Deftones: Chino Moreno (vocals); Stephen Carpenter (guitar); Chi Cheng (vocals, bass); Abe Cunningham (drums). Recorded at Bad Animals, Seattle, Washington. Along with Korn’s 1994 self-titled debut album, the Deftones’ 1995 debut, ADRENALINE, helped put California’s new rage-filled metal movement on the map, subsequently inspiring countless other bands.
Vocalist Chino Moreno was one of the first alternative/metal singers to specialize in the sing/scream style that would become prevalent by the late ’90s, while guitarist Stephen Carpenter specialized in repetitive, mammoth guitar riffs that were comparable to both Black Sabbath and Soundgarden.
While ADRENALINE wasn’t a big hit right off the bat, constant touring over a period of several years helped set up the Deftones’ eventual breakthrough success with the group’s sophomore effort, AROUND THE FUR, two years later. ADRENALINE proves to be a very consistent debut. Although the band would focus and perfect its sound even more on future releases, all of the major ingredients were already evident.
The lead-off track, “Bored,” remains one of the band’s best anthems (and a concert favorite), while there are many other standouts throughout (“Root,” “Minus Blindfold,” “7 Words,” “Birthmark,” etc.). Renowned metal producer Terry Date (Soundgarden, Pantera) also gives the album an impressive sonic punch, easily making ADRENALINE one of the finest metal debuts of the ’90s.