A long four years separate Diamond Eyes from Saturday Night Wrist, four years that were sadly packed with peril for Deftones. Bassist Chi Cheng suffered injuries so severe in a November 2008 auto accident the band took a hiatus, eventually honoring prior touring commitments by hiring Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega, and eventually cutting a full album with him on board and scrapping a near-completed album in the process. Given this serious trauma, it’s only logical that Diamond Eyes functioned as musical therapy for Deftones, but the surprise is that it has little downcast lyrical angst-mining, preferring atmosphere to bloodletting. Naturally, there is quite a bit of roiling darkness here -- they’re Cure-loving metalheads, it’s in their blood -- but there’s shade and light, control of texture, with the band deepening rather than expanding. Above all, it’s a mature album: Deftones skirted the obvious response to their tragedy, realizing that the left turn is a more rewarding journey.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine