9. Diamond Eyes - Deftones
Around the time that Deftones hit the studio after Saturday Night Wrist, they weren't exactly in the greatest headspace. Though they may have still been making the most adventurous form of nu metal at the time, Chi Cheng's tragic car accident that would ultimately cost him his life left the band in limbo, abandoning their project Eros to work on something completely new. Times may have been dark, but Diamond Eyes was the record that made you feel like you could conquer the world when you heard it.
Coming a decade after White Pony, Chino Moreno doesn't sound like he's aged a day on this, blending the same screaming he had on songs like Elite with the more atmospheric tones coming from Frank Delgado. Compared to what the rest of the metal scene was doing, some songs like the title track and Rocket Skates have moments that are closer to a band like The Cure or Depeche Mode than Black Sabbath, with dreamy soundscapes that are meant to build different pictures in your mind.
Since Chi would not survive to see another Deftones release, this practically marks a new phase in the band's career, trading in their heavy chops for something much more unique, giving them more connections to a band like Radiohead than Metallica. Whereas some metal albums are all bite with no real substance, Diamond Eyes manages to be both calm and terrifying all at the same time.