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Deftones to play at Memorial Auditorium

Since the release of their first studio album, “Adrenaline,” in 1995, Sacramento natives the Deftones have managed to create a sound that harmoniously blends aggressive guitars and percussion with undeniably beautiful vocals. Throughout the 15 years the group has been making music, the Deftones have built up a dedicated fan base that includes devotees of metal, experimental, hip-hop and alternative sounds.

To date, the Deftones have released six complete albums (not counting the 2005 B-sides and rarities CD), and each one delivers a different sound than the last. “Adrenaline” is filled with all the emotion and raw material that should constitute a band’s first album, while their softest and most melodic songs can be heard on “White Pony” (2000).

This year marked the release of the sixth album released by the Deftones, “Diamond Eyes,” as well as a departure from the band’s usual lineup. In the past, the Deftones consisted of Chino Moreno as vocalist, Abe Cunningham on drums, Frank Delgado on the keyboard, Stephen Carpenter on guitar, and Chi Cheng on bass. Sadly, bassist Cheng was seriously injured in a car accident in November 2008, leaving him in a “minimally conscious state,” according to the website devoted to Chi’s recovery. The Deftones persisted and recorded “Diamond Eyes” in the absence of Cheng with Sergio Vega taking over as bassist.

Although devoted Deftones fans continue to hope for Cheng’s recovery, “Diamond Eyes” does not fall short of expectations, maintaining the signature mix of harsh and haunting vocals and guitars. The album can most aptly be described as a cross between the bleak and guttural guitar of “Around the Fur” (1997) and the crisp, clean digital sounds of “White Pony.”

The video for “Rocket Skates,” one of the new singles, is relatively simple. The band plays in a deserted garage, warehouse, or factory of some kind while images of a reddish-colored room with a girl in a red dress flash across the screen. The song begins with the line, “You’re red soaking wet,” and has an easy to follow chorus with Moreno screaming, “Guns, razors, knives!” While the lyrics are as uncomplicated as the video, the imagery they conjure is clearly dark enough subject matter to suit the Deftones’ sound.

Another track of note is “Diamond Eyes,” the first song on the album, as well as the second single to be released. The song starts off with Carpenter’s heavy guitar riffs, but Moreno’s intense vocals, which border on mournful singing and bitter screaming, balance the aggression and make for a tune that is both emotionally awakening and catchy enough to sing in the shower.

To promote “Diamond Eyes,” the Deftones are embarking on a fall tour that begins Friday in Ventura and runs through mid-October. On Aug. 8 the Deftones return to their hometown to play the Memorial Auditorium.

Ultimately, the Deftones newest release should please both old fans and new listeners. Like all the Deftones’ old material, it’s impossible not to hear the emotion pouring through the tracks, and yet “Diamond Eyes” still manages to differentiate itself from all its predecessors.

“We hope that the music speaks for itself,” Moreno said in “The Creation of ‘Diamond Eyes’ (Part 5)” video, found at deftones.com. “That’s what it should do. If you make a good record, hopefully it’ll stand the test of time.… I think all of them have done that … with this one, I would think that 10 years from now it will still be relevant.”
 

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