With his soothing, seductive croon and fire-breathing scream, Chino Moreno helms the Deftones with grace and power, but he also has a plethora of compelling side groups such as Team Sleep, Crosses, Palms and Saudade and a list of collaborations so long we'd probably miss some if we tried to named them all. Moreno's voice is iconic and beloved, so we gave you, the fans, the task of choosing his best vocal performance. Between the inevitable grumbles at the impossibility of the challenge and the responses of "all of them" (we agree), we compiled your Top 5 picks.
Ethereal is a hyped-up word that's lost its meaning through repeated abuses in the music journalism world, but nobody conveys its truest meaning quite like Chino Moreno, especially on the starry-eyed dream ballad that is "Sex Tape."
"Tempest" shows off Chino's more forceful singing abilities, and plays with delay and echo effects that give his powerful drone an otherworldly quality. He's always perfectly on key, but there are a few unexpected notes he hits on this one that show a masterful control of where the pocket lies and how to push its boundaries without ever falling out.
There is no other song in the Deftones catalog that captures the soul-shattering quiver in Chino Moreno's voice quite like "Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)." While the instrumentation delivers heft and surge, but the vocal delivery is nothing short of weightless, angelic bliss.
"Knife Party" sounds like dueling Chinos competing to see who can overpower the other: soft, romantic Chino with his lullabyesque serenade versus aggressive Chino showing off the husky shout that blends into the distorted instrumentation around him. There's no clear winner except the listener who gets to experience the full range of his talents.
As far as Moreno performances go, "Digital Bath" is among the cleanest and calmest. Soft, whispered passages make up most of the beautifully mellow song, with only a few upward-moving bits of vocal force, all of which give the Deftones frontman plenty of room to show off the reach of those incredible fucking pipes.