Whenever Deftones had risen to popularity after the highly successful “Around The Fur”, the band decided to hit the studio again. Now remember this was 2000. Nu Metal had just exploded. The metal world had been taken over by short spikey haired teens. Before this era, Deftones had basically created this sound, with other pioneers like Korn and Limp Bizkit also influencing the sound. So these guys had a decision. Go with the times or do something different. Deftones decided to do something different.
This album was a very dangerous move to make. Instead of going down a route which was a natural progression from “Around The Fur,” the band seemed to have taken a leap into the future and create something a lot more maturer and musically very different from their previous sound and something very different to what was popular. It's was lucky that when this album came out, a lot of people really took a shine to it, because if any other band had done it, it would be career suicide.
The album has a lot more progressive and experimental sounds that the band didn't have previously. Recruiting new member Frank Delgado on turntables and samples allowed the band to experiment with sounds that guitars and drums couldn't create. The band also took influence from genres like Trip Hop and directed themselves more towards rock than metal. Although, when the heavy moments kick in, they really kick in, and attack your face like a weasel on speed.
One of the albums most beautiful moments has to be on the song “Digital Bath.” Some really impressive vocals from Chino and one of Deftones best softer songs.
One of my personal favourite songs on the album has to be the track “Elite.” An incredibly furious and fast paced track with some absolutely insane vocals from Chino. I was surprised to hear that this song won a Grammy, because it is a rather extreme song.
The track “Teenager” is one of the more softer moments on the album. A very simple but rather beautiful composition. It's a brilliant little breather on the album.
One of the album's biggest highlights has to be “Knife Party.” Definitly one of the best chorus' on the album but also one of the oddest songs in general. With vocals in the bridge from Rodleen Getsic, it harkens to the vocals found in Pink Floyd's “The Great Gig In The Sky,” and even at times even more screechy than that.
“Passenger,” one of the longest compositions on the album contains some vocals from Tool's Maynard Keenan. Usually Maynard Keenan annoys me, but he's not too bad on this track...but Chino does outmatch him anyday.
“Change (In The House Of Flies),” which was the album's lead single is definitely one of the bands most interesting moments. A rather soulful song with some very vivid lyrics, it really is a rather soothing yet creepy track. Brilliant contrast in tones and overall a classic song.
The album closer “Pink Maggit”, is the band's longest composition to date, being 7 and a half minutes. Soon after the release of this album, “Pink Maggit” was found on an EP of the same name. The song itself contains musical parts from their future single “Back To School.” Brilliant ending to the album.
In conclusion, it's really hard to say anything bad about a Deftones album. So far, I can't find a bad one, and so far, out of all their album's I've heard so far, this would be my favourite. And in many ways, this is the band's masterpiece and biggest crowning achievement. If you haven't heard this album yet, I recommend listening to it, because it may change your opinion on this band.