On Deftones newest album Ohms, the Sacramento, California metal band continues to refine and reshape their brand of melodic metal. Singer Chino Moreno’s elastic scream and alluring croon is at the center, while guitarist Stephen Carpenter’s d-tuned guitar creates dark, Gothic mood that tows the line between The Cure and Godflesh, sometimes in the same song. It’s a musical formula that the band has been perfecting ever since debut album Adrenaline from 1995.
With Ohms, the band revisits sonic realms of classic albums White Pony and Saturday Night Wrist. This is the most accessible and heavy Deftones have been in years. Producer Terry Date joins the band after a nearly 20 year lapse.
Everything seems to just click on this record. Album opener “Genesis” opens on a wavering synth line before Stephen Carpenter slides some guitar into the mix. The songs then explodes from the speakers with Moreno shredding his vocal cords with a glass-shattering scream. The song is a slow and methodical metal masterpiece. “Ceremony” dips its toes in almost alternative rock waters, with almost Filter vibes. “The Spell of Mathematics” sounds like a mixture of Deafheaven and Gary Numan, black metal interspersed with 80s electro.
Elsewhere “The Link Is Dead” sounds like Blade Runner-meets-Faith No More. Mike Patton seems like the origin DNA for so many of the mid-90s metal bands and their croons turned to bloody catcalls with the drop of a mic, and Deftones are no different. Chino Moreno figured out how to turn his vocals into a secret weapon and it’s served him well for the past 25 years. “Headless” goes from atmospheric and hazy to slow churn metal, and title track “Ohms” has a killer riff and an almost upbeat vibe. It’s a great note to end the album on, as it sounds like a victory lap for a 90s rock survivor when so many of their alt rock peers dropped out of sight years ago.
Ohms is a solid Deftones album. It keeps things heavy and catchy, leaving some of the more quieter and experimental sounds of album’s past behind. Deftones prove they still have it, and then some.
7.4 out of 10