On September 25th, Deftones released their much anticipated ninth album, Ohms. After receiving mixed feelings from fans in 2016 with the release of Gore, we were all curious to see where they would take their creativity next.
We all knew there would be incredible songs full of melody and heaviness and groove; and that’s exactly what we got. After listening to the record for about a month now, it definitely feels like a Deftones record. For fans that were uneasy about the last two releases from the band, the new album ties up any loose ends and complements those two albums greatly.
The songwriting feels natural and nothing seems forced. The band’s harmonic chemistry is a high-point of the record and what brings a positive vibe to this era in their career.
Along with the fact the band sounds amazing together, on the other hand, each member shines in their own as well. Guitarist Steph Carpenter was even sporting a 9-string guitar throughout the album, and songs like Genesis and The Spell of Mathematics really showed what an extra three strings can do.
The guitar work is a thing of beauty, which is what you’d expect coming from a melodic legend like Mr. Carpenter. Songs from his arsenal hit you in the face while others make you feel like you’re the most powerful person in the world. Grooves like no other that create a specific kind of ambiance I’m not sure how to describe.
The beats and tempo provided by Abe Cunningham on the drums are the only ones appropriate for Carpenter’s guitar rhythm. A few examples of this are the songs Error, Genesis, and Headless.
Error provides the listener with a euphoria chaos with the hoppy drumbeat and the not-quite-fast/not-quite-slow guitar. When listening, you’re not sure if you should relax or be on-edge. All that with a fantastic groove. Genesis and Headless slam you with the beat in the same way other bands use breakdown to do that.
Sergio Vega on the bass puts on a hell of a performance and is one of the highlights of the record. Every song on the album puts Mr. Vega on the spotlight and you cannot listen to the songs without hearing the touch. And don’t even get me started on how hard he goes on Radiant City.
Another member shining on the album is Frank Delgado. The songs on the album would be completely different songs overall without the keyboard/turntable work of Frank Delgado. The vibe and ambiance of the record are set up by his creativity and additions to the music. Once again, go check out Radiant City (specifically the chorus) and keep an open ear for what I’m talking about.
A Deftones album without Chino Moreno’s melodic shoe-gaze vocals would not be a Deftones album. The voice work from Mr. Moreno is what gives the album its certain special touch of darkness and goosebump-inducing element the band is known for.
The lyrical content of the album, to me at least, is about the not-so-great state of the world right now however remaining optimistic and staying the best person you can be. Typical of Deftones, this album sounds better than what the lyrics intend!
Overall I’m very pleased I pre-ordered a limited edition Gold pressed vinyl before even hearing it, because the band gave us Deftones fans exactly what we wanted. (Also message me on Instagram if you’re looking for one, I have a second copy looking for a new home!) Go give it a listen!
-Luke Brooks @luckylukeph0t0s on Instagram