Deftones - Ohms review


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Band: Deftones
Album: Ohms
Release date: September 2020

01. Genesis
02. Ceremony
03. Urantia
04. Error
05. The Spell Of Mathematics
06. Pompeji
07. This Link Is Dead
08. Radiant City
09. Headless
10. Ohms

I can't think of a single alternative metal band that aged better than Deftones.

Alternative metal is somewhat of a weird term, because just like alternative rock it can be a somewhat large umbrella. I mean you can call both Imagine Dragons and Sonic Youth alternative rock bands. Ever since grunge exploded in the early 90s, effectively killing glam and thrash metal, some parts of alt rock (including shoegaze, industrial rock, post-hardcore and noise rock) have been getting heavy enough to collide with metal, hence why we have Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Tool, Marilyn Manson, Primus, Helmet, Unsane and Rage Against The Machine here. It was a feedback loop of bringing outside influences into metal and making the outside heavier as well, and the latter of the mentioned bands might've had the unintended effect of creating nu metal. Which, say what you will about it, at least it wasn't as bad as the post-grunge sound that would also come out of this feedback loop. And now in 2020 most of these bands have either had a falling off, have broken up for long periods of times, and maybe they don't even plan on releasing any comeback records. Deftones isn't really the exception to the rule, like the similar analogy I made previously, but out of all the 90s alt metal bands, they're still the one I'm most excited about when it comes to new records.

Part of it is because they never really had a "bad" album. Sure, Saturday Night Wrist and Gore were definitely weaker points, but none of them felt like they signaled a lukewarm phase. The latter, in particular seems to get a lot of bad rep, which did make me a bit anxious about this album, but I also don't share most of the negative opinions on that album. At this point there is sort of a "Deftones sound", and a huge chunk of every record since their self-titled record in 2003 dropped all traces of nu metal from their sound has been about refining that sound. And if there is anything about that feedback loop I mentioned earlier is that it is quite clear that a lot of what comes in the Deftones sound comes from both the alt world and the metal world, with them possibly being among the oldest "gaze" influenced bands while also showcasing a bit of post-metal embedding here and there, which makes sense considering that vocalist Chino Moreno literally was in a band with Isis. No wonder everyone calls Deftones dream metal.

If Ohms was simply a continuation of that loud vs quiet dynamic, it might've gotten the same treatment as Gore. But somehow it seems like Ohms is being more successful at making the two feel less at odds with one another. Like a band that settled their creative differences and agreed that this sound they've been crafting needs both ingredients. If there is any record this would sound closest to, it is Koi No Yokan, but Ohms sounds a bit more effortless. Not lazy, mind you. Chugging riffs can live alongside washing synths and ethereal wails quite well. Heavy doesn't necessarily mean just distorted guitars and screams. Yes, by that metric, "The Link Is Dead" is heavier than "Urantia", but songs like "Error" and "The Spell Of Mathematics" clearly show how the merging of the two doesn't need to sound antithetical. And while Ohms has songs that could, in another life, be pop songs or ambient soundscapes, the tracklist is a bit inconsistent with most of the better tracks on the back end, and the closer doesn't really feel like a closer.

It still feels both like another Deftones record and another Deftones classic. I can't yet put my hand in fire that the latter is accurate, but the subtle ways that Ohms feels distinct make me thing that the former is inaccurate as well.


Written on 02.10.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 6   Visited by: 94 users
02.10.2020 - 20:42
Havent listened to any of it yet other then the first single. Going to have to give it a good soon with some whiskey soon.
03.10.2020 - 11:13
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
We can replace alternative whit Nu here.
Grunge Killed big bands, small survive. 80s bands did and came beck whit killer Come back albums
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
03.10.2020 - 16:24
Troy Killjoy
Written by Bad English on 03.10.2020 at 11:13

We can replace alternative whit Nu here.

You could, but you'd be wrong.
I have no memory of this place.
03.10.2020 - 16:39
Au Pays Natal
I was hoping for another Palms record instead...
03.10.2020 - 17:46
Written by tea[m]ster on 03.10.2020 at 16:39

I was hoping for another Palms record instead...

I wouldnt mind one.
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
08.10.2020 - 16:03
Written by tea[m]ster on 03.10.2020 at 16:39
I was hoping for another Palms record instead...

I'd be thrilled, as I had long thought Chino would be perfect for just that kind of project even before Palms. I thought that album was really good and somewhat underappreciated around here, although post metal in general doesn't seem to get much love compared to, say, melodic death metal.

As for this Deftones record, I might need another listen or two. It's clearly solid, but on first listen I didn't catch as many high water moments as on the previous three (which in my opinion are their best.)

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