Diamond Eyes, the sixth full-length album from Deftones, is an intriguing blend of dynamics. An album that came to fruition after late bassist Chi Cheng was involved in a car accident during the recording of their shelved album Eros, Deftones channeled that uncertainty and created something truly special. And remember, this is coming from the same band that released absolute classics like Around The Fur and White Pony – albums that shifted an entire scene on its head.
Released on May 4th, 2010, the album debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200 despite the album leaking many weeks prior to its release. Led by “Rocket Skates”, the title track, and the softly melodic “Sextape”, the album carries more of an uplifting vibe than on previous Deftones albums. A contrast to the “dark and angry” record that the band shelved, there’s still plenty of heavy and intense moments as well.
To be honest, though, many of these songs are almost guaranteed to make you feel like you’re floating in space. Especially “Sextape” and “976-EVIL”, whose shoegaze and ambient soundscapes are pushed to the forefront. And they’re balanced out (usually even in the tracklisting) by the sludgy “You’ve Seen The Butcher” and album highlight “Risk”, both of which see guitarist Stephen Carpenter delivering some razor sharp riffs. Deftones are firing on all cylinders throughout the album, but album highlight “Royal” delivers everything you could want in a Deftones song. Heavy riffs, some of Chino Moreno’s vocals being pushed to the limit, Abe Cunningham’s crafty drum fills, and the atmosphere that Frank Delgado helps bring to the table. As far as we’re concerned, Diamond Eyes is truly on par with being amongst the best Deftones albums – even though it’s actually their shortest on runtime.