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Adrenaline (1995) , 6.5/10
Around The Fur (1997), 6/10
White Pony (2000), 7/10
Deftones (2003), 5/10
Saturday Night Wrist (2006), 5.5/10
Team Sleep: Team Sleep (2005), 5/10
Diamond Eyes (2010) , 5/10
Koi No Yokan (2012), 6/10
Gore (2016), 4/10
Ohms (2020), 5.5/10

Deftones came from Sacramento (California) to bring a new gospel of angry heavy metal to the masses of alienated kids. Adrenaline (Maverick, 1995) wears its Black Sabbath and Metallica influences (Bored) but also vents visceral anger in Engine No 9 (their 1984 debut single) and delves into the harrowing psychodramas of Fist and Birthmark. While mostly the album remains in the shadow of Korn and Nirvana (One Weak, 7 Words), the band shows a sharper edge and a more mature take on the issues.

Around The Fur (Maverick, 1997) stretches the range of their songwriting and performance with songs like My Own Summer, Rickets and Be Quiet and Drive that mold anger into real music. The result is not too different from what Smashing Pumpkins have been doing, although the Deftones sound rawer and unpolished. Moreno is the real reason to listen to the album: his vocal style has become more and more acrobatic and versatile (Lhabia).

Adrenaline and Around The Fur were instant hits for a generation that consumes and burns melodic grunge like cocacola, but hardly left a mark on the genre. With White Pony (Maverick, 2000) Deftones achieved a sound that is both classical and subversive. Drummer Abe Cunningham and bassist Chi Cheng make up a forceful and subtle rhythm section. Guitarist Stephen Carpenter and dj Frank Delgado add color to vocalist Chino Moreno's passionate outbursts. The sinister, sick, deformed howl of Felticeira, mixed with waves of guitar distortions, the titanic cry of Passenger, immersed in the sound of bomber-like guitars, not to mention psychodramas like Rx Queen and especially Change, carefully balance dynamics and violence, hypnotic beats and atmospheric guitars, neurotic noises and mellow vocals. The grindcore spasm of Elite and the punk-rock vehemence of Street Carp and the crashing grunge of Korea attest the underlying desperation. The closing Pink Maggit sounds like a kid alone in his bedroom, daydreaming and sobbing in the dark.
The catchy brutality of the music is matched by profound and erudite lyrics that deal with alienation and the meaning of life. Where Korn and Tool are fundamentally teenager music, Deftones are adult philosophers.
By those standards, the quiet, eerie Digital Bath, sung like in a dream, is a ballad, the intensely emotional Back To School is a church hymn, and the whispered, relaxed, futuristic lullaby Teenager is the track of another band, perhaps a prelude to Moreno's solo future.

Moreno's side project was called Team Sleep, a trio of two guitars and a turntable, and initially played guitar-based ambient music. Carpenter's side-project was called Kush and played just the opposite: super-heavy funk-industrial-metal. It includes Fear Factory's rhythm section and a rapper.

On Deftones (Maverick, 2003) the Deftones can still balance on a thin wire between heavy-metal machoism (When Girls) and folkish tenderness (Battle Axe), but also veer towards poppish triviality (Bloody Cape). Increased melodic prowess (Minerva and Lucky You) and increased electronic and digital sophistication by Delgado transform teenage angst into adult philosophizing (Death Blow).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Ottavio Donadoni) I Deftones vennero da Sacramento (California) per consegnare un nuovo credo di furioso heavy metal alle masse di ragazzini alienati. Adrenaline (Maverick, 1995) mostra l'influenza dei Black Sabbath e dei Metallica (Bored) ma sfoga anche rabbia viscerale in Engine No 9 (loro singolo di debutto del '94).Anche se, per la maggior parte, il disco rimane all'ombra di Korn e Nirvana (One Weak, 7 Words), il gruppo esibisce un taglio pi¨ acuto e una presa pi¨ matura sui temi trattati.

Around The Fur (Maverick, 1997) allarga il campo delle loro composizioni ed esecuzioni con canzoni come My Own Summer (reminiscent of Dream Theater's A Change of Season), Rickets e Be Quiet and Drive che plasmano collera in musica reale. Il risultato non Ŕ molto dissimile da ci˛ che stavano facendo gli Smashing Pumpkins , sebbene i Deftones suonino pi¨ crudi e grezzi.

Adrenaline e Around The Fur divennero successi immediati per una generazione che consumava grunge melodico come cocacola, ma difficilmente lasciavano traccia all'interno del genere. Con White Pony (Maverick, 2000) i Deftones hanno fatto il disco che Tool e Korn volevano fare. I ragazzi di Sacramento hanno conseguito un sound contemporaneamente classico e sovversivo. Il batterista Abe Cunningham e il bassista Chi Cheng costruiscono una sezione ritmica potente e indefinibile.Il chitarrista Stephen Carpenter e il dj Frank Delgado colorano le veementi esplosioni del cantante Chino Moreno. L' orecchiabile brutalitÓ di canzoni complesse quali Fletcheira, Digital Bath, Passenger si misura con testi profondi ed eruditi che indagano l'alienazione e il significato della vita. LÓ dove Korn e Tool si rivelano, fondamentalmente, musica per adolescenti, i Deftones sono filosofi adulti.

Team Sleep, now a supergroup of sorts fronted by the Deftones' vocalist Chino Moreno with Hella's Zach Hill on drums and Tom Wilkinson on guitar, plus several guests, applied post-rock to trip-hop Team Sleep (2005)

The ostensible seriousness of Saturday Night Wrist (Maverick, 2006) keeps it from being classified as self-parody, although most of its songs are exactly what self-parody means. Moreno dominates the proceedings more than ever. One can claim that the music is basically centered upon his introspective malaise. Occasionally this yields gripping melodrama (Kimdracula), but too often it sounds like Morrissey fronting the wrong band. There are mainly two songs that wake up the listener: the frenzied Rats and the porn-fantasy over electronic beats of Pink Cellphone, although both can be interpreted as desperate acts by a group that has lost its inspiration.

Just like its predecessor, Diamond Eyes (Reprise, 2010), without bassist Cheng, was painstakingly constructed to assemble the Deftones' best tricks, but, unlike that album, it avoided the descent into unfamiliar experimental waters. Alas, the songs are largely faceless, and the album flows like the soundtrack to a documentary of nu-metal's latter days.

Koi No Yokan (2012) recaptured some of the magic of White Pony with stormy songs like Leathers and Graphic Nature, while finally finding a viable format for their softer side in the noisy but dreamy Rosemary and Tempest.

Deftone's bassist Chi Cheng died in 2013, who had been in a coma since 2008.

Gore (2016) contains the crushing Doomed User and the power-ballad Phantom Bride, but mostly it signals a complete betrayal of their nu-metal and a turn towards a mainstream pop-metal sound.

Frank Delgado's synths are more prominent on Ohms (2020), but the album is actually more energetic and visceral than most of its predecessors (Genesis, Error, This Link is Dead).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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