CHANCES ARE, YOU MADE UP YOUR MIND ABOUT THIS BAND TWO DECADES AGO, and nothing I’m gonna say is gonna change that. But if you came of age in a certain musically-infertile part of the late 90s / early 2000s (not pre-Internet per se but wayyy before Web 2.0), the Deftones always had something more to offer than their nu-metal peers (perhaps severely miscategorized, methinks). And if you stuck around after the rawness of Adrenaline and the breakthrough Around The Fur, then you were lucky enough to experience a rich pool of influences that the band wore on their sleeve more and more obviously with each new record, incorporating elements of shoegaze, ambient, electronica, dreampop, hardcore punk and R&B. Fans hated this one when it came out, but not me. I loved how far they veered into the two distant poles of their sound, doubling down on the experimentalism of White Pony and churning out some of the fiercest ear-piercing metal (“When Girls Telephone Boys,” “Hexagram,” “Needles And Pins”) and sublime downtempo balladry (“Anniversary Of An Uninteresting Event,” “Lucky You”) of their career in the process. There’s plenty of warm and fuzzy in-between moments too, like “Moana,” “Battle-axe” and White Pony-esque lead single “Minerva.” Produced by longtime collaborator Terry Date and released by Maverick (yeah, Madonna’s label), this is the 2012 pressing on black vinyl with printed lyric insert.
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