Quick post here with my review and more new lyrics.
Deftones – ”Deftones” (2003) Album Review
Deftones is a band that has been praised album after album by critics due to their original sound and style. Despite the album ”White Pony” (released in 2000) selling over a million copies in the US alone and yielding the band a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance with the song "Elite", the Sacramento fivesome remains unknown to many music fans, even to those in the metal music community. On the other hand, there's never been too much pressure surrounding the band, allowing them to maintain their will to experiment and letting them focus on whatever direction they want to.
In 2003, Deftones released their fourth album ”Deftones”, which showcased an experimental leap like no other in the band's history. The album was originally going to be called ”Lovers”, but singer and guitarist Chino Moreno changed it after he realized that it would make the concept of the record too obvious. While Moreno has always been writing about love and sexuality, it all indeed pales in comparison to the content found on Deftones. His poetry is still easy to interpret in many different ways, but songs like ”Good Morning Beautiful” and ”When Girls Telephone Boys” leave very little room for the actual themes to be something other than what they presumably are.
Despite the aforementioned concept, this is by no means a pop record. The band's primary guitarist Stephen Carpenter switched to 7-string guitars after the recording of White Pony and offers plenty of chunkiness and brutality to the listener with the help of his downtuned monsters. The tuning Carpenter used throughout the album is G# D# G# C# F# A# D#, from lowest string to highest. Moreno contributed with a 6-string guitar tuned to C# G# C# F# A# D# on some songs on the album. Carpenter is also notable for playing a 5-string bass on the song "Needles and Pins" and drums on ”Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event”. Together Carpenter and Moreno form a duo where the creative focus of the band mostly lays. Carpenter's crushing riffs and beautiful melodies push against Moreno's desperate and mourning, occasionally even intimidating vocals so paradoxically it starts to make sense. Even if the rest of the band is there to give their own flavour to the music, they are without a doubt being handed the side role in this play. Bassist Chi Cheng's screams on Needles and Pins luckily aren't the only impressive thing he can do and his bass lines are actually quite clever whenever they don't just settle to follow the low end of the guitars. Frank Delgado's keyboards and sampling are delicious ear candy as well, but in order to notice them, the performance of both Cheng and Delgado need to be concentrated on. Drummer Abe Cunningham is perhaps the most technical and skilled musician in the band, but he sticks to giving a solid performance and barely has a chance to shine apart from showcasing his playful bass drum technique particularly in the verses of some songs.
The biggest flaw on Deftones as well as the reason why it is such a great album in the end is merely the same. Unlike past albums, there aren't any songs that float above nor any that fall beneath the rest of the material found on the 11-track CD. Some of the songs are more radio-friendly than others, but this is first and foremost an album; a strong entity of great music that most likely gives the best of satisfaction whenever heard from the beginning to the end all at once. Songs that do poke out more or less due to personal taste are Needles and Pins, When Girls Telephone Boys and ”Battle-Axe”, each storming while provoking images to one's brain through Moreno's visual and suggestive lyrics. ”Lucky You” is another standout track, as it relies completely on electronics composed by guest musician DJ Crook with Moreno's once again flirtatious vocals on top.
With their self-titled album, Deftones have crafted something that has their trademark sound all over it while in the same time it's very noticeable how they've expanded their horizons and what they are capable of. The band is less and less about pure aggression and speed with a few seconds reserved to breathing in between – softness, slowness, atmosphere and fresh elements now go hand in hand with the heavy, fast, in-your-face and old aspects of the band's identatintity. Delgado creating his own samples now instead of loaning from others and Carpenter tuning down to G# are just little things to note and warm the listener up before this adventure enters them. Deftones is truly not only an experimental album – it is an experience, and one any self-appreciative rock and metal music fan won't want to miss.
-Written by Joona Turunen (in October 2011)
Lyrics to the song Sip of October:
Sugar flows deep
cogwheels are untouchable
I carry the axe and shine in my spit
Perkele ajaa minua*
Lonely under guiding light
possessed by charmed, poisoned ideals
containing no fear, danger dwells in my stare
God's creation lives on
God's inspiration will fall like platitude
His chaotic vision will effectuate
shed my nucleus like skin, still He perpetuates it
I'll never learn
and I know I should
tribulation as destiny
too late, I'm ruined.
*Finnish for devil drives me. "Perkele" has multiple meanings, however, and many (including myself) consider it to be the most 'Finnish' word in existence.
Lyrics to Precipitation:
I wonder which part of my face is bleeding today
A scene rolls on and on within the creep's gates
Fantasies fly like the dove in the horizon
helping me get lost in the night
Somehow when I talk with you or spend time near you
I unwaste everything
You are the wonder, lush, horrific paradox
pumping me with breeze and bright allusions
turning to illusions
For me to live you must live
for you to live I must die
for me to die you must die
for you to die I must wake up
I think I want what you want me to, beauty in death
and need in this pitiful sacrifice
Romantic death, romantic sacrifice
roses from Hades, thorns dirty from the mud
Kiss on the letter she's adhered with
is not from my lips, is not from my cape
it's from the deepest vein.
And now back to mixing Precipitation. <3 See you soon.