Review Summary: The start of something great.
Deftones have turned into one of the most essential bands out there overtime and for good reason. Their willingness to experiment with a vast array of genres always pays off, Chino’s vocals are one of a kind, and each individual instrument is played with admirable passion and character. Ever since their sudden rise to the alpha male of alternative metal with the release of White Pony
, the band has continuously been held on a pedestal as a key influence for many bands out there nowadays. However, before this eventual rise to the top, they were just a small band like many other of their stature and before any of this experimentation existed a nu metal sound that was relatively new at the time. Along with Korn’s debut album, Adrenaline
helped to establish nu metal as a genre and though it may not be the most consistent nu metal album out there, it certainly proves to be one hell of an intense ride.
Driven by fantastic production and genuine angst, Adrenaline
is a whole different beast in the Deftones discography. The album is littered with Chino’s exceptional yet not perfected screams, memorable guitar work and punchy bass riffs. This is most evident in “Minus Blindfold” as Chino delivers a rare spoken word performance as Chi’s talented bass work rages on in the background as well as the menacing guitar riffs. Abe’s drumming also proves to be not too shabby either. The band delivers more of the same in “One Weak” while Chino belts out his signature whispers and shouts. However, the undeniable standouts are none other than “Root” and “Fireal” which showcases a little taste of what the band has to offer us in the future. The guitar and bass work in “Root” show charismatic chemistry and though Chino’s vocals aren't entirely developed in the song, the listener will be impressed by the skillful songwriting. As for “Fireal,” not only is the instrumentation also top notch, Chino showcases some of the mesmerizing charisma and intensity that he is known for today.
It’s true that Adrenaline
does have its fair share of intensity and skillful songwriting, but the only trade off is the lack of variety. The problem proves to be how most of the songs fall under a spell of predictability. For the most part, most of them start out the same way and end the same way with the songs following a fairly standard structure. “Bored” serves as the great choice as the album opener because its engrossing guitar work and Chino’s passionate, angsty delivery, but unfortunately some of the later tracks like “Lifter” and “7 Words” fall under the same basic structure. Granted, this gripe does not make the record a disaster by any means, but once a listen of Adrenaline
is finished, there will be a since of the band did not utilize their final potential. This potential may not be visible on this album, but rest easy knowing that a storm is coming.
serves as a rock solid debut of a band that hasn't found their signature sound and musicianship just yet. Bursting at the seams with infectiously catchy instrumentation and performances by Chino that will leave the listener breathless, Adrenaline
is one hell of an entertaining ride. Sure Chino’s lyrical style hasn't fully developed yet and the same can be said for his voice, but he still had a decent set of pipes and a unique voice one of a kind voice. Nu metal certainly got great treatment with Deftones' debut, but it only improved in the years to come.