Deftones blur newness and nostalgia on long-awaited single “Ohms” – track review
Finally, after countless teasers, Deftones have officially announced their long-awaited, highly anticipated followup to 2016's Gore, and released the first single. The album is called Ohms, it's due September 25 via Reprise, and the first single is the title track, which closes the album.
Ohms reunites Deftones with producer Terry Date, who worked on their classic albums Around the Fur, White Pony, and Deftones, and Terry just knows how to get the perfect sound for Deftones, which immediately comes through on "Ohms." Deftones have been on fire since 2010's Diamond Eyes gave their career a second wind -- they've become a rare band to emerge out of the alternative metal boom of the late '90s and early 2000s and go on to have serious longevity -- but as good as their last few albums were, none balanced rawness, atmosphere, and clarity like the Terry Date-produced albums did, and that vibe reappears on "Ohms." The song is a real air guitar-worthy riff-feast, but it sooner recalls the ethereal feel of White Pony than the blunt force of Deftones' most all-caps METAL songs. It's not a single that screams "we're back!" or that sounds like it's gonna have the same widespread impact as "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)" or "Change (In the House of Flies)" or "Minerva," but it's a song that gradually drills its way into your psyche and sounds better with each listen. (To compare it to another alt-metal band with surprising longevity, it gives me a similar feeling to when Tool finally released the lead single off last year's Fear Inoculum and it was a slow-burner rather than an "Ænema.")
It's also no small feat how relevant this new Deftones song sounds 25 years after they released their debut album. Along with bands like Hum (who returned for the first time in two decades with an extremely good album two months ago) and Failure, Deftones have been a core influence on hardcore, punk, metal, and emo bands who aim to explore a shoegazier side, and "Ohms" sounds as fresh as a lot of the young, hungry bands that Deftones have inspired (like Higher Power, Loathe, and Greet Death, to name a few from the past year). They could've been relics of the nu metal era. Instead, you could mistake their new single for any number of the buzziest new bands in heavy music if you didn't know any better.
28 Essential Songs from the Shoegaze / Heavy Crossover
Listen and/or subscribe to our playlist of all 28 songs (with MBV's "Feed Me With Your Kiss" replacing "You Made Me Realise" because the latter isn't on Spotify):