Customer Reviews: Diamond Eyes
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on April 18, 2010
As if any of them aren't?

I've seriously listened to this thing (since I downloaded it, shhhh, relax I pre-ordered it too) probably close to 30 times straight. It's just 'off the wall' (as Chino vocalizes in one of the tracks, lol)......

There are a couple of light tracks that take a few spins to click, but once they do, they're just as addicting as the heavy numbers. 'Rocket Skates' and 'Diamond Eyes' are honestly just teasers, even if fantastic ones, to prepare you for the rest of the album.

After more than a couple spins, it was obvious that we can at least partially thank Stephan's love of Meshuggah for what I feel is his most crushing guitar tone to date. Frank's creativity with the samples and keys doesn't let up either and it's really cool what he's come up with on this one. As for Chino (one of my all-time favorite vocalists), he's of course in top form........whether he uses his insane scream or his soothing whisper of beauty.....the range and variation is here.

The album contains at least 2-3 tracks that should be solidified in Deftones setlist from now on..........some of my favorite tracks by the band. This album will take listeners through a wonderful journey of fresh noise, while building anew from Saturday Night Wrist, White Pony, and Around the Fur.

Chi would be proud worries......and my hat goes off to you for losing a brother (hopefully only temporarily) and continuing on, since we all know by now how hard it was to get through SNW in one piece. What's even more disturbing to me is that there is ANOTHER Deftones record, entitled Eros, just sitting on the shelf prior to Chi's accident. Wow......just wow. If they could pull Diamond Eyes off within a mere 6 months, and Eros already before that, I CAN'T WAIT for what else these 5 guys can do in the studio.
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on May 11, 2010
I have a habit of buying albums and then selling them eventually.

It is this habit that led me to buy pretty much all of the prior Deftones albums, and then sell all of them.

Diamond Eyes makes me feel like a total idiot for doing that, because it is so good it has caused me to re-think my opinion of the Deftones completely.

In the context of this masterpiece of an album, it's now very apparent that the Deftones are one of the greatest modern bands.

Basically, this album took me by complete surprise - I got it because of all the positive reviews I was seeing, but my attitude was "Well, it can't be as good as everyone is saying, right?". But it is. This album is lots of things. It kicks you in the face with aggression at times. It also demonstrates the mellow, melodic influences of the band at other times. At all times, it is clearly the work of a lot of effort by the band to put out the best record they can - it is an emotional record in many ways, likely due in large part to the tragedy of Chi. And it needs to be viewed in the context of Eros, the record they recorded right before this one and then cast aside as not being good enough. Clearly they were determined to put out something great, not merely something they could get some album sales off of and promote on a tour.

What stands out the most for me on this album is how good of a singer Chino is, and how his voice can be so melodic, and yet so harsh, sometimes pretty much at the same time. I think he is one of rock's greatest singers, alongside a diverse array of singers with unique never-will-be-replicated voices such as Robert Plant, Mike Patton, Maynard James Keenan, Morrissey, and others.

There really is no need to go further in this review, because the task at hand for you, the reader, is simple. If you truly liked any Deftones album in the past, you will almost certainly like this one, as long as you appreciate both the aggressive and soft sides of the band - therefore you NEED to buy it, and give it plenty of listens to digest it before deciding if you like it or not. If you only like one of those sides of the band, or if you never liked the band at all, then you are unlikely to like this album, because it really is a culmination of all of the best aspects the Deftones have offered in the past.

Essentially, while adding nothing really new to their music, Diamond Eyes is the perfect crystallization of years of effort by the band to achieve a certain type of sound - a sound no other band comes close to pulling off - the Deftones sound.
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on April 26, 2010
This album is just completely wonderful. The album seems so conceptual, so directly about Chi. Losing their brother and best friend.
Production is faultless. Possibly the best sounding Deftones album yet.

The guitars and drums dominate heavily on this release. Sometimes I was wondering if there was a bass guitar underneath all of it.

The lyrics seem to be very much about Chi's accident, and subsequent coma. I just feel a real sense of anger, and sadness to the music.
Chino has matured vocally on this release, although it doesn't particularly break any new ground musically for the band.

The whopping double punch of "976-EVIL", which leads into "This place is death" is probably the best ending to any Deftones album ever. Super intense.
"This place is death" is probably the highlight for me.
The whole album makes me feel sad when I listen to it. Even at it's heaviest moments there's a kind of helplessness there. If that's how they wanted me to feel when listening to it, then they have succeeded.

This album is their masterpiece.

I've decided to add more, the more i listen to this album the more it blows my mind.
I think 976-EVIL" & "This place is death" should actually have been one track. They merge so perfectly, it feels like if it all combined to one song would have been ever more mindblowing.
Lyrically and melodically it just keeps getting at me, in a good way. The more and more i listen to the crazy chord changes and lyrics I just think how far these guys have progressed.
Chino is just phenomenal on this album. There's a real refined quality to what he's actually saying and the way he sings.
Previous Deftones albums have always felt (to me) like a bunch of songs which they really thought were good. This album feels like it was all written at the same time, with a real focus on a theme.
"This place is death" just keeps hooking me in. It's just like a river, it just keeps building, and flowing.
Such an impressive album. props to chi.
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on May 4, 2010
Ok, so many ppl will disagree with me, but, its my opinion so I'm gonna say what I want. Daimond eyes is the best album these guys have ever released. Like I said ppl disagree with me and say that White Pony was the best, well sorry White Pony, move over, you've been trumped! Every song on this album should be released as a single. It hits all of the right spots in the ears. I recently saw these guy perform, last week actually, and it blew me away. This album is gonna be one for the ages. My kids are gonna listen to this album someday and think WTF??! Buy it!!
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on May 4, 2010
When it comes to recording albums, Deftones seem to have some of the worst luck around. While the usual inner-band turmoil and creative differences served as obstacles in the past, nothing could have prepared the band (or their fans) for the near-crippling blow they were dealt in late 2008 when bassist Chi Cheng slipped into a coma following a near fatal automobile accident. Having already completed album number six -- "Eros" - but feeling the timing wasn't right, the band decided to shelve the product until Chi got better in favor for this, their proper sixth album, "Diamond Eyes."

For the recording of the album, the band recruited Sergio Vega (Quicksand) to take Chi's place and collaborated with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Alice in Chains, Rush) for new material that is reportedly of a different tone than that of "Eros." In spite of tragedy, the band appear to have not missed a single beat, turning in their most concentrated and focused effort since 2000's White Pony. All of the hallmarks of a Deftones album are here, with singer Chino Moreno's signature whisper-to-a-shriek hitting the wall of sound created by Stephen Carpenter's dense and hypnotizing riffage. Meanwhile, Drummer Abe Cunningham (currently one of rock's most under-rated drummers) finds a comfortable groove with Vega, who blends into the scenery all too naturally. All of this, of course, is set to the back-drop of band DJ/keyboardist Frank Delgado, the unsung hero of the band, whose brilliant textures are underplayed quite considerably compared to his work on Saturday Night Wrist, but which only serve to enhance and round out the massive soundscape of this album.

While the band's previous two efforts tend to leave the fanbase divided, "Diamond Eyes" is perhaps the perfect Deftones album in that it delivers everything their listeners have come to expect and more. Songs like "Rocket Skates" and "Royal" are classic Deftones, with Carpenter busting out an 8-string (!) guitar to add to the already ridiculously heavy sonic assault on the former, with the latter featuring an oddly satisfying blood-curdling scream from Moreno. The opening title track, with its soaring melodies, will no doubt serve the band well on their arena tours, much like "Sextape" (this album's "Digital Bath") while the more experimental "Prince" and "You've Seen the Butcher" tweak the band's signature sound just enough to give the album defintion, while still retaining the tried and true Deftones sound. "976-Evil" (named after a delicious slice of 80's horror cheese directed by Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund) and "This Place is Death" play almost as one big song, an epic way to end the album with subtle lyrics that attempt to deal with Chi's situation.

For the most part, Raskulinecz steps back and allows the band to stick to what they are best at, and unlike albums past, there doesn't seem to be a tendency to grab at radio-play here. Instead, the band seem intent on proving their creative worth, and in turn, have crafted one of the most inspiring and audacious albums of their career. Even though Chi's absence is a bummer, to say the least, it's great to see the band alive and this healthy this far into their career. The mainstream may have never caught onto what makes this band so special, and maybe they never will, but one thing is for sure: if you've been listening to this band since the 90's, can recite every lyric and hum every riff, you'll still be surprised by what they have to offer here.
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on June 8, 2010
I never thought there would be another Deftones album due to Chi's current state. But I was thrilled to purchase this when I realize it existed! I feel a lot of the songs could relate to what they might be experiencing with not having Chi record this with them. I have enjoyed hearing this band's music mature and grow; as I have grown with them. If they keep this up, I will never stop enjoying listening to Deftones.
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on November 25, 2015
I know the Deftones are trying to push Koi No Yokan as the successor to the White Pony; however, I enjoy this album a lot more.

This album has a much harder feel than earlier albums, so if you like Street Carp then pick this up. It isn't a hard as Adrenaline, but compared to Saturday Night Wrist it turns everything up to 11.
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on August 28, 2015
Im surprised I never reviewed this gem. Been a fan since day one, and was in and out of love with them over the years. Saturday Night Wrist sucked me back in and this one took the cake. Crunchy sound! It spent at least a month in my deck without skip. Still gets regular play. How a band, this far in their career is still evolving, progressing and making great music is just crazy. Never fell off, never sold out or got cheesy. Best lasting band. Leaders in the genre.
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on February 27, 2011
It is no secret that the Deftones have had quiet a few bumps in the road as of late. In fact, some kind of trouble or another has followed in-toe of literally every one of their releases of late. 2000's "White Pony" may have a commercial breakthrough, but its musical direction also produced some complaints. Guitarist Stef Carpenter (who grumbled about its lack of heaviness) was even be found getting into a shoving match with his peers once or twice. In addition, after "White Pony," these Sacramento, California stalwarts arguably seemed a bit stumped about where to go next. (A theory that was brought to life when they finally emerged with a self-titled follow-up in 2003, a release that was unnecessarily long considering it did not bring anything really new to the table.) The `Tones released "Saturday Night Wrist" three years later, but not before undergoing an almost complete collapse. The story goes that Chino Moreno spent time dabbling in a side project. experimental/electronic rockers Team Sleep, and essentially blowing off his main one. All of the inner-turmoil came to its head when the frontman wrote angry, stream-of-consciousness lyrics upon hearing the rumor that the rest of the members considered kicking him to the curb. (Of course, he eventually came to his senses and made peace with everybody.)

And here we go yet again. It has been said that the Deftones have had a new album (by the tentative title of "Eros") in the can for quite some time now. But even though they spent the better part of a year making it, all of the material written with bassist/co-founder Chi Cheng has (at least for the time being) been supposedly scrapped. Why? Because it just doesn't seem right to release it when the man is in a coma! (Chi and his sister were tragically involved in a rollover auto accident auto accident on November 4th, 2008.) This loss came as a huge shock to the band - in fact, it rocked them so hard that they almost could not recover from it. (In a situation similar to the one behind the above-mentioned "Saturday Night Wrist" in 2006, breaking-up was actually a possibility at one point.) All of this considered, it is easy to understand what Chino and the Gang are feeling right now, and why things like "chipper" aren't a good descriptor. Fortunately, everybody came to their senses by reforming, and, challenging their emotions into musical form, coming back sounding stronger than ever. Wonderfully accomplished, contagious, meaningful, potent, enthralling, and well-rounded, 2010's "Diamond Eyes," just might be the crown jewel in the Deftones' discography. This album, their sixth-full length, oozes with inspiration -- including palpable angst and anger, understandable frustration, and raw, primal, full-bodied, and at-times even borderline-sexual urgency. Fortunately, these feeling never resort to whiny or emo-ish levels; instead, they produce a pleasantly surprising amount of grit and friction.

Another unexpectedly awesome treat is how heavy and viscerally satisfying it is. Stef Carpenter digs deep and challenges himself to produce as well and technical as he possibly can. Trying to out-do oneself is always a very admirable task, and in this case, it is an equally rewarding one, too, because the resulting guitar work is easily the band's best, meatiest, and most metallic and intricate to date. It is such a shame that the Deftones are often categorized as "nu-metal" because that genre is not usually known for its guitarists. But for crying out loud...sit up and take notice of this one, already! Seriously, folks, there is a lot of positively killer guitar riffage to be heard, here.

The first few tracks showcase the Deftones at their meanest and hardest rocking. They are deliciously nasty and immediately memorable riff-fests that play like a series of swift kicks to the head. Sure, Stef clearly draws from the same well as Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi and fellow seven-string axemen Fredrik Thorendal and Marten Hagstrom, but his playing always still manages to sound fresh and original. The eponymous set opener trades off between deceptively simple verses (centered around one big, juicy, crunching main guitar lick) and harmonic, beautifully-sung choruses; and does so to excellent effect. Next up comes what is not only the record's most brutal moment, but also possibly the heaviest and most aggressive thing the `Tones' have put their name on. "Royal" is driven by deep, propulsive guitar grooves, a steady rhythm section, and a powerful vocal performance from Chino (including some unnerving, lung-stretching screams reminiscent of his earliest days). "CMND/CTRL," and "You've Seen The Butcher" are two other very punishing numbers. The former is of note for its complex, polyrhythmic drumming; and the latter for its intro that evokes pure doom/stoner metal. And they are both ripe with one catchy, gut-punching riff after another, accentuated by an impenetrably thick guitar tone that could have been ripped straight out of Meshuggah's playbook. The odd melodic vocal section and eerie synth line are also tossed into the mix here, giving off a brief but effective bit of ambience.

The first curveball of the bunch, "Beauty School," is a very epic, docile, and, uh, beautiful piece of progressive rock in the vein of Tool/A Perfect Circle, Coldplay, and The Cure. It boasts huge choruses, soaring, gently wailing clean singing, crashing drum beats. Solid keyboard work and noteworthy, moody, looming bass lines (from Cheng's fill in, Segio Vega) are also prominent throughout. "Prince" has an epic scope, too, and is a good showcase for Chino's amazing vocal range by turning another one of his signature soft-hard blends. The tune begins on a proggy note with calm, nearly whispered vocals before slowly yet surely gaining momentum, and eventually hits a climax of dense, crunchy, churning guitars and strong, grumbling bass lines topped off by lengthy, hardcore howling. Next up, the mosh pit-ready and kind of thrashy lead single "Rocket Skates," is backed by more great guitar chops (including lots of mammoth, fiery, angular, and sometimes booming riffs), thus serving as a nice compliment to its pounding drums and screamed vocals. However, on the flip side, the band again show off their unique knack for melody soon thereafter. Clean, lightly-strummed guitars and soulful, angelic-sounding make "Sextape" a positively gorgeous ballad. And once that song draws to a close, the stuttering, industrial-esque, lock-step unison rhythms, strong (and, again, oh-so-Meshuggah-ish) riffing, and really cool and memorable breakdown (that kicks in around the two-minute mark) of "Risk" lumber out of your speakers. Finally, the curiously named "976 Evil" (which builds well, flowing from "White Pony"-esque atmospheric verses to chunky and aggressive choruses) is a lead-in to "This Place Is Death," a dreamy and textured set closer. And when these two pieces are combine together, the end result is the possible pinnacle of the album.

The point is that, sure, over the course of the last decade, this band has had more problems than probably any one should ever have to deal with. And their hiatuses do keep getting longer and longer ("Diamond Eyes" finally marked the end of an excruciatingly long four-year gap between records.) But never mind all that -- because as long as the Deftones keep kicking out new music like this, there will never be any cause for concern. Outstanding!
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on December 19, 2012
Most people seem to label Whit Pony as the Deftones greatest album, and although it did set them apart from their nu-metal contemporaries, I've never found White Pony to be a very compelling listening experience. I find Around the Fur to be more my style, but now the bar has definitely been raised by Diamond Eyes! Even if you don't like the title-track single (it was played to death on the radio) the rest of the album is even better in my opinion, culminating in my favorite track "976-EVIL".
This album is also significant to me in that it marks my first digital album purchase!!! In a world where people favor portability over audio quality and where most music is obtained illegally, I found solace in the fact that the Amazon MP3 quality blasts strong detail and that more money goes directly to the artist when you buy digitally. Perhaps iTunes has the better audio fidelity, but for half the price I had to go with the Amazon MP3.
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