The debut of the Deftones way back in 1994 with Adrenaline was the debut of a new perspective on turn of the century nu-metal. Maybe it was the way you couldn’t tell if Chino Moreno (pictured) was singing about love or hate, but they had a mystique about them that said they were going to do something new. Twelve years and four full-length albums later, not much has changed. Moreno still screams in inhuman frequencies, and, if anything, the ambiguity of the Deftones has only reached new depths with Saturday Night Wrist. Strangely, this is not a problem.
One need only glance at track titles of Saturday Night Wrist to find the post-modern element of this album. A spacey love motif seems to perforate several songs such as “Cherry Waves,” and “Xerces,” pausing in between for thrash-metal interludes like “Rats!rats!rats!” and “Rapture.”
But the real essence of this album lies in the emotional timbre of the instruments, and how the track as a whole feels, something that is accomplished quite poetically by the drumming of Abe Cunningham and the distorted Death Cab for Cutie-meets-Korn guitar work of Stephen Carpenter. That being said, perhaps the real aptitude of the Deftones lies in their ability to create images with instruments, not words. Combined with intelligent collaborations such as Serj Tankian of System of a Down on “Mein,” Saturday Night Wrist is 51 minutes of kicking-and-screaming loveliness.
To see the Deftones live, head down to Ventura tonight, Tuesday, November 7, for the latest concert promoting their new CD. See venturatheater.net.