The highly anticipated seventh Deftones album Koi No Yokan (Japanese for "Premonition of Love") came out a couple of weeks back and I am happy to say that it continues where their last release left off, but with better results.
While Diamond Eyes had a bit of Meshuggah-influenced math metal ("Cmnd_Ctrl"), this new release wastes no time getting into straight-ahead, skull-pounding songs, such as lead-off track "Swerve City." True, it has ethereal guitar lines (courtesy of Carpenter) and near-mid-Eastern-style vocals by Chino Moreno, but at under three minutes, it was a statement song—no bullshit meandering, just balls-to-the-wall rock.
Elsewhere, Moreno's vocals in the chorus to the super heavy dirgefest of "Gauze" get up to a high register but do not (as one mainstream magazine reviewer said) resemble Billy Corgan. They are more like Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars. As nasally as Corgan's voice is, his vocal range is not as high or emo-sounding as Moreno's, Leto's, or Jeremy Enigk's (of Sunny Day Real Estate) for that matter.
Moreno though, stands apart from most rock singers in his generation, with his ability to alternate between sick, spot-screaming, occasional rapping (in the old days), and soaring vocals, many times within the same song (ex. "Leathers"). Followers like Linkin Park's Chester Bennington have this same talent, but not the vocal range Moreno has. What's truly amazing is that after nearly 25 years of singing with the Deftones, Moreno has overcome nearly destroying his voice over 10 years ago due to too much screaming, and sounds as strong and powerful as ever on his band's two most recent records. He showcases his soothing-to-soaring side on the album's dark, aching ballad, "Entombed," which as a whole is even better than the previous album's resident (and pretty good) ballad, "Sextape." I personally dig this cut so much – from both a listener and guitarist's point of view – due to the beautifully artful main melody Carpenter does, two-handed finger-tapping style (which I believe is rather new for him).
And as far as hardcore vocals are concerned, he still does enough of them to keep the longtime/loyal fans happy, especially on album highlight "Goon Squad," which contains some truly sick, choking-simulating sounds.