There are bands who transcend sub-genres. There are bands who transcend genres. And then there’s Deftones.
As much the heaviest band enjoyed by people who “don’t really like metal” as they are the most melodic band enjoyed by dyed-in-the-wool metal heads, they’ve been subverting convention and perfecting reinvention for over two decades. And yet there’s no-one else – not on this bill, not on ANY bill – who sound quite like Deftones.
Though the artwork from most recent album, ‘Gore’, hangs over the stage, Chino Moreno’s outfit have been in this game long enough to know when it’s time to crank out the hits. And so we get big-hitters like ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’ and ‘Change (In The House Of Flies)’ early doors, their blunt-force trauma heaviness daring the torrential rain to try to sabotage this victorious set.
Steph Carpenter’s unmistakable guitar tone batters the sodden fields of Donington into submission, as Chino alternates between running around the stage like a hyperactive toddler and strapping on a guitar to trade riffs with his long-term creative partner. Simply one of the best frontmen of his generation, Moreno’s voice is on fine form tonight, flying high above the brutal yet beautiful wall of sound created by his bandmates. It’s a searing sonic spectacle, a band with nothing to prove coming out full-throttle and proving it anyway.
With Black Sabbath’s last ever festival performance coming immediately after Deftones, the metal world is calling out for a new top layer. A new generation of elder statesmen, if that’s not a contradiction in terms. Tonight, we may just have found one of them.