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Deftones: Diamond Eyes 

Warner Bros./Reprise

From the start, Sacramento, Ca.'s Deftones were unjustly lumped in with the Korns and Bizkits of the world. It wasn't until their shoegaze-metal breakout, White Pony, that the critics started paying attention. Ten years later and the group is still riding the same heavy, heady wave. Recorded without bassist Chi Cheng, who suffered a coma-inducing car accident in 2008, Diamond Eyes is the group's most melodically realized effort. Nearly every track features a memorable, soaring hook courtesy the chronically underrated Chino Moreno. Cuts like the title track and "Royal" find the band melding crushing heaviness and lissome melody as adeptly as ever. Lyrically, though, Moreno is spotty: The screamed "Guns/razors/knives" chorus on "Rocket Skates" mars an otherwise superb track. But thankfully, few nü-metal mannerisms surface on Diamond Eyes, and though it's not the band's best album (Pony still holds that distinction) or their heaviest (2003's subtly inventive self-titled record), it's pretty damn good. 3 out of 5 stars.

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