As heard on latest single Genesis, following Frank Delgado’s disarmingly soothing synth intro, they bound into the record with Stef Carpenter taking heads off, plucking another ominous, plundering guitar line from his armoury. It was on the self-titled first single and album closer, though, where a soaring, almost uplifting-sounding riff signalled something fresh and surprising from the Sacramento gang. On the eight songs in between you’ll find lots to love and ponder upon, with a planet of nuance to unpack. There’s loss, lust, religion and rebirth in the details, or at least hints of those themes anyway. Most intriguing may be the juxtaposition of the apparent soul-searching journey Pompeji embarks upon (complete with the sound of water – representing baptism? – in its final third), which bleeds into the jittery fury of This Link Is Dead, ultimately coming to the repeated mantra and none-more-nihilistic conclusion that well, no actually, ‘You’re on your own.’ Ohms may feel like a record you instinctively know because of its waypoints, but the destinations may only reveal themselves fully over time. If ever.
With a band so universally adored as Deftones are it’s almost an act of sacrilege to award their efforts with anything less than a perfect score, but while Ohms delivers on all expected fronts, it’s in the unexpected where things fall just that little bit short. The unerring familiarity, the lack of surprise, and the near-flawless balance struck between all aspects of the band’s appeal arguably works against it. You’ve seen them pull off all of these tricks before. But oh what tricks.
For fans of: Glassjaw, Baroness, Tool
Ohms is released on September 25 via Reprise – pre-order/pre-save your copy now.
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