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Deftones - 'Ohms' Album Review


1. Genesis

2. Ceremony

3. Urantia

4. Error

5. The Spell Of Mathematics

6. Pompeji

7. This Link Is Dead

8. Radiant City

9. Headless

10. Ohms

Four years after 2016's 'Gore', Alt Metal titans Deftones have returned with 'Ohms', once again releasing through Reprise Records.

The album begins with 'Genesis', the second and final single from the album. The song begins with a dark, brooding, atmospheric introduction that then launches into a typically heavy Deftones guitar riff with the usual mix of screamed and melodic vocals. The song is slow and heavy, with a melodic break that transitions into a heavier build, it sets the album up perfectly, reintroducing us to the heavy side of Deftones.

'Urantia' throws you in at the deep end with a fast, heavy staccato riff that mellows out into a spacey verse with a creepy underlying element. In places it reminds me of something that Tool would write, which is definitely no bad thing, as the song works extremely well in the grand scheme of the album, with the heavier riff returning at the end before an abrupt finish.

'The Spell Of Mathematics' is the definite return to the heavier sound Deftones are known and loved for, while still maintaining some of the more experimental attributes they've been exploring. The standout moment of the song is the breakdown giving way to a quieter, almost ethereal section, which just leads back into the breakdown and then back to the melodic again. The song contains a phenomenal bassline and drum beat to finish, with elements gradually fading out one by one before the end of the song. This track definitively shows us that Deftones aren't ready to pack it in yet, and the album only goes up from here.

'This Link Is Dead' reinforces the return to the heavy sound in spectacular fashion. Fast drums, harsh vocals, a heavy bassline and an underlying guitar riff that gives a sense of menace combined to make something utterly incredible within the world of Metal. There's a raw emotion in the vocals that elevates the track in my eyes, making it difficult to choose which track is my favourite.

'Radiant City' contains an extremely heavy and fast bassline, joined by guitars that follow along with the bass to provide musical harmony. Throw in that mix of screamed and melodic vocals again and the song is almost perfect, with synths added in to create another layer of intricacy. If I had a gun to my head and was forced to choose one song from 'Ohms' as my favourite, it would probably be this.

'Headless' is perhaps the most Prog influenced on the album, as well as being the slowest. Soft to begin with then leading into another heavy riff, it's not the most groundbreaking Deftones song and feels like a slog in places, which is a shame since it comes so close to the end of the album, but I'd still take it over a lot of music out there.

'Ohms' is the culmination of everything in the album, providing the perfect choice for the title track, lead single and album closer. It blends the classic heavy Deftones sound with the more modern experimental sound from 2016's 'Gore' perfectly. It doesn't stray too far into either territory, settling a perfect balance that many bands struggle to find.

'Ohms' as an album shows a lot of growth for Deftones. Not many bands can stray away from their trademark sound and come back to what they know whilst still incorporating elements that they've learned to create something even better. It shows maturity within the music, as well as a trust of their fanbase to still be there no matter what. It could be argued that this is Deftones' greatest album, potentially outdoing 'White Pony' and 'Around The Fur'.

Review - Gordon Rae

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