Music Review: Deftones’ ‘Ohms’

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Photo Illustration by Gator Staff.

Jack Nathanson, Guest Writer

Ohms i​s the ninth studio album by alternative metal group Deftones, which was released on September 25. The album was produced by Terry Date, who last worked with the band on their 2003 self-titled record, ​Deftones​. They had a heavier sound in mind for this record, and they delivered it very well. Whether it’s the chugging nine string guitar or the melodic bass lines, Deftones delivers a killer record.

The first track, “Genesis,” was the second single released for the record. The track starts off with an eerie synth and a clean guitar playing chords that add a sense of nervousness, not knowing what comes next. Then, about a minute in, Stephen Carpenter comes in with a riff using the lower guitar strings adding to the depth of the track. The bridge of the song is my favorite though, because it reminds me of artists like TOOL or Nine Inch Nails.

The second track is called “Ceremony.” It reminds me a lot of their song “Change (In The House Of Flies)” from their record ​White Pony.​ It has the same song structure, which is a calming verse and a loud aggressive chorus.

The third track is my personal favorite, “Urantia.” This is by far the most brutal and heavy track on the record, but it fits so perfectly. Right off the bat, Stephen comes in with a chugging, brutal riff and Abe comes right in with a perfect match to the guitar, which leads to an amazingly good time. The Verses have the classic Deftones sound, and the chorus is a perfect blend of artists like Depeche Mode or The Cure. In the last two minutes they go all out, making this one of Deftones’ heaviest songs, and I love it.

Fourth is the song “Error,” an industrial song with screeching harmonics and heavy drums. This also has one of lead singer Chino’s best vocal performances, with loud high notes piercing the sky.

Next up is “The Spell Of Mathematics,” a more technically challenging song with odd time signatures and hard-to-play drum patterns. Chino sings in a low deep monotone for this track and it fits the song perfectly. The song goes into deep lyrical meaning, and during the chorus they get loud and put on a great performance.

“Pompeji” comes next as an acoustic jam most of the time, but adds some distortion during the chorus. This one is probably the most relaxed song on the album, with some power chords in there during the chorus. Overall, it’s a decent track.

“The Link is Dead” is the seventh track on the album, and it’s heavy. This song also uses odd time signatures and screeching harmonics, and Chino sings loud and clear over the heavy sound the band is making.

Next up is “Radiant City.” The bass really stands out on this one. A powerful, distorted bass comes in right away, and not soon after the guitar comes in, matching the bassline. Chino’s screaming is on point in this one, and if you’re a bassist, this song is for you.

“Headless” is the second to last track, and it’s really good. It starts off with a synth slowly building and getting more distorted as it goes, with a clean guitar plucking strings behind it making for an unnerving sound. Right after that, Stephen comes in with a heavy riff that blew me away the first time I heard it. The chorus is really catchy too, adding to the chords played during the verse. Then, it’s right back to the deep low string and we’ve got a headbanging tune.

Lastl is the title track, “Ohms,” the first single released for the album. After I heard this track, I knew Deftones was going to deliver a great record. This song reminds me a lot of their song “Risk” from their 2010 album ​Diamond Eyes​. The guitar in this song is on point, it’s especially great how easily they switch from heavy distortion screaming to a more relaxed verse. It’s really well done stuff here.

Overall​, Ohms i​sn’t on the same level as​ White Pony​ or ​Diamond Eyes, but ​​Deftones puts on a top tier performance and a great set of tracks that will get you headbanging right away, making this their best album in years. I would rate this album 4.5/5 stars. Deftones is back, and they aren’t going away any time soon.