Deftones – Koi No Yokan

From high octane opener ‘Swerve City’, it’s fairly clear that Koi No Yokan does not represent a band slowing down. Shorn of their bass player Chi Cheng since 2008, when he was rendered unable to move as a result of a severe car accident, Californian quintet Deftones were forced to turn over a new leaf, and following 2010’s powerful and by-and-large excellent Diamond Eyes, Koi No Yokan sacrifices none of the captivating juxtaposition of muscular riffs and head-in-the-clouds imagery painted by frontman Chino Moreno that has been the band’s hallmark for so long.

Like Diamond Eyes, and to a certain extent 2006’s Saturday Night Wrist, the band find themselves weaving subtle elements of other genres, from shoegaze to alt rock and even dance, into the mix to great effect. Standout track ‘Leathers’ is but one example of the rich, haunting dynamic of dreamy atmospherics and raw brutality the band are capable of, its intro section exploding into a visceral firestorm of guitars and percussion. The spacier ‘Entombed’ and rampaging ‘Gauze’ are also high points, while ‘Graphic Nature’ points towards a more groove-based direction. In all, Koi No Yokan is a resounding success and proves there is a lot of life left in Deftones yet.