As its name implies, Chino Moreno's Team Sleep is essentially the Deftones on downers, expanding the more atmospheric moments of songs like "Passenger" and "Knife Party" into lucid, dreamlike trances. The outfit evolved in late 2003, following the release of the Deftones' White Pony, one of the finer albums in the nü-metal canon, and hinges upon the shoegazed backdrop created by turntablist DJ Crook and guitarist Tom Wilkinson. TS released its eponymous, moody debut on Maverick Records in 2005, borrowing heavily from the drugged-out trip-hop ambience of Massive Attack and featuring guest vocals on four songs from Pinback's Rob Crow. Songs like "Elizabeth," "Ever (Foreign Flag)" and "Your Skull Is Red" give Moreno the soundscapes necessary for his tranquil, fragmented lyricism. This isn't the best ambient metal out there — not by a long shot — but in terms of side projects it lands somewhere between guest vocalist Mike Patton's Peeping Tom and Thom Yorke's The Eraser. Team Sleep is the sound of night terrors.
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