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Once again, Deftones have produced a quality album that is a bit of a throw-back to the turn of the millennium when they ruled the alternative metal scene. They have really captured the essence of days gone by, offering up a serving of the sounds that defined an era. No track grabs you and throws you against the wall like My Own Summer or Knife Party off their earlier albums, but that’s not really what this album is about. It is much more refined: their style is embedded in every song, and the meatier bass on Koi No Yokan is welcome.
This is the second album without long-time bassist Chi Cheng, though Sergio Vega is more than accomplished in this role. It seems that Deftones kick their albums off with the strongest songs, drawing the listener in. This pattern is evident once again, as Swerve City and Leathers are arguably the major drivers, and they happen to feature at the start of the album. It then declines somewhat towards the middle, which is also a key trait in previous albums, with songs like Entombed and Tempest being a little more melodic. The album finishes very strongly with Goon Squad (a personal favourite) – a song that would not be out of place on White Pony.
Overall, the album doesn’t quite reach the heights of yesteryear, but as people get older, their personal situations change, and that is reflected in their music. Deftones appear to be in a good place: there is less anger in their music and they have grown up a lot in the past 15 years. The anger lost probably takes a little bit away from this release: you won’t find yourself thrashing around in the mosh pit, but it really does remind you of those times, which is the best you can ask from a band who had you fist-pumping the air in years gone by.