Deftones
White Pony


4.5
superb

Review

by Sam Feldman's Rating USER (66 Reviews)
September 4th, 2010 | 177 replies | 8,043 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: like diving into a swimming pool at night, alone with your rage and thoughts in the waves.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

To embark on the joruney of White Pony is to completely erase yourself from your present moment. White Pony works like a dream; meloncholic, atmospheric, vivid, and full of wonder. Even though Deftones are generally a nu-metal band, they incorporate different musical ideas into their work that put them well above their contemporaries. Stephen Carpenter's guitar riffs are nu-metal based, although he shows a keen ear for aura and atmosphere that covers their songs with a heightened punch of force, as his leads and strumming shower the songs with power. Really, each musician is skilled at his own craft; Chino Moreno's vocal range is huge as he belts out some of the more powerful and high octave shouts found in the genre, and Abe Cunningham's drum work is precise, strong, and his fills are always interesting and especially fun to learn. This is where Deftones and White Pony really excel as a band and album; each individual instrument has its own journey that ebb and flow, coming together and pushing apart, creating an intense atmosphere throughout the entire album.

The one scenario I can think of that encompasses what White Pony is and sounds like is diving into a swimming pool at night, alone in the waves with your rage and thoughts. The lights underneath the pool make the water shine bright, and the starry sky above stalks your floating body, calmly yet intensely fighting the density of the water. Where most nu-metal albums are purposely attempting to keep the listener entertained with heaviness and structure changes (which Deftones do well anyway), White Pony adds the benefit of haunting atmosphere, something rarely seen in an album of this style. Chi Cheng's visceral bass playing in the verses of "Digital Bath" showcase the mood of the album and the name of the song perfectly; the song paints a picture of a soothing bath, filled to the brim with electricity and vibrant color. The chorus is epic and one of Moreno's best moments as he gets way up there with his screams of "tonight / I feel like more". Song after song entrances the listener with a great sense of dense mood and passion; "Rx Queen" tells the story of a failed relationship and longing for past love through lyrics from other planets and shoegaze-y distortion, "Teenager" is a take on the loss of innocence and growing up under slow ambience and almost IDM-like composition. "Teenager" also works well as a middle point in White Pony, a slow down from the crowd-pleasing "Street Carp" and one of the heavier tracks in "Elite", where Moreno shows versatility in screaming his way out of the forcefulness.

And yet after all this, after "Teenager", White Pony only then really starts to shine as 3 of the final 5 tracks are possibly the best of Deftones' career. Immediately after "Teenager" comes the ethereal and pounding "Knife Prty", which is essentially broken up into two segments that work beautifully together. The first half works like a sick fantasy from Moreno's own world, as Carpenter's repeating guitar riff echoes through until the drums finally kick in and the effect is startling. Moreno's sly whisper-like vocals of "My knife / is sharp and chrome / come see / inside my bones" furthers the haunting atmosphere of the album. The 2nd half comes in after two heavy chord changes that repeat throughout until the end of the song, while the enchanting screams from vocal guest Rodleen Getsic send everything into oblivion. This part of the track begs memories of Pink Floyd's epic "The Great Gig In The Sky" where female vocal screams marked the highlight of their hugely successful Dark Side Of The Moon.

And then there's "Change", the radio single and possibly the simplest song on the album in terms of structure and musicianship while still maintaining a great level of heaviness and aura. The fact that it comes so late in White Pony gives further reason to listen to it in its entirety as it's definately one of the best and most hard-hitting songs on the album. White Pony is an outstanding adventure to embark on and anyone should owe it to themselves to listen to one of the best albums in an otherwise stagnant genre. 4.5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
klap
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2010



10001 Comments


would like a swimming pool with waves

porch
September 4th 2010



8390 Comments


haha

climactic
September 4th 2010



17261 Comments


We need a bad review for this.

fr33convict
September 4th 2010



11678 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think Death Magnetic needs another review.

Gyromania
September 4th 2010



14652 Comments


I don't get why everyone loves these guys

Captain North
September 4th 2010



6743 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think you focus way too much on the nu-metal genre tag, which is barely relevant in this album.

Your summary would make a decent lyric though haha.

fromtheinside
September 4th 2010



16395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but this is nu metal

Digging: Lord Mantis - Death Mask

bloc
September 4th 2010



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is so bad

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

fr33convict
September 4th 2010



11678 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Pos'd.

BassDemon333
September 4th 2010



3291 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album is classic material

Digging: Chevelle - La Gargola

renegadestrings
September 4th 2010



1416 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a lot of it has do to with the fact that this band is supreme

Gyromania
September 4th 2010



14652 Comments


Holy hell, I agree with bloc

bloc
September 4th 2010



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy hell, I agree with bloc

There's a first time for everything I guess

TheSpirit
September 4th 2010



16662 Comments


in b4 Maniac! and some kind of tirade about how Saturday Night Wrist is better. Also in b4 he makes a list about it.

Digging: Sexdrome - Grown Younger

bloc
September 4th 2010



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Besides Change, all the other songs are either boring or are just not that great.

fromtheinside
September 4th 2010



16395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this isn't futurepop. (one word now)

bloc
September 4th 2010



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's also the other reason

Captain North
September 4th 2010



6743 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, I get that they are essentially nu metal...but I just don't think it needs to be focused on. There's so much other things you could say about this album other than 'better than their peers'...I mean, they're barely comparable to other nu metallers, because they sound nothing alike.

fromtheinside
September 4th 2010



16395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but they invent nothing new, essentially. they sound just like chevelle and tool and all the other
prog wankery hard rock band. nu metal is a sound description.

Captain North
September 5th 2010



6743 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^Except they don't sound like that at all. And Deftones were before Chevelle, hell Chevelle's entire sound is based around the riff of Be Quiet and Drive



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