CD Review:

The Deftones strike again. The latest album from the band hit record stores on Halloween, the perfect date to release an eerie experimental metal album.

The Deftones are a nu-metal band from Sacramento, Calif. The band consists of Chino Moreno (vocals, guitar), Stephen Carpenter (guitar), Abe Cunningham (drums), Chi Cheng (bass) and Frank Delgado (turntables/keyboards).

They are legends in their own time and are credited as one of the fathers of the nu-metal movement or what critics call “rage rock.”

The band first landed on the music scene in 1995 when they released their debut album ‘Adrenaline.’ The album had moderate success with ‘7 words’ and ‘Bored’ being minor hits with the alternative crowd.

Their second album ‘Around the Fur’ was released in 1997 and grew to become a huge hit being certified as Gold in 1999. Tracks ‘My Own Summer (Shove it)’ and ‘Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)’ were major hits. ‘My Own Summer (Shove it) was a song also featured on the ‘Matrix Soundtrack.’

The Deftones reached their maturity when they released their third album, ‘White Pony’ in 2000. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 100 Charts and reached multi-platinum status. The major hit on this album was ‘Change (In the House of Flies),’ which was featured on the ‘Queen of the Damned Soundtrack.’ The Deftones also received a Grammy for Best Metal Performance for the song ‘Elite.’

But in 2003, the Deftones started to go downhill with the release of their self-titled fourth album. The first single, ‘Minerva,’ was a great disappointment to metal heads. The song was airy, melodic and slow paced lacking the primal energy of previous albums. The band made up for ‘Minerva’ with their second single ‘Hexagram’ a song worthy of head banging.

I first heard songs off the new album in September at the Family Values Tour and sadly I must say it put me to sleep. With the newest album ‘Saturday Night Wrist’ the band has almost completely abandoned metal.

The first single, ‘Hole in the Earth,’ has that airy, melodic, stellar, slow paced sound first heard in ‘Minerva.’ The only songs off the album that may save the Deftones from the ridicule of metal heads are ‘Rapture,’ ‘Rats! Rats! Rats!’ and ‘Beware.’ These songs have the typical nu-metal sound; fast paced, tribal drumming, bass guitars in drop D and a vocalist who sings with a raw primal scream. Interestingly enough, the album features a song titled ‘U, U, D, D, L, R, L, R, A, B, Select, Start’ a widely used Konami video game cheat code.

The Deftones of the past sound similar to other nu-metal artists such as KoRn, Staind, and Taproot. This new sound coming from the band is somewhat unique, yet it does remind me of Incubus another band to go from hard and heavy to a more melodic sound.

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