Deftones
Deftones


4.5
superb

Review

by Jeremy Bentham USER (65 Reviews)
July 30th, 2009 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Deftones mix the sounds of their previous work for an album that truly shines as one of the most important discs in their career.

White Pony was an incredible album. It solidified the Deftones place in the heavy music scene and made them an important part in the sweep of nu-metal through the 90’s. It wasn’t heavier than their previous work, but it was a majestic record full of atmosphere and amazing songs. So, in 2003, there were obviously high expectations for their new self-titled release. One thing is for certain – they sure as hell did not disappoint.

This album didn’t find the band heading into a ‘softer’ sound by any means. Instead of following what they did with White Pony and trying to duplicate the success of that record, they opted for something a bit different. They took the heavy sound and relentless onslaught that was present in songs from “Around the Fur” and mixed it with the dark, atmospheric sounds of “White Pony” to an extent. And it really works on most of the songs present here. On some songs, Chino will sing beautifully and a dark creepy background will be present in the song (courtesy of a keyboard texture or sample from Delgado or a sinister riff from Carpenter combined with the bands tight rhythm section). On others, the band will be at their full force and make tracks that go right up top as some of their heaviest songs to date (like “Hexagram”, “When Girls Telephone Boys”, and “Bloody Cape”). The album flows very nicely in its 11 tracks and doesn’t bore the listener till it’s done.

What makes the Deftones such a great and fun metal band to listen to is that they don’t always follow the clichés of nu-metal entirely. Even when they do, they present such good songs combined with such a great atmosphere that even the small flukes are cancelled out by some many other good qualities in their music. This is evident on every one of their albums and the self-titled is no exception. It starts out with a bang with the opening track, “Hexagram”. The heaviest way they have ever started an album so far, it features the band blasting their instruments and has Chino screaming his lungs out. Carpenter makes the song interesting and textured with his mix of clean and heavily distorted guitar. Try and listen to this song without banging your head during the chorus of Chino’s furious rant of ‘Worship! / Play!’. It’s nearly impossible. It works well as an album opener and flows nicely into the next track, “Needles and Pins”. “Minerva” sees the band retaining their beautiful, atmospheric sound while still injecting a bit of heavy metal into it. A fitting choice for the lead single. Songs like “Deathblow” and “Battle-Axe” present the band in all their glory, featuring some of the best tunes on the album. They prove that the Deftones have never had to be heavy to make great tunes. On the standout track “Bloody Cape”, the band launch into full force after a beginning clean riff from Carpenter and the song presents a catchy chorus with great lyrics. The ending of the song is the real treat at the 3:04 mark, with terrifying screaming from Chino (he literally sounds like he’s losing his mind) and the band making the ending the most intense part of the album as far as heavy moments go. It’s incredible.

If Chino didn’t prove on the previous records that he is an incredible vocalist, he certainly does here. He sings gracefully and can go right into his crazed shrieks and screams at any given time. His range is exceptional, and he proves it on songs like “Hexagram”, “Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event”, and “Bloody Cape”. His vocal style is one of the chief things that drive the band. Guitarist Stephen Carpenter is also in top form on this record. While there are no solos, they have never been truly needed on any Deftones albums. He really knows how to mix clean and distorted guitars and puts out some catchy and heavy riffs all while keeping a great texture in the guitars. Songs like “Battle-Axe” and “Minerva” feature the best guitar playing on the album when Carpenter and Chino both play. Bassist Chi Cheng can be heard throughout the album and his presence is made clear as it has in their previous work. On “Needles and Pins”, “When Girls Telephone Boys”, and “Moana” his bass lines are heard loud and clear and they provide a great backup to the guitars and form a very tight rhythm section combined with Drummer Abe Cunningham. Frank Delgado also has many highlights on this album. In adding keyboards to the bands sound, he helped give it even more melody and you can really feel it on these songs.

“Deftones” is a great album. After the major commercial success of “White Pony” the band had a lot to live up to and they delivered. The songs present here are 11 great songs that only the Deftones could create. Instead of re-creating any of their past albums, they mixed the sounds of all of them into their heaviest and darkest album to date. It might take a few listens to fully appreciate (personally it took a while for it to grow on me at first) but in time it really shines as a great album and important disc in their career. Hope Chi gets better soon, because their follow up to “Saturday Night Wrist” seems very promising.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
BassDemon333
July 30th 2009


3377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I had a lot to say about this album. It's just one of my all time favorites. Let me know if there is anything I should improve on review-wise =]

Digging: Mudvayne - L.D. 50

foreverendeared
July 30th 2009


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah we're definitely in the minority for liking this record so much. It's my favorite deftones record.

poopty
July 30th 2009


319 Comments


i think you meant 'career' not 'carrer' in your summary

klap
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2009


10418 Comments


my favorite deftones record

poopty
July 30th 2009


319 Comments


but white pony and around the fur

Willie
Moderator
July 30th 2009


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Nice review, but I really don't like this album (except for Minerva).

Digging: Necropoli - I

BallsToTheWall
July 30th 2009


44360 Comments


This is generally labeled as "the tones" worst album which I can agree with. Good review though, but i'm with Willie.

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

bloc
July 30th 2009


34848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes, minerva is definitely the best.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Abaddon2005
July 30th 2009


684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

favorite and best deftones album as far as i am concerned

Mordecai.
July 30th 2009


8279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah great album. Pretty good review too. This is definitely better than Adrenaline. I love the creepy, depressed/goth atmosphere, especially on Anniversary Of An Uninteresting Event



Asiatic667
July 30th 2009


4648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's got good songs on it, no doubt -- it's kind of boring for me all the way thru, but so was White Pony to begin with, so it could grow on me.
The first 3 tracks are absolute dynamite, though

lostforwords
July 31st 2009


446 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really liked that this album is not all about grooves and power. There is a certain intelligence and a more atmospheric approach which I found really interesting.

foreverendeared
July 31st 2009


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah the atmosphere on this record is ridiculous. Oh and Minerva is the WORST song on here guys, not the best. I always skip that track, it's boring.

BassDemon333
July 31st 2009


3377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I have to kinda agree there...Minerva is one of the more boring tracks, but I still listen to it. It's not all THAT bad...but it puts me to sleep sometimes. I like the guitar in it though.

BassDemon333
July 31st 2009


3377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, imo the intro riff is beautiful in its ambience. Moana isnt such a bad song either...dont see how some people think its a weak album closer.

fromtheinside
July 31st 2009


18218 Comments


but white pony and around the fur

agreed. white pony cannot be equaled to or lesser than.

Digging: Tragedy - Vengeance

willfellmarsy
July 31st 2009


3849 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hexagram, minerva, lucky you and bloody cape rule...haven't heard the rest o this...

Kashmir09
April 3rd 2010


772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No mention of 'Lucky You' in your review..thaa

Slipping Away
April 3rd 2010


1261 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Right now this is probably tied with white pony as my favorite tones album (haven't heard Diamond Eyes yet), theres just so many great songs on here. A bit of a grower too.

Inveigh
April 20th 2010


24963 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Still my second favorite Deftones album after White Pony, but Diamond Eyes is closing in..

who wants to talk about deathblow and how awesome it is



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