Top Ten Reasons Why Deftones Are the Best Alternative Metal Band
The Top Ten
There is not a single band that sounds like Deftones. If there are, that is because said bands are copying Deftones and therefore Deftones are so innovative that they created their own unique genre of music. Deftones' style of music has evolved so much since their debut 20 years and effectively each album has its own distinct and creative sound. They started off as a dark nu-metal band and have progressed to what can be labeled as "dream metal", an experimental form of metal that uses extremely low guitar tunings and incorporates atmosphere and elements of dream pop.
With the exception of the cover song album thing, none of the 7 albums in the Deftones discography can be considered bad. Some are weaker than others, but they are all undoubtedly "good".
They were right there with Korn in the early 90s and released Adrenaline not long after Korn released their debut. Not all the credit to creating the Nu-metal genre should go to Korn. Deftones contained more elements of hip-hop and even incorporated occasional rap-like vocals in songs like 7 words. And the late 90s/early 2000s nu-metal wave was very characteristic of hip-hop music, with Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park being prime examples.
It is a real accomplishment for a band to change their sound throughout their career and not come out with any blatantly weak albums that piss off their fans or critics. Some of their albums aren't that vastly different (I believe that Around the Fur and White Pony are closest in overall sound) but most of them are (for example, Koi No Yokan is obviously extremely different from Adrenaline).
While the large majority of hip-hop and nu metal bands use the turn-tables as more of a "lead" instrument, Deftones put it way in the background where it is sometimes not even noticed. But that creates a level of brilliant layering that provides for incredible atmosphere. The turn-tables aren't as subtle in this song, but the best usage of the instrument is in Change (In the House of Flies).
Chino Moreno is a fantastic lyricist who writes in a very mysterious, surreal, captivating style.
Deftones have hot, grooving riifs like My Own Summer and then extremely heavy breakdown riffs like during the bridge in 7 Words
Abe Cunningham and Chi Cheng are a very underrated drummer and bassist. They both groove extremely hard, especially on the first album. Together they provide a perfect backbone for the band and make Chino shine even more at the forefront.
With the exception of Chi Cheng having to be replaced and Frank Delgado not being an official member on the first two albums, everyone has been there since the very beginning.