On ‘Ohms’, Deftones embrace full freedom, and take a deep breath creatively, collectively together – they sound like they’re really having fun. There seems to be a vulnerability that we’ve not seen from Chino and co under this moniker in recent years.
Indeed, there are shades of classic heavier influences on ‘Error’ or the outright rage of ‘The Link Is Dead’, but we also get the progressive Team Sleep vibes that ‘Ceremony’ is built upon (harking back to 2016’s post-rock powerhouse, ‘Gore’), matching up against ‘The Spell Of Mathematics’, which is something you might find is more at home on a Crosses record.
On this ninth studio outing for the Sacramento leg-ends, we find them at their most euphoric and shoegazy on the aptly-titled ‘Radiant City’ and the frankly stunning ‘Pompeji’ (our personal highlight). Here, the band successfully matches their ferocious old-school stylings that they built a career with, with the more reflective, woozy sounds of My Bloody Valentine or Sonic Youth.
Overall then, (arguably) a much more emotionally intense record than anything to come before from these icons of modern alternative metal, and that in itself is a really powerful statement.
Yes, ‘Ohms’ is undoubtedly a passionate and poignant chaotic record (and a fitting soundtrack to 2020, we might add), but it’s possible that this album, with all of its equally hard-hitting emotive sonics will soundtrack, and support so many in these uncertain, scary times, and that’s quite a special thing to be able to do. After all, this band has been through the ringer (if you’re reading this, you probably get that), and it’s wonderful that they are still here, fighting through the weirdness and helping many others at the same time.
Once again, this is a powerful reminder of just how vibrant, and vital Deftones remain in alternative culture, and one of the more fascinating metal bands of the last thirty years.
Words: Dom Smith