I am sooo lucky when it comes to music. I have good friends who introduce me to bands quite early on in their career. I been listening to Bloodhound Gang for 5 years or so, Korn for about 6 years, Bush for about 5 years and so on......
Another band is the Deftones. The band who had appeared in Crow 2 as a live band. The band who recieved acclaim for their 'Around The Fur' album and more recently the 'White Pony' album. Were one of the brightest lights of the 'nu-metal' scene with magazines like Metal Hammer and Kerrang! and, more recently, NME clambering over themselves to try and type cast them to the metal sound of the Limp Bizkit, Korn and Coal Chamber generation.
This, their first album, was sorely over looked by almost everyone, but those who were lucky enough to buy it realise how great a band they are.
First song 'Bored' starts the album off the way their career has gone... fully, and uncompromisingly, in your face. Starting with the infectious riff intro of Stephen Carpenter and then with Chino Moreno doing what he does best... singing a song with feeling.
This is followed up by 'Minus Blindfold', a song which starts with an almost Coal Chamber-esque 'spooky-core' sound before turning becoming a song that Dimebag Darell or Robb Flynn would have been proud of, and 'One Weak, a slow, brooding piece which takes a different vein to the drawn out formula of the genre. Yes, it does rock, but not fully. Chino's voice is almost haunting in the song.
Then it is back to what the Deftones are great at with 'Nosebleed'... making you bounce. 'Lifter' has great riff that says from the outset METAL!!! And you wait through the first verse, just knowing it will happen eventually... and it doesn't. If a metal song could be described as a prick-teaser, then this is the one. It gets a bit louder at the chorus but it doesn't do what you expect... and maybe that is one of the great things about the Deftones... they don't allow themselves to be restricted by the boundaries of the genre...
'Root', however, does rock... another infectious riff, and then Chino becoming Jonathon Davis VERY briefly, before going back to his own, distinctive, vocal sound.
However, for me at least, the rest of the album is good.... until song 7... from this point on, it is the epitemie of the bands career. '7 Words' is a song I will never bore of. It starts with an almost marching beat beat and then BANG!!! The shit hits the fan. A chorus of such venom and power, it brings back comparisons to Machinehead again but with a white Zak De La Rocha singing over the top... and with bands of such greatness, who can complain about that?
'Birthmark' goes back to the slow yet melodic approach to start with and then goes intot he heavy sound in the middle, and in someways is the perfect way to prepare you for the next song, which is THE Deftones prime moment in my opinion.
This is their version of Blind or Loco or Take My Scars... all those songs, trademarks for their fans and REAL nu-metal anthems. Engine No. 9, A pure mosh song, no other word for it. Unrelenting and keeping you on your toes.... a full on barrage of noise and beat... and boy are you grateful for it. If one song will convert you to this band, it is this.
The album finishes with 'Fireal' a song over six and a half minutes long that mixes the slow composure of the band with a screechy chorus that Dani Filth would be proud of.
A nu-metal album with no Fred Durst in sight... or any other 'celebrity' collaborations either. This is an album that DEFINETLY deserves a slot in your collection along with '$3 Bills Y'All' and 'Korn'. The thing is, these 3 albums all have something, unfortunately, in common... all 3 bands haven't been able to emulate how good these albums were since. But, at least, they gave us a slice of nu-metal fantasy.. and for that, I am eternally grateful.
The Deftones are Chino Moreno, Abe Cunningham, Chi Cheng and Stephen Carpenter.
8Colin Weston's Score