In a recent poll from a certain unnamed music publication, Muse were voted as the greatest rock band in the world. It is well documented that Muse wouldn’t be Muse without their idols; Deftones. It is quite clear from the first note of saturnine opener ‘Swerve City’, the old-boys are hungry to reclaim their title.
Koi No Yokan, or “Promise of Love” for those of us not too familiar with Japanese, is the 7th giving from the Sacramento quintet. Just two years after their rather flaccid and sodden Diamond Eyes, the experimental fivesome are back with a more sinister, bloodier beast. Following the near-fatal accident of Chi Cheng the band’s unmistakable bassist which indefinitely postponed the still unheard Eros, Diamond Eyes lacked the tenacity and ferocity of its predecessors.
Moreno and co., still arguably the most progressive metal band of their generation, manage to find a gentle equilibrium of savage and destructive low-hung riffs with tender shades of raw emotion.
From the RATM mosh-inducing opening bar of ‘Swerve City’, KNY swings from heavily layered basslines to dreamy synths. The album orbits around the laid-bare lythium of single ‘Leathers’, a typically glorious lyrical masterpiece from a gallant, unfastened Moreno; “show your insides on your outsides”. ‘Tempest’ is a melodic nod to ‘Change (In the House of Flies)’ with its unadulterated punishing progressive fretwork to a monolithic refrain. The album encompasses an enduring battle between the fury of Carpenter’s guitar and Moreno’s revered steamrolling vocals. ‘Rosemary’ is an epic 7-minute immersion of dark cerebral romanticism, a lyrically sobering reflection calming the storm that has gone before it; “we slow down, as the engines stall”. The steam train powers on to the final cymbal slap of closing track ‘What Happened To You?‘
This may be no White Pony, their now 12 year old chef-d’oeuvre, but it is return to their former resplendence. Koi No Yokan is a staggering, much needed alt-metal-revival.
Adam is listening to – PJ Harvey – ‘White Chalk’