fan. Deftones have covered all bases on the album and will definitely bring in a new audience. For me, it is such an improvement on their previous albums, and the best thing they've released since 'White Pony'. Hopefully people will agree with me on that statement after listening to 'Koi No Yokan'. It will be on repeat for at least a couple of weeks. Now you've read this review, stop wasting your time and go listen to the album now! An amazing comeback from one of the most underrated metal bands of all time. One day they will reach the dizzy heights of huge arenas and headlining festivals, we can all hope.
Stand-out tracks on this album: I would like to say every track, but if I had to pick a top three I'd choose - "Swerve City", "Tempest" and "Leathers".
Rating: 10 out of 10 (Probably my first and only 10 this year)