Recently, Deftones posted the picture below on Instagram with the hashtags ‘#2019’ and ‘#newmusic.’ That, plus recent posts by keyboardist/turntabler Frank Delgado, suggest that the band are gearing up to release their new album this year.
Which, more than anything, leaves us to wonder what we should expect. Deftones have progressed so much and revamped their sound so many times that one can’t simply expect a continuation of any specific vibe on their new record. Will it be brooding and experimental like 2012’s Koi No Yokan? Trippy and uplifting, like their latest album, Gore? Or maybe a return to their classic sound, ala 1997’s Around the Fur?
We’ll keep speculating until the album’s out. For now, though, here are seven things we’re hoping to hear on Deftones’ new album.
1. Stephen Carpenter’s Nine-String Guitar
When ESP posted this picture of Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter holding a custom nine-string guitar, many a stan drooled at the thought of hearing Stephen play it on the new album. And after listening to these downtuned versions of the band’s classics, we’re super curious to know what those extra strings can do.
2. Chino Taking On Even Stranger Vocal Techniques
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of 2016’s Gore was Chino Moreno’s vocal performance. A track like Prayers/Triangles makes you realize just how far he has come as a singer. We’re stoked to hear how Chino’s vocals, and the ways in which they’re layered and utilized, have changed this time around.
3. At Least One Real Rager
Maybe this is just the nu-metal kids in us talking, but we’d love to hear Deftones go full-on aggro on at least one track. Gore was an amazing album, and it had ultra-heavy songs like Doomed User and the title-track, but for better or worse, it had a dreamier feel, overall. We’re hoping for one more track like Rocket Skates or Poltergeist – one of those Deftones tracks that just grinds.
4. Something Truly Catchy
On the other side of the spectrum, we also think Deftones could do something massively catchy on the new album. Their more recent material has definitely opened up the band’s sound and abilities, but their flirtations with pop sounds have made us curious as to how far Deftones could take their listenability, leaving us interested to hear the band drop a huge, infectious hit single.
5. More Bluesy Funk Metal Rhythms
Some of our favorite recent Deftones moments have been on songs like You’ve Seen The Butcher and Hearts/Wires, where drummer Abe Cunningham has gone a little funkier with his rhythms. That bluesy, bob-along drumming adds a lot of catchy structure to Deftones’ increasingly long-form and shimmery sound.
6. Unexpected Guests
Deftones certainly don’t need any guest appearances on their new album – they can certainly hold their own. But with that said, their music can be incredible fertile for guest vocalists (just listen to Maynard James Keenan’s appearance on White Pony’s Passenger). An appearance by someone like, say, Chelsea Wolfe could be cool, unexpected, and really, really powerful.
The past couple of Deftones albums have been huge and menacing in their own right, but overall, they’ve been extremely beautiful. Yet on a track like Acid Hologram, you can hear some real creepy, shadowy vibes brewing. What if the band took that to its full extent and gave us a truly eeevil Deftones track? Knowing the band, it wouldn’t be satanic or spooky, either, it’d be brimming with the type of psychological terror that gets deep into your bones… and we love that stuff.
The follow-up to Deftones’ 2016 album Gore will be arriving in 2020.
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