Yes, it’s true. Up until this point in my life I had never listened to Deftones. Blasphemy, I know, but for the longest time they were the band that was always lurking there . . . I knew that it would be worthwhile for me to get their music, I just always had a reason not to. One of my good friends even has their entire discography on CD.
However, when MEB decided to do a set of retro reviews in anticipation of the release of Koi No Yokan and there was a need for someone to review the band’s debut album Adrenaline, I knew that it was time to finally delve into Deftones.
With that said, Adrenaline did not disappoint and it’s safe to say that I’ve been converted. Opening with the chimerical assault “Bored,” I knew that I was in store for an album of bombastic proportions and as with most music I listen to, that’s exactly what I love to hear.
Adrenaline also exhibits many standard traits of debut albums that make them a favorite of mine: raw passion, unpolished production and of course the feeling that these songs have been honed into shape through timeless rounds in the live arena.
One facet that immediately stands out is the diversity in Chino Moreno’s vocals, which bend from a haunting whisper to ghastly moans, finally erupting to piercing screams. The amazing aspect of this phenomenon is that Moreno performed all the vocals live with the band, only using a hand-held microphone. This fact contributes significantly in the creation of a broad “live” sound, as if the listener is not hearing the songs on a record, but in person, surrounded by the tumultuous nature of a show.
Furthermore, in Adrenaline Deftones are able to separate themselves from the stereotypical nu-metal bands breaking ground at the same time, instead proving they are their own creative entity. The multitude of influences on the band are apparent, creating a genre-bending album that still maintains an almost constant heaviness in its seeming polarity.
I will admit, Adrenaline does have its drawbacks. As a debut album, it’s clear that the band was young and although the songs are great, it seems on a deeper listen that the recording process itself was rushed and there was no real thought as to how to make the pre-existing songs better. For some, like me, this is a plus; however, it does prevent the album from attaining all that it can. Simply put, Adrenaline is a great album, but there is certainly a feeling of some unfulfilled potential hidden in the tracks.
However, I’m betting that once I go forward into the Deftones’ discography that potential will be realized and I for one can’t wait to see how they’ve evolved from this album to 2012’s Koi No Yokan.