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Album Review: Deftones - "Koi No Yokan"

Seven albums in, the mixing and mashing continues on Koi No Yokan.

Koi No Yokan
Reprise Records

The Deftones are a hybrid. Always mutating. Always growing. They started out mixing heavy metal aggression from Stephen Carpenter’s crunchy, down-tuned, 7-string guitars with vocalist Chino Moreno’s gutturally charismatic hip-hop-style vocals. Over time, the group channeled Depeche Mode with atmospheric synth pop heard on White Pony’s “Teenager,” and an eerie Cure-ish meloncholy in Deftones’ “Minerva.” Seven albums in, the mixing and mashing continues on Koi No Yokan.

A distorted guitar riff gallops in “Poltergeist” and blooms in its verses with Moreno’s breathy lyrics. Another intensity-driven chorus-bloomer is the bombastic attack-and-release “Leathers.” New facets include hypnotic Jerry Cantrell-style deep string bends in the grooving “Tempest” and the brutal Soundgarden-meets-Quicksand tonal aggressions from bassist Sergio Vega in “Swerve City” and “Rosemary.”

The Deftones still represent what was great about the post-grunge, pre-boy-band ’90s. Further chiseling their musical melting-pot legacy, Koi No Yokan will be in heavy rotation alongside White Pony, Around the Fur, and Adrenaline for years to come. —Chris Kies
Must-hear track: “Tempest”