Volume 97, Issue 2
Thursday, May 29, 2003

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CD REVIEW: The Deftones

The Deftones
S/T
Maverick



It's not often a band's fourth full-length release is self-titled. Then again, it's not often a band like The Deftones comes along to revitalize the stagnating nu-metal scene.

This much anticipated release from Chino Moreno and company is, in many ways, a first: it features the debut of their newly added fifth member, Frank Delgado, on keyboards and sampling. It's also the band's first release since Chino's penchant for alcohol became a target of the mainstream media. And of course, most importantly, it's the first time the band has depicted a hideous, gaping skull on their album cover.

The newest offering from The Deftones demonstrates a definite musical progression for the band, moving further away from the rawness of Adrenaline and continuing forward on the more slickly-produced path first beaten out by White Pony. Nonetheless, the album can be distinguished throughout by The Deftones' trademark mix of haunting vocals and unforgiving riffs.

Unfortunately, one of the weaker songs ("Minerva") was chosen as the first single, but its plodding pace is countered by the hard-driving screams of tracks such as "Hexagram." Listeners will be transfixed by Chino's hypnotic vocals in the quieter "Lucky You."

–Megan O'Toole

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2002 THE GAZETTE