Before bass player Chi Cheng’s 2008 car accident left him comatose, Deftones were working on an album titled Eros. But the band didn’t feel right forging ahead without Cheng, so they shelved Eros and waited patiently before finally deciding to work on a different project with Sergio Vega, former bassist of the post-hardcore band Quicksand. Diamond Eyes was recorded with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Alice In Chains, Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver, Stone Sour) who helped give Deftones’ sixth album a much more atmospheric sound than 2006’s Saturday Night Wrist. “Royal” leans on dark Sabbathy sludge and a pummeling rhythm section, but singer Chino Moreno contrasts his blistering screams with breathy crooning. Moreno’s lyrical matter detours from negative themes and cathartic complaints on Diamond Eyes — he even stated in an interview that Cheng’s accident brought the band closer together, giving the album a “positive zest for life.” Standout track “Rocket Skates” best exemplifies this with imagery similar to “Knife Party” from 2000’s White Pony.