Deftones - Koi No Yokan
Reprise Records
Alternative/Experimental Metal
11 songs (51:50)
Release year: 2012
Deftones, Reprise Records
Reviewed by Khelek

Deftones have been around for quite some time now, and in that time they have left an indelible mark on the modern metal and rock music scenes. Their sound has evolved throughout their career, but it has always retained their unique elements of style: the heavy yet anguished guitar riffs, haunting melodies, and of course the excellent vocals of frontman Chino Moreno. Many of the songs on Koi No Yokan, the band's seventh release, depend on tension being built up by a slow intro or tight, choppy guitar riffs. This has been the formula on the past few albums, and it really works well for these guys. And far from being repetitive, I think Deftones have achieved the art of balance. There's enough of both the heavy aggression and the melodic, haunting anguish. Admittedly, the songs on this album do tend to go more to the anguished, melancholy side, and some of the riffs here aren't as immediately memorable as the ones on Diamond Eyes. Fortunately it is overall a very enjoyable listen.

Right from the opening riffs of Swerve City, the sound seems a bit stripped down. On Diamond Eyes most of the riffs were friendlier or darker than these. These are fast and in-your-face, but they are soon broken up by a slower bassline and the smooth vocals of Moreno. For how downtempo parts of it are, this song is quite short. Don't let its duration fool you though. It grew on me and became one of the most memorable of the album. Romantic Dreams is much more subdued to start off. This is the sort of slower tempo of song that worked very well in the previous release. The bridge and chorus is really where this song works for me because it has that simpler sound with the stripped down guitar riffs, I just wish they were more prevalent on the rest of the song. Leathers, the first single from the album, has plenty of energy, but also uses finesse when creating melodies. The chorus does get a bit repetitive, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. Poltergeist, while not one of my favorites, does have some very memorable qualities within the fast verse; the slower chorus is where it gets lost for me. Entombed sounds like a cross between Katatonia and Opeth at first, before the synths come in with the clear, reverbed vocals. This feels like something that could be played at a high school prom, or a metal concert. It's strange yet listenable. The second half of the album keeps right on going. Graphic Nature uses the excellent heavy guitars again, and keeps them going the whole time, finally! The song gains power in the chorus and the guitars work perfectly with Moreno's vocals. He clearly has excellent control of his voice and knows how it sounds with the other instruments. Tempest builds tension much better than the previous attempts on the album. Much more powerful guitars and bass. I felt like it went on for slightly too long, but at the same time I didn't want to turn it off. Rosemary has a slow intro that does a lot to build tension, especially if you're listening to it on a dark, rainy night while on a long highway drive. The riffs simply crush in this song. It's like some kind of mixture of ambient electronica and sludge metal. Is there a name for that? I'm not sure, I just know I really like this song, even after over a dozen listens.

I've had many different opinions about Koi No Yokan as a whole since I first listened to it on the day it came out. It is in turns aggravating, atmospheric, charming, and aggressive. If I could use one word to describe what it isn't, that word would be simple. Despite the number of different feelings, it is above all listenable. I have listened to it at least 15 times now and is still in regular rotation not only in my car, but also when I'm just relaxing after work. It's another solid album from this talented group who have had such an excellent career so far. One of my favorites of 2012.

Killing Songs :
Swerve City, Romantic Dreams, Leathers, Graphic Nature, Tempest, Rosemary
Khelek quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Deftones that we have reviewed:
Deftones - Gore reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Deftones - Around the Fur reviewed by Tyler and quoted 80 / 100
Deftones - Diamond Eyes reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Deftones - Deftones reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist reviewed by Al and quoted 89 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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