Deftones Deftones
Grade C+
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The Deftones have evolved from the punk-heavy numetal act into a more melancholy act that can still reach down and pull out the screaming rage imbedded deep within them. While they may have changed and grown from outside influences, they still manage to stay true to their hard rock roots, which inevitably turn up in most of this new effort.

Both the guitars and bass are raw, yet moody. Chino Moreno's vocals are as they've always been - a steady balance between tormented melody and raw screaming with rage. He spares no emotions with his vocals as every song seems to bear some personal angst with being clichéd in the delivery. Delgado's samples and keyboards manage to add another aspect to the formula without being too intrusive.

The opening track, Hexagram, is tried-and-true Deftones, providing melody long enough to reach the coarse punch of the choruses. Needles and Pins comes across as a more slow and sublime track, indicative of the slower, more reserved mood of the album, while still retaining some of the edge that the band is known for.

The new album features a lot more slowly-paced, melancholy tracks, some of which work, while others feel completely out of place. Minerva is all right, but Lucky You and Anniversary of An Uninteresting Event both feel out of place. Both feel less like Deftones songs and more like something from a potential side project for Chino.

Pacing on the album keeps the songs from dragging down into a lull. You'll have slow moments book-ended by more aggressive pieces. Bloody Cape, which is placed between Lucky You and Anniversary of An Uninteresting Event, is a raw piece of work. Good Morning Beautiful is a rather rare piece in its positive approach. When Girls Telephone Boys features some powerful cords, but can be dragged down by the lengthy buildup to the chorus.

What it boils down to is that this album is a less than impressive effort that features too many lulls that just don't seem to work throughout the length of the album. A number of the tracks are weak and the few tracks that do stand out still don't hold a candle to the band's three previous albums. If you're a fan of the Deftones, you'll want to get this album, but don't be surprised by the fact that you'll be hunting and pecking for a few choice tracks to enjoy.

- - Vane

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