Diamond Eyes

The Deftones returned in 2010 with their first full-length since 2006’s Saturday Night Wrist. The mainstays of ’90s heavy rock’s initial follow-up, Eros, was shelved indefinitely due to bassist Chi Cheng falling into a coma following a car accident. With Cheng still in serious condition, and temporary bassist Sergio Vega (formerly of Quicksand) on board, the Sacramento natives recorded Diamond Eyes. Reminiscent of their 1997 album, Around the Fur, the new material retains the dark and heavy sound that the Deftones are known for, with familiar distortion-heavy guitar hooks and the signature eerie haunting vocals of lead singer Chino Moreno. Though Diamond Eyes may lack Around the Fur-style standout tracks (e.g. “My Own Summer,” “Be Quiet and Drive”), it’s an impressive slab of heavy rock. Besides the title track, “You’ve Seen the Butcher” makes a name for the album with detuned loose-stringed riffs and Moreno’s long, impressive howl during the pre-chorus: “I wanna watch the way you creep across my skull.” The high-energy track “Royal” is heavy, intense and at times extremely melodic—everything a hard rock fan loves crammed into three and a half minutes. Despite recent hardships, it’s nice to hear the Deftones’ holding up so well after more than 20 years together.