'Diamond Eyes' is exactly what it means...a gem! A release that stays on point from the get-go. A recording which takes you on a journey to another place familiar with aggressive tones, dark atmosphere's and subtle emotions. It sounds like a beautiful tragedy that can become obscure, yet optimistic, but definitely enough to win your heart over...over and over!
Opening with the album’s title track, “Diamond Eyes” hold it's own weight as it trades blows between Stephen Carpenter’s furious, heavy guitar rifs and Moreno’s soulful chorus, while the next song “Royal” follows, lending a sound that resonates as far more distanced, though not any less powerful with a scream at the end from Moreno which is enough to fend off the demons.
“CMND/CTRL” rides the powerful trend on the album, though it’s Carpenter who stands out on the track. Quickly employing a thick bounce he commands immediate attention despite Moreno’s blazing vocals which rival the sharpness of the guitarist’s sound. “You’ve Seen The Butcher” offers the first aural break in the record, a 30 second introduction, which gives way to a boiling riff that is later accompanied by Moreno’s piercing howl. Sounding like a tune one would hear in a place where debauchery and lust coexist endlessly.
“Beauty School” ventures to slow the record down, albeit just slightly, as it relies on Abe Cunningham’s beat to keep an active backdrop to Moreno’s soothing, drawn-out wail. “Prince,” while opening to a calm pace, picks up momentum as the track progresses. It has been compared by many to one of the Deftones earlier recordings off 'White Pony' titled "RX Queen". By the end of its three and a half minutes it becomes a showcase for Moreno’s paint-peeling bellows and the band’s snowballing rhythm, one which eventually washes the song away into nothingness.
The album’s fiercest riff opens “Rocket Skates,” giving the listener zero time to recuperate from the swell of energy that has been rumbling throughout Diamond Eyes. While the album’s lead single may not be its best track, “Rocket Skates” is certainly one of the most memorable, offering a glance back into the aggressiveness that has weaved its way throughout the band’s history.
“Sextape”, the ebb to “Rocket Skates”’s flow, harnesses a sentimental tone and wraps itself around Moreno’s equally comforting imagery. “Risk”, “976-EVIL”, and my personal favorite in which Moreno sings his heart out, “This Place Is Death” serve as the album’s final three tracks, each relatively similar in their moderate pace, which is interesting when considering both the aggressive nature of Diamond Eyes and its flair for contrast.The album gets released on May 18, 2010 and it's already floating around the internet since it was leaked just last week. Crazy! However, this album is too good to pass up. Buy it and show support! After all, they worked real hard and it's relevant as each track on this album is a standout. I for one will be on the lookout for a vinyl edition if the powers that be permit. For more info on the Deftones visit their site and show some love! Check out some photos of the recording of 'Diamond Eyes' below.
Photos by Frank Maddocks