With Carpenter's style of overloaded distortion coating his chord choices and progressions, it at times sounds similar to what dream metal band Hum – a Chicago band who was also compared to the Pumpkins – did in the mid-'90s. "Knife Party" from White Pony and the light, quiet and yearning guitar parts that start "Goon Squad" from this new release are the most clear instances of the Deftones' Hum-isms.
Not everything works on the new record. "Graphic Nature," despite its scary minor-second guitar runs and heavy crunch, dirges on and never takes off into an exciting direction. And if there's one thing fans can expect from a Deftones record, it's a bit of experimentation and sudden twists and turns. "Goon Squad" is a perfect example. Just when the quiet guitars have lured you into a rather sleepy state of consciousness, the band explodes into a super heavy groove—provided mainly by Carpenter riffing on the lowest strings of his 8-string axe. But even when such twists do occur, as on the quiet-loud-quiet "Rosemary," it drags along for too long (at nearly seven minutes).
Those tracks aside, Koi No Yokan is the best and most balanced record the Deftones have released since White Pony. With the band celebrating its 25th anniversary next year, it's quite an achievement that this veteran band is still able to show the kids how the balance of melodic and ear-shredding alternative metal can and should be done.
Check out the official website of the Deftones for more info on how to purchase the new album (which is now available worldwide), current tour dates and other band news.