The key to Deftones’ sustained popularity over seven albums, released at two-to three-year intervals since 1995, is surely their adherence to the ‘If it ain’t broke...’ mantra.
This is a band whose music is built on dynamics – the searing swathes of Steph Carpenter’s white-hot guitars, the pulse of the rhythm section and Chino Moreno’s impassioned vocals all coagulating into a sound that’s as forceful as it is unique. You know what you’re going to get – and that’s always something leagues ahead of their contemporaries.
It’s rock with a big, beating heart. This is none more evident here than on the howling Leathers and Poltergeist, two musical maelstroms with God-sized melodies. While Deftones’ down-tuned guitars are prominent, they continue to manage to be simultaneously ethereal and abstract. The mid-tempo Entombed veers into dreamy post-rock territory, Graphic Nature chimes and judders, and the repetitive pummelling riffs on the static-laden Gauze are utterly hypnotic.
Deftones may offer few surprises but they continue to avoid clichés and make music that’s both heavy and beautiful.