Long running alternative metal band Deftones have very rarely slowed down in their over 30 year career. Their evolution continues to this day. Their albums Around the Fur, White Pony and Diamond Eyes are some of the best albums in the genre which at times has been dominated by far less talented bands who use the same musical label to define their own music.
Deftones have always had a way of separating themselves from the pack with heavy riffs, dreamy landscapes and Chino Moreno’s unmatched vocal skill. Ohms is their ninth album proper and the follow up to 2016’s Gore. Where will the album find itself amongst their previous discs?
Opener “Genesis” is a powerful statement that opens with sounds of a keyboard that gives way to Moreno’s vocals, coupled with a slow chugging guitar and a particularly dreamy effect overall. “Ceremony” features a spoken intro before the band brings in Stephen Carpenter’s new addition of a 9-string guitar to the fray, successfully bending riffs reminiscent of doom metal here. “The Spell of Mathematics” is a slower song by design, which feels like “Mascara” or “Digital Bath” from some of their best albums.
The latter half of the album is not without excellent songs as well. “Radiant City” might be one of the best tracks ever performed by bassist Sergio Vega with the band. Right out of the gate you find yourself bopping up and down to the fast and furious fracas. Vega moves in and out of Moreno’s vocals throughout the song which is finely balanced by drummer Abe Cunningham and Frank Delgado’s retro infused keyboards. Things wrap up with one of Deftones’ finest closers with it being the title track. The guitar lines feel very emotive, matching perfectly with the vocal delivery and helping to bring Ohms to a proper close.
Deftones need no introduction to fans as their music transcends rock music as a whole and certainly one of the best bands around. Ohms is an album placed among their best of all time, easily their best since 2009’s Diamond Eyes. If you enjoy heavy music of any kind, this album should be in your rotation. Certainly an AOTY the contender.
(released September 25, 2020 on Reprise Records)
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Watch Deftones – “Genesis” Video