9. Saturday Night Wrist - Deftones
By the mid '00s, Deftones really had made their peace with not being the biggest nu metal band the world had ever known. Even though their records weren't going to sell nearly the same amount of numbers as a Limp Bizkit or Korn record, they held onto their credibility along the way, making songs that relied a lot more on atmospherics that gave an almost shoegaze-y tinge to their songs. There was always a focus on these records, but Saturday Night Wrist was the first time where they seemed lost in the woods.
During the production of this record, most of the band were not really having that much fun playing off each other, and they really thought it showed in the songs, either coaxing by on easy mode or making bold experiments that just didn't pan out on tracks like Pink Cellphone. While these are still decent songs by nu metal standards, drummer Abe Cunningham talked about how tough it was for the band to come together, feeling almost guilty that they weren't having the time of their lives playing the music they loved.
This was only the calm before the storm though, as bassist Chi Cheng would be in a near fatal car accident that left him on life support for the rest of his life, leading the band to completely upend their sound on Diamond Eyes. The magic was back afterwards, but this was the moment where you started to see some of those inner band tensions starting to go off the rails a little bit.