Deftones - Diamond Eyes
With long-awaited album Eros on indefinite hold, Diamond Eyes proves that Deftones are still in the game and swinging for the fences – stand-in bass player or no. The first four tracks set a blistering pace as churning riffs transition relentlessly into fret-burning breakdowns; all the while Chino Moreno deploying his wounded croon and lacerating howl with an intensity that remains impressively undiminished.
The pace gets reined in on tracks like Beauty School and the disarmingly beatific Sextape but there's real depth even in the album's most diaphanous passages, even if it does feel like knob-twiddling fifth member Frank Delgado is somewhat under-used for the duration.
The hugely stirring 976-EVIL proves that no one does the atmospheric pop-metal thing quite like Deftones and although the band could be taking more creative risks at this stage in their career, the proof really is in the pudding: this is an album you will blast again and again. [Mark Shukla]