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"Ohms" - Deftones New Album

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Offline Draken

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Offline Vesanic

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I can completely understand why V is somewhat disillusioned with the band's work following Cheng's death.  It's simply not the same band for many reasons and in many ways.  They are much safer now.  And it's not that Cheng was the source of the band's edge/mystique, or that they wouldn't have progressed this way should that accident not have occurred.  It's impossible to nail down the change to one particular reason, but safe to say it's not the same band in many ways.

That said, I still find their past works - particularly WP, ST, some of SNW, and Eros era material - absolutely enthralling, especially live footage from 1999-2004.  That connection is so deep and, after 20 years of being a fan, will never be dulled.  And it's what keeps me coming back here as well. 

As far as Ohms, I'm frankly surprised so many are in love with album.  I certainly don't need WP, ST, or older material rehashed and duplicated.  But what I've come to expect from the band are interesting, new ideas/riffs, profound lyrics, unique melodies, and unmistakable depth. I didn't find any of those things on this record.  Instead, I found some contrived/lazy riffs, uninspired or cringey lyrics, and a band phoning it in with a producer who are all past their creative peaks. 

It KILLS me to say these things about a band I love so dearly, but if something doesn't click with me personally, then that's my opinion.  Of course, everyone has their own, and no opinion is right/wrong, but some are more shared than others, which can shut out dissenting ones. I will say the riff on "Radiant City" is pretty badass, but after at least 100 listens to Ohms since release, I still can't hear any of the songs in my head when trying to recall them.  For me a forgettable record, but truly happy it resonated with so many others. 

And in no way does my experience with Ohms at all put a dent in my appreciation for the band I grew up on and with many years ago.

10/10

I remember being fascinated by The Spell of Mathematics and the outro to Pompeji when the summer leak occurred. Still I believe they're the two most interesting parts of this record. If I were analyzing those bits with the standards of the previous releases, I would say those two bits are where I only started to feel the "Deftones vibe" again, whatever that means. The depth, the intrigue, the quality, it was getting there. But that's the thing: it was only getting there. I loved the outro to Pompeji and remember being super disappointed nothing on the record accompanied, finished what this bit had started. And the rest of the record falls flat in comparison. I even remember feeling very emotional upon hearing that outro. I was convinced that my favorite band were going in deep again, after all this time with records that wouldn't do half of the job, and this record would finally approach the quality of pre-Sergio era.

Now in retrospect, with a realistic sense of expectation, Ohms in great. While the old me with the old standards would say only those two bits are interesting. I know it sounds weird so I hope you can appreciate the duality of my perspective. I've talked with a mate of mine who has felt completely let down since Diamond Eyes, and she feels exactly the same way about those parts of Ohms. I can't even tell you how much she hates Black Stallion. She feels the band has been self-sabotaging since Diamond Eyes, and I will be honest and say I understand what she means, their popularity barely being an argument. I felt shortchanged with the WP20 release. I still bought it, because I love the band. But I'm with her, I think there is wasted potential. I'll still support whatever they put out, I just won't necessarily be silent about it as an individual. Too bad if I'm shooting myself in the foot, I don't feel the need to compromise.

If I were still deep in old standards, I wouldn't like the title track, and I fucking love the guitar work on the title track. The "crescendo" riff before the repeated intro at the end had me grinning hard when I listened to it on Spotify on release day.
« Last Edit: Jan 06, 2021, 05:08 PM by Vesanic »


Offline Inkblades

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I know the lyrics are "I drink the poison right from your hands", but I hear it as "I drink the poison right from your ass" every single time.
« Last Edit: Jan 07, 2021, 04:01 AM by Inkblades »


Offline mandalay

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Great write-up, V, and thanks for sharing.   I agree the outro of Pompeji is pretty damn interesting and moody.  I honestly think it could have opened the record.  It feels a bit tacked onto the end of Pompeji.  As far as the outro of Spell, nothing makes me cringe more than the visual of Zach Hill and whatever other hipsters they recruited to snap their fingers in the studio.  I can just picture it, and now I can't listen to it lol.


Offline 976-EVIL

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I know the lyrics are "I drink the poison right from your hands", but I hear it as "I drink the poison right from your ass" every single time.

LOL! Thanks dude, you just ruined the song for me...
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Offline Inkblades

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Offline sing blue silver

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I can completely understand why V is somewhat disillusioned with the band's work following Cheng's death.  It's simply not the same band for many reasons and in many ways.  They are much safer now.  And it's not that Cheng was the source of the band's edge/mystique, or that they wouldn't have progressed this way should that accident not have occurred.  It's impossible to nail down the change to one particular reason, but safe to say it's not the same band in many ways.

That said, I still find their past works - particularly WP, ST, some of SNW, and Eros era material - absolutely enthralling, especially live footage from 1999-2004.  That connection is so deep and, after 20 years of being a fan, will never be dulled.  And it's what keeps me coming back here as well. 

As far as Ohms, I'm frankly surprised so many are in love with album.  I certainly don't need WP, ST, or older material rehashed and duplicated.  But what I've come to expect from the band are interesting, new ideas/riffs, profound lyrics, unique melodies, and unmistakable depth. I didn't find any of those things on this record.  Instead, I found some contrived/lazy riffs, uninspired or cringey lyrics, and a band phoning it in with a producer who are all past their creative peaks. 

It KILLS me to say these things about a band I love so dearly, but if something doesn't click with me personally, then that's my opinion.  Of course, everyone has their own, and no opinion is right/wrong, but some are more shared than others, which can shut out dissenting ones. I will say the riff on "Radiant City" is pretty badass, but after at least 100 listens to Ohms since release, I still can't hear any of the songs in my head when trying to recall them.  For me a forgettable record, but truly happy it resonated with so many others. 

And in no way does my experience with Ohms at all put a dent in my appreciation for the band I grew up on and with many years ago.

10/10

I remember being fascinated by The Spell of Mathematics and the outro to Pompeji when the summer leak occurred. Still I believe they're the two most interesting parts of this record. If I were analyzing those bits with the standards of the previous releases, I would say those two bits are where I only started to feel the "Deftones vibe" again, whatever that means. The depth, the intrigue, the quality, it was getting there. But that's the thing: it was only getting there. I loved the outro to Pompeji and remember being super disappointed nothing on the record accompanied, finished what this bit had started. And the rest of the record falls flat in comparison. I even remember feeling very emotional upon hearing that outro. I was convinced that my favorite band were going in deep again, after all this time with records that wouldn't do half of the job, and this record would finally approach the quality of pre-Sergio era.

Now in retrospect, with a realistic sense of expectation, Ohms in great. While the old me with the old standards would say only those two bits are interesting. I know it sounds weird so I hope you can appreciate the duality of my perspective. I've talked with a mate of mine who has felt completely let down since Diamond Eyes, and she feels exactly the same way about those parts of Ohms. I can't even tell you how much she hates Black Stallion. She feels the band has been self-sabotaging since Diamond Eyes, and I will be honest and say I understand what she means, their popularity barely being an argument. I felt shortchanged with the WP20 release. I still bought it, because I love the band. But I'm with her, I think there is wasted potential. I'll still support whatever they put out, I just won't necessarily be silent about it as an individual. Too bad if I'm shooting myself in the foot, I don't feel the need to compromise.

If I were still deep in old standards, I wouldn't like the title track, and I fucking love the guitar work on the title track. The "crescendo" riff before the repeated intro at the end had me grinning hard when I listened to it on Spotify on release day.

I've been coming to the same conclusion about their post-Chi material. None of it has ever lived up to the run they had from ATF to SNW but I do still get that same Deftones feeling from a lot of it. It's a bit less mysterious and etherial and a little more polished and radio-friendly but it still has a lot of the elements I enjoy from the early records.

I do love Ohms quite a bit but I do think the return of Terry Date wasn't what I'd hoped. Some of those elements he brought to the production were missing (the huge drums, the full sounding guitars, Chino's crooning, etc.) so I was a bit underwhelmed by that. However, at least it was competently mixed and mastered so it doesn't sound like Gore (I love Gore but that mix is atrocious).

I didn't think you'd like Ohms for some reason Romain but I'm glad to hear you've been changing your perspective and expectations with their more recent output.

Maybe I'll start coming back to these boards more often again. I've been out of the Deftones fan scene for quite some time.


Offline rainnyx4

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There's a whole lot of nostalgia and fetishization of this band among the fanbase. Yes, Chi was an awesome dude and Terry Date has been involved with some of their best work, but I hardly think it's accurate to say this band has fallen off post-Chi and that they need Date to get their best sound. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember reading some interview that stated Stephen was the main songwriter for much of their career. That he wrote most all of the strings which includes the bass (until Chino came along), and had a hand in some of the drums and keys as well. I'm sure Chi wrote his share of good stuff and there's a certain intangibility to his presence that must be acknowledged and must have had an effect on the vibe of the band and the writing. But to say that this band is somehow not as good without Chi and with Sergio is kind of nuts. Sorry, but I believe Sergio to be the better technical player and writer. In fact, without Sergio, I think this band may have had to call it a day. From what we've heard of Eros, it didn't sound that interesting, and I think the band agrees today. Stephen's writing has fallen off quite a bit in my opinion and a lot of the more interesting stuff I believe is coming from Sergio. KNY, and to a lesser extent DE, were new creative peaks for the band and were done without Chi or Date. They clearly don't require Date to make great stuff. Stephen has been the weakest link on these last two. Dude needs to smoke less weed and go back to the 7-string at least. Leave the bass playing to Sergio and start writing more progressive stuff. I'm not asking for Tool or Oceansize, but something between their current sound and that would be the way to go.
« Last Edit: Jan 13, 2021, 01:04 AM by rainnyx4 »


Offline laurapalmer

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Stephen's writing has fallen off quite a bit in my opinion and a lot of the more interesting stuff I believe is coming from Sergio. Stephen has been the weakest link on these last two. Dude needs to smoke less weed and go back to the 7-string at least. Leave the bass playing to Sergio and start writing more progressive stuff.

I agree with these statements completely


Offline Vesanic

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I think the guitar works on the album are pretty damn good. I love the breakdown on Genesis, the chorus riff on Ceremony, the rhythmic use of the 9-string on Spell. The riffs on the title track are beautiful.


Offline LG95

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I think the way they write songs has evolved which means Stef's work tends to be more textural than before, especially on the last two records. Like TSOM for example supposedly originated from Abe and Sergio, and they built it from there. It feels like a Stef song because it's dark and sludgy but he's really just jumping aboard someone else's idea and expanding it. The title track is more an example of Stef's riffing and unsurprisingly it's because the song originated from him.
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Offline Inkblades

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Stephen's work on the last four albums is a bit of a mixed bag for me, varying from song to song. For every boring, uninspired riff like the ones on Beauty School, the Diamond Eyes title track or What Happened to You?, there's really unique playing like his work on Royal and Acid Hologram. Sometimes the simplicity of his riffs works to beautiful effect (Genesis), other times it leaves something to be desired (Swerve City).
« Last Edit: Jan 13, 2021, 10:35 PM by Inkblades »


Offline LG95

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I don't understand not liking the Diamond Eyes and Swerve City riffs. Two of the biggest riffs Stef's ever written.

Both far better than Genesis.
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Offline Inkblades

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Dislike is a strong word - those songs have other elements that make them listenable for me (Swerve's bridge is really solid), but I just don't think either feature his best work. The Genesis riff has more groove and a certain swing to it, while the Diamond Eyes and Swerve riffs are a bit leaden to me (the DE riff in particular). Just one man's opinion.
« Last Edit: Jan 14, 2021, 08:48 AM by Inkblades »


Offline Penicks

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I don't understand not liking the Diamond Eyes and Swerve City riffs. Two of the biggest riffs Stef's ever written.

Both far better than Genesis.
they're boring


Offline E-Money

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The Swerve City riff is by far my least favorite riff heís ever created ... so boring . Same with youíve seen the butcher ... both do absolutely nothing for me.

Wanting Stephen to branch out more.. I thought what he did on Smile was really cool. In my opinion heís writing has really gone downhill since he moved to the 8 and 9 string.. his heaviest and best material came on the 6 and 7ís for sure... but thatís just my opinion..

Nothing compares to BQAD, Lotion, Korea, Change, Hex, WGTB, KimDrac

Someone said a few days ago that they just seem safe now and I totally agree. Way less mysterious than they used to be. More predictable now and I hate that. And I feel the same about their live shows. We donít get many special moments anymore. And very little jams or passages inbetween songs anymore. Itís like the atmosphere just isnít there. I remember Frank doing the coolest stuff inbetween songs back in the day. I really miss that.


Offline rainnyx4

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Got no problem with simplistic riffs, as long as it sounds fresh, and there are other aspects of the song that keep it interesting. One of my biggest gripes with this band is when they rip themselves off.  We certainly don't need anymore 0-2-3 type riffs or fake bridges that just amount to playing one of the main guitar riffs without the rest of the band (Moana, etc.) or a completely predictable drone (Rocket Skates). I have no problem with the simplistic riffs on stuff like Swerve City or (to a lesser extent) Diamond Eyes. The thing that makes Swerve City for me is the little solo they threw in there. Again, simplistic, but it was super fresh and catchy. Also, the song doesn't overstay its welcome. Compare that with Hexagram that just drones on and on with the verse riff. If it had been a short number like Swerve City or they had done a proper bridge or something, I'd be ecstatic about that song. Great riffs in that song, but it just gets tired.

I hear a lot of the same problems with the latest album. So many great ideas, but they just don't quite nail the execution. I'm fine with the simple Genesis verse riff. But the chorus sounds very derivative of Poltergeist. And damn it, the bridge. That moment when Steph changes up the riff for like 10 seconds, I was so pumped. And then back to the chorus riff? So boring. That easily could've been something that totally took off (a solo or a proper bridge?) but they just took the easy way out. Same thing when they get to the next to last riff on Ohms. I was like "Hell yeah!" Sounds so much like Hum and I thought they were going to do something similar where they build that riff and throw in a bunch of variations to throw your brain off. But nope, just back to the intro riff and then it ends. These guys are the ultimate slackers that waste their potential.


Offline Inkblades

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The problem you have with Genesis is the same problem I have with Swerve. Verses and bridge are great, but then right back to that "dun dun dun dadadun" riff in the chorus and outro. Genesis feels a lot more expansive to me. The outro, for instance, has the main riff but with that extra soloing over it to give it variance.

Also, the Genesis chorus sounds like the Poltergeist chorus? Don't hear that at all. I hear a slight similarity in sound to Leathers (my favorite song off Koi), and Genesis is my favorite from Ohms, so there's probably something there. Honestly, I can try to quantify why something works or doesn't work for me, but a lot of it is just about a particular sound of Deftones that I'm biased to and which songs I'm getting a visceral reaction from.

And since we're talking about Stef riffs, just want to give a little love to his unloved Prayers/Triangles riffs. The soft, melodic one in the verses is straight up beautiful to me.
« Last Edit: Jan 15, 2021, 09:58 PM by Inkblades »


Offline nicklav

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The Swerve City riff is by far my least favorite riff heís ever created ... so boring . Same with youíve seen the butcher ... both do absolutely nothing for me.

Wanting Stephen to branch out more.. I thought what he did on Smile was really cool. In my opinion heís writing has really gone downhill since he moved to the 8 and 9 string.. his heaviest and best material came on the 6 and 7ís for sure... but thatís just my opinion..

Nothing compares to BQAD, Lotion, Korea, Change, Hex, WGTB, KimDrac

Someone said a few days ago that they just seem safe now and I totally agree. Way less mysterious than they used to be. More predictable now and I hate that. And I feel the same about their live shows. We donít get many special moments anymore. And very little jams or passages inbetween songs anymore. Itís like the atmosphere just isnít there. I remember Frank doing the coolest stuff inbetween songs back in the day. I really miss that.

My thoughts exactly. The 8-string was the downfall.   


Offline E-Money

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I feel like Genesis could have gone somewhere really incredible... the bridge is some of the best music they have created and I absolutely hate how it just goes back into the chorus. Could have been a really special song . I feel like right when weíre about to go somewhere incredible they just donít quite get there anymore. Iíve really felt that way since Chi passed. I still love this band with all my heart and I hope Ohms isnít the last time I get to hear new Deftones.