Located at Morningside College

CD New Release Review

Ohms is the ninth studio album by the Sacramento California band Deftones. This album comes off the heels of their previous effort 2016’s Gore. Deftones continue to venture into new territory with this latest release. With the band yet again suppressing fans with something different from their previous works.  I just wish these ideas were more fleshed out because Ohms is a difficult album to listen to. 

The album features ten songs on its tracklist running a modest forty-six minutes in length. Ohms kicks off with “Genesis,” which features these odd booming synthesizers that overstay their welcome throughout the project. Vocalist Chino Moreno has always had a unique voice that has changed from album to album. While comparing Moreno’s wide vocal range on albums such as “Around the Fur” and “Koi No Yokan,” Moreno’s performance on the opener is just nonsensical screaming.

Further down the tracklist, “Error” is exactly that. With repetitive instrumentals that sound like something off the band’s debut album “Adrenaline,” the band yet again fails to expand on their core sound. Instead of favoring meaningless lyrics that hold no weight. The second half of the song turns into a synth-heavy mess that sounds like a bad Bjork song. 

One of the few bright spots on this album is “The Spell of Mathematics” while vocally this track seems directionless, there are some things going for the instrumentals. With layered guitars and synths that are much easier to approach. It’s one of the more tolerable songs on the tracklist.

With “Radiant City” Deftones draw inspiration from their previous work. In fact, sonically it sounds like it doesn’t belong on this album at all. It sounds more like a “Diamond Eyes” B-side with fast droning guitars and the clear vocal range that you would expect on a Deftones project.

It seems like Chino Moreno and company are determined to continue experimenting with the sound that made the band successful early on. The first half of this album in particular is a slog to get through with little to no engaging elements. While the band starts getting their act together in the second half, it’s too little too late. Even If you have listened and enjoyed some of the band’s previous work. There are just too few redeeming qualities to be able to recommend it even to die-hard fans of the genera. Ohms is available on streaming services including a physical CD release. 

2/5

1 Comment

  1. fuglsang

    A good first attempt at reviewing, Matthew. Most of the pieces are ere, and you write knowledgeably. The recording background, I suppose.

    But as with any media writing, you need to get the reader’s attention quickly. Work on your lead. There’s something going on in the last graf that could also work in the first graf, so that you could give readers a nice bracket.

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