Deftones: Scorched Earth and Soundscapes

Throughout their discography, Deftones have never failed to impress me.  Even on the weaker, uneven albums Deftones and Saturday Night Wrist, they still have at least a handful of songs that captivate me.  I finally got around to listening to Koi No Yokan and it dazzles just as much as their previous effort Diamond Eyes.  “Entombed” has become a new favorite.

Their new album Gore comes out on the 8th and I can’t wait.  These men have worked hard at shedding the “nu-metal” tag by deeply embracing non-metal influences like the shoegaze bands of the 80’s and 90’s.  Front man Chino Moreno prefers lyrics that focus more on mood and imagery rather than narrative.  Guitarist Stephen Carpenter can pummel with bottom heavy riffs or caress with feather light delicacy.  DJ/keyboardist Frank Delgado tends to keep to the background, but his presence can still be felt.  Abe Cunningham is as sharp as ever on the drums and the band couldn’t ask for a better replacement for the late Chi Cheng than Sergio Vega on bass.

When I was in my 20s, I made a Deftones mix CD for a friend who was still in her teens.  She liked the music, but had difficulty relating to the lyrics, saying the topics sounded less like teen angst and more like adult problems.  This fascinated me because as a teenager I had no problem relating Moreno’s abstract lyrics to my own problems.  “Lotion” from Around The Fur in particular provided a soundtrack to some high school drama involving an image obsessed circle of friends I had to part ways with, especially after an ugly swarm of misogynistic rumors were started about an innocent girl out of sheer malice.

I was doing work around the house with headphones on and Deftones on shuffle, and  marveled at how I barely felt the need to skip a song.  Keep up the good work guys! Looking forward to the seventh album!


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