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on February 6, 2003
A hardcore-sounding metal-punk-hip hop hybrid, I can't fathom why the Deftones were initially lumped together with bands like Korn (who call them their "brother band") - the 'tones are far more intense and original. And they are anything but generic trend-hopping rap-metal. The band has been doing this since 1989! I don't see why any fan of hardcore music would dislike the Deftones, especially Adrenaline. It's a hard-edged, raw, and just plain insane piece of music. Rage comes crashing through the speakers for the entire 40+ minutes of the disc. It doesn't sound fake or forced at all. You may not be able to understand exactly what Chino is screaming about, but you can tell he's pissed off. This is the kind of stuff metal lovers dream about. There is some subtlety here, however. The band does several softer, more haunting sections in the songs to contrast with the aggression. The Deftones have a truly terrifying vocalist in Chino Moreno, who goes from unsettling whispers to horrifying screams. (Dear God, does he scream. One of these days he's going to wake up with his lungs on the pillow next to him.) Guitarist Stephen Carpenter offers simple, but direct and scathing riffs, that perfectly match this style.
The brutal songs on Adrenaline are more than the best example of their style. It shoves pure rage into your face with its obnoxious and sometimes unintelligible lyrics and attitude, and is one of the most positively convincing 90s metal albums. After the first couple of listens, it sounded to me like extremely unvaried guitar riffing, weak melody and talentless screaming. But after awhile, Adrenaline opens up and reveals its strengths as a very heavy, direct, and emotionally powerful offering. Stephen Carpenter creates somehow unique-sounding riffs like the chugging opener "Bored," where the power of the band's chemistry comes together in a forceful mix, produced well by Terry Date. "Nosebleed" is a very harsh tune with truly angry and scathing, explicitly profane lyrics and hardcore energy in the music that somehow doesn't come off as merely juvenile, but as a genuine threat, and it's contrasted by a slower middle section that builds up again to the heavier verse part, all with the band remaining tight. "Minus Blindfold" is also a strong track, and an indicator that Chino is one to watch out for (or stay the hell away from, depending on your point of view). "Root," meanwhile, hints that the band is capable of expanding its creativity before this direct material could become stale in the future, featuring the most complex riff on the album and tremendous energy.
The quieter moments, "One Weak" (with nice bass work and frantic vocals), the closer "Fireal" (featuring a dark and desperate atmosphere before building up to a gripping ending), and "Birthmark" are also good songs. "7 Words" is an amazing wake up call that starts off quietly with the controlled vocals in the verses (helped out by an awesome bassline) before again going into unparalleled heavy viciousness. "Engine No. 9" shows a bit of a hip hop influence in the lyrics, which makes the attitude and the screaming chorus even more effective and noticeably psycho.
Of course, this IS a debut, and it shows. It often sounds underdeveloped, the production is quite raw, and the band is not as mature-sounding as they would be on later releases. Yet that's part of the fun. The reckless intensity displayed here is something they haven't captured again since (not that they're trying to). Not to mention that this record has incredible staying power. The Deftones aren't considered a band of great melody-writing power, but listen to the excellent riff of "Bored" or the haunting vocals of "One Weak" and tell me that stuff won't stick in your head for a long time to come. So is it a masterpiece? Not by a long shot, but it's essential nonetheless. Try to forget those new-metal biases, and you'll have a hell of a time. Adrenaline isn't for everyone because there is quite a bit of an obnoxious feel to it that may turn a few listeners off, and the songwriting doesn't quite sound developed to its full potential. But for classic aggression, this is an excellent record.
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on December 26, 1999
If I could give an album more than five stars this definitely would be it. The singing is nothing short of magnificant. Chino Moreno is the BEST vocalist in the world. He can sing, rap, scream and do everything a singer should be able to do. Adrenaline also has some of the best guitarring ever. Stephen Carpenter and Chi Cheng make the perfect guitarring pair. their guitars show much originality and quality. Every riff is different from the other. They can be fast and pulsating or slow and melodious. The drumming, it can be said , works closely with the guitarring. Abe is an excellent drummer but it is clear that his role is to emulate the guitars. Deftones take a bow, Adrenaline is one of the best albums out there. Best tracks:bored Engine No. 9, Root, 7 Words and Minus Blindfold
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on January 9, 2005
The Deftones first album "Adrenaline" is very different from the Deftones we are now used to today. "Adrenaline" is a straight-forward metal album. No experiments, no electronics or anything that the Deftones are widely known for today, just rock. This release is more in tune with "Around The Fur", which I think is the Deftones' best. This one came out in the height of the nu-metal explosion, which the Deftones were partly responsible for. Deftones were one of the first bands, beside Korn, to play what was known as "nu-metal" and they were doing it long before Korn ever got together, even though this one came out a year after Korn's debut. There was a lot of things to me that made the Deftones better than most of the other nu-metal bands out there, mainly being Chino. Chino is such a great vocalist, and I've always prefered him over others like Jon Davis and Fred Durst. Not to mention his lyrics have always been a cut above the others, not just doing the same old topics that eventually became done to death in the genre. The rest of the band isn't too shabby on their instruments either. If you're a fan of the Deftones, it's nice to see where they came from, and how they've evolved over the years.

The album opens up with one of the Deftones' classic songs, "Bored". Introducing the "soft verse, loud chorus" approach that would later become a staple for their, most other nu metal bands, material. This is where the Deftones show what they're all about. Most of the album follows this pattern, like "Lifter" and "Root". Some tend to use rapping approaches (which would become yet another staple in nu-metal) like "7 words" and "Engine #9". One of the highlights (and my favorite moment on the entire album) is on "7 Words" when the music stops just before the bridge, and Chino says "you don't know me, shut up you don't know me, squeel like a pig...", you know the rest. It's just so good before it goes back into the song. Some songs see the Deftones slowing it down a bit, and getting very melodic only to turn into fierce bursts, most notably "One Weak" and "Fireal". The untitled hidden track (which is really called "Fist") is a hauting, extremely light song which mainly features Chino mumbling and Stephen playing guitar, and is quite good once you listen to it. Most songs on the cd however see the band going to heavy route, showing their metal influence, that would later only be used in small doses. The album also features a great deal or screaming which is not nearly used as much in later albums. Compared to the Deftones releases of today, this one does not even stand up in the diversity department, because really the only thing they do different is slow down songs like "Fireal" and "One Weak". Even with the lack of diversity (which I love about the newer albums) the collection of songs on here will please any fan of the band, especially those who love "Around The Fur". Fans of new releases like "White Pony" and the self-titled might just want to check it out for nostalgic purposes. I fell in love with this album years ago, and still I find myself listening to it and loving it just the same. It's so good, and that's the way it's always been with the Deftones. Everything they've ever done has been great, and this album is no exception.

Definitely a worth while addition to any Deftones fans collection. Most won't be dissapointed with this one. I know that if you're a Deftones fan, then most likely you already own this one. However if you're someone who has recently got into the band, then don't hesitate to pick this one up and add it to your collection. The Deftones never make the same album twice, so it make "Adrenaline" even more essential. The things that made the Deftones amazing back then, are still the things that make them amazing today, and it's great to see those things in an early form. It's cool to remember when the Deftones were one of the front runners in nu-metal. Now they deny all association with the genre. However this one will always remain as one of the most influential nu-metal albums out there, and really you can't do any better.
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on November 6, 2005
These are some of the adjectives i've seen used to describe this album. Toss them out the window. I don't like when this album is overanalyzed and seen as "their rough debut." I don't classify this album any different than that of their 3 ladder cd's. This is just as good as those. This is a bit heavier but no less great.

1.Bored 9.5/10...One of their first hits ever, and this sounds alot like what was to come. With whisper to singing verses and screaming choruses. Great song.

2.Minus Blindfold 10/10...This is a new favorite. I never really listened to this song full through or never really payed attention when it was on, boy was i missing a treat. This song is great.

3.One Weak 8.5/10...This is a tad slower and a decent song. Doesn't grab my attention too much.

4.Nosebleed 8/10...Most people hate this song, and yes it does sound a bit like korn. But hey, i like korn, so i'm fine with that. Very heavy, but my favorite part is in the middle when the music stops and keeps coming back.

5.Lifter 9/10...Alot like One Weak, but better. A softer song throughout until the end when it explodes.

6.Root 8.5/10...One of the more "Nu-Metal" songs on the cd. I personally like the chorus alot, but this song is just pretty good.

7.7 Words 10/10...One of my favorites. This song has a funky kind of verse with a blistering heavy chorus. Then the bridge in the middle is priceless.

8.Birthmark 10/10...Another great song. This one reminds me of something that could be found on their self-titled. I love this song.

9.Engine No. 9 8.5/10...Alot of rapping in this one. Probably the heaviest on the cd. A little much at times but still a good song.

10.Fireal 10/10...Yet another one of my favorites. I like the second half of the song better than the first, but running in at 6:35, this song is a treat.

11.Fist 9/10...This is Chino's cure influence kicking in. A totally misleading track, extremely quiet and soft. And when you can hear Chino's voice, it's beautiful.

So don't think just because it's not overproduced or wasn't very successful doesn't mean it's great. I love popping in this and just enjoying good ole' Deftones.
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on January 30, 2004
First off, this isn't my favorite Deftones album. Truthfully, I don't have any favorite Deftones album. Each album, in my opinion, is a separate state of mind, and a different piece of art. Around The Fur is by far their best-flowing album, White Pony is their most ecletic cd, and their self-titled is their most beautiful disc, even if it is a bit short. What, then, makes Adrenaline so special compared to the other albums? It not only showed what was to come from these Sacto, CA rockers, but it kicked ass the whole time.
When I mean it "kicked ass," I don't mean the whole album sounds like Slipknot with an odd groove to it. No, not at all. Half of the songs are very quiet, at least at the beginning, and build up to a colossal wall of sound. Some good examples of mellow-psycho tracks are "Lifter," "One Weak," and "Birthmark." Then, of course, you have your mosh songs. Prime cuts are "Bored," "7 Words," "Nosebleed," and "Engine Number 9." These songs will make you jump out of your seat, literally. When I first listened to "7 Words" while driving on the highway, I started bouncing up and down, and I sped up to about 85 or so. Needless to say, I figured out that self-control is necessary when one is driving and listening to Adrenaline.
After the first nine tracks, you get into a whole different world. It is hinted at in "One Weak" slightly, even a little in "Root," but not capitalized on until "Fireal," ... Then...you have, in my opinion, the best Deftones song of all-time; "Fist," track 11, the secret track. It refers to a lost love, yet this song, like many other Def songs, have no need of understand what Chino is exactly saying to know what he means. This song has amazing orchestration, even though it is a bit short, and is the perfect ending song, right up there with "Brena" by A Perfect Circle and "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails.
The bottom line: If you love metal, particularly Korn or Snot-type newer metal, you'll love this album. The thing is, though, that I do not consider myself much of a metal fan, yet I love this cd. Its songwriting, creativity and sheer emotion makes this album definitely worth buying. It will touch you, because it has touched everyone I know who listened to it. It is, for lack of a better word, perfect, like all other Deftones cds.
Buy it.
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on October 12, 2006
This big-label debut from a Sacramento-based Deftones always takes me ten years back, when I went to high school. But despite that, the album still sounds very original, and unfortunately for the music industry - very unlike the stuff you hear today. Their style is impossible to describe, because all descriptions fall short of actually hearing the band. Combining the emotional openness of pop, the teen rage of punk, and the street-smart culture of hip-hop, the Deftones painted a perfect soundscape for the bored youth of sunny suburban wastelands. Chino Moreno masterfully navigates his voice through a range emotions of a growing soul - from innocent love to dark fantasies, from hope to despair, from vulnerability to cruelty. Angelic soft whispers mutate into demonic screams, and hip-hop-influenced verses give way to Depeche Mode-like melodic choruses.

Musically Deftones sound quite hard, but not in a boring kind of way. Their music is fun, groovy, and has a great sense of beat. Bassist Chi plays creative, almost jazz-like lines, Abe Cunningham provides effective drums, while Steve Carpenter very masterfully blasts with simple but loud and chilling riffs. DJ Frank Delgado enhances the sound with sparse atmospheric effects and scratches. The whole band sound is really an attempt to unite a variety of cultural influences so common in the California Central Valley, and it pays off very well. The production could be more refined, but at the same time the roughness adds more fun to the first public effort.
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on December 15, 2013
This is Deftones debut CD. "Bored" is the first and a standout track. The lyrics are difficult to understand, but if you listen closely you can get the meaning in an offhand sort of way. The songs are loud and fun. The guitars are distorted, the drums pound, and the vocals range from loud to spoken to soft. This is a dynamic debut from Deftones.
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on February 11, 2014
In my opinion this is the best Deftones album and the most raw. I suppose that's why I love it so much. The album has a good flow and good feel. The guitar Is insane, the vocals are wicked, and the songwriting is so intricate. Songs like "Minus Blindfold", "Nosebleed", and "Root" give the album thst raw, awesome feel. "Engine No. 9" is the heaviest track and is quite original as well, Deftones are very innovative and thought outside the box for their self titled debut.
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on January 21, 2000
When you own an album such as this one, and you play it over and over and over again, and it never seems as if you can play it out, you've got a classic on your hands. The Deftones are the best band out there in their category. They arent sellouts, they are true to their fans, and they make great music without following trends. Buy this album if you are sick of everything else and you want to hear something pure and distinctive.
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on February 25, 2002
The Deftones have been one of my favorite bands for a long time. Why? They create awesome music that trancends any specific genres ("nu-metal," "emo-core," "rap rock") they might be shoved into by critics. Although I like all Deftones albums equally, Adrenaline has been getting the most listens lately because of its bold originality, and songs that are incredibly simple, yet very complex at the same time.
At first listen, you may very well think that you've landed on another "bad nu metal" band. And I can totally accept that. As I said earlier, the songs are very simple, and rely on as few riffs as possible, with Chino mumbling lyrics using a very um... unique vocal style. The drum beats are really nothing out of the ordinary; the usual 4/4 with a little syncopation here and there. Chi, the bass player, would be the lead instrumentalist, except the CD's mixed in a way that he's drowned out by the sharp, short riffs concocted by Stephan, the guitarist. With instrumentalization like that you really would expect Adrenaline to [stink]. But each musician somehow molds into the others' style of playing, giving the Deftones that organic element that makes them sound a million times better. The music may [stink], but it [stinks] with a passion, it [stinks] so much that it's GREAT MUSIC, the heavier incarnation of Far and Sunny Day Real Estate, and the softer incarnation of Nothingface and Will Haven. The sheer power of each song is really unexplainable, but somehow works in its mysterious ways to make this one of my favorite CD's ever.
If you want a more understandable album from the Deftones, or are uninitiated into the ranks of 'Toneheads, I suggest you buy White Pony (or Around the Fur if you're more of a metalhead). But if you crave a mystery, music that you can't really put your finger on, do not hesitate to buy Adrenaline.
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