Deftones
Deftones


3.0
good

Review

by Michael B. USER (18 Reviews)
April 2nd, 2011 | 53 replies | 4,067 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An underwhelming follow-up to an absolute classic.

The third Deftones album, White Pony, is rightly regarded as one of the greatest rock albums to be released yet this millennium. A masterpiece of soft and heavy, darkness and light, it was the crux upon which the band’s career soared, and stands as an immortal monument to their brilliance. But then Deftones faced a truly massive challenge- how the hell to top it. They could have gone two ways- either ape the White Pony formula for all it was worth, or cut their losses and move in a different direction. The resulting product is a confused mismatch of the two- for the self-titled Deftones is quite brilliant in places, yet in others, painfully mediocre.

Let’s start with the good points. “Hexagram” kicks the album off well, a monstrously heavy piece that takes a jackhammer to the listener’s ears. The schizophrenic vocal madness of the chorus adds to the feeling of disorientation brilliantly, while Chino’s shrieking vocal style suits the heavier backdrop perfectly. Along similar lines is “When Girls Telephone Boys”, a nauseatingly ferocious track that stands as perhaps the best heavy Deftones song of all time. The vocals on this track are almost disturbing, so frenzied and impassioned is Chino’s delivery.

There’s another side to this album as well- the more melodic, introspective, White Pony channelling side. Take the shimmering trip-hop piece “Lucky You”. Built around haunting synths and nervous scratching, with ethereal vocals floating on top, it’s one of the band’s bravest compositions, and undoubtedly one of the most exciting moments of this album. “Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event” is similarly downbeat, but is instead a quite traditional, low key rock ballad, complete with toy piano and yearning lyrics about a lost love. It’s new territory for Deftones, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Yet while there are moments where this album is gorgeous and spellbinding in its delivery (the bulldozer-heavy riffage of "Bloody Cape", the beautiful and crushing mid-tempo smash hit “Minerva”), there are also moments where it is something quite unusual for Deftones- extremely, painfully average. “Needles and Pins” is a decent enough track to follow up “Hexagram”, but decent enough stopped being good enough a long time ago. "Good Morning Beautiful" is another point of disappointment, especially coming after the otherworldly majesty of "Minerva".

Indeed, there are times on this album when the band don't really seem to know when to stop. "Battle-Axe" is a decent enough track, but is spread thin by an overlong running time, while "Deathblow" is one of the weakest songs in the Deftones canon. Comparing the achingly dull “Moana” to such brilliant Deftones album closers “Pink Maggit” and “MX” shows just how much the band’s quality control dropped after White Pony went supernova. And while "Bloody Cape" is a monstrous slice of classic Deftones, it sounds inappropriate sandwiched between the more forward-thinking “Lucky You” and “Anniversary”.

And there is the biggest problem in this album- the structuring. While on White Pony the transition between heavy and melodic tracks sounded comfortable and confident, here it is strangely awkward. Though it is a perfectly decent album, Deftones is a somewhat flawed collection that never really takes off, and marked the start of the band’s lengthy struggle to escape from the shadow of White Pony- a struggle that only ended with the release of last year’s magnificent Diamond Eyes.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
thumbcrusher
April 2nd 2011


3592 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not a bad review but you might want to change this:

The disorienting vocal madness of the chorus adds to the feeling of disorientation


Dryden
April 2nd 2011


12928 Comments


uhoh

Butkuiss
April 2nd 2011


4177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is way beyond average, man. It's awesome. Too underrated.

defjaw83
April 2nd 2011


1767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree with parts of this, it was tough to follow up White Pony but there's so many good tracks on here

Rev
April 2nd 2011


9422 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't understand the White Pony II thing. This has more in common with SNW than W

Also this is still really fucking good

FearOfTheDuck
April 2nd 2011


206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks for pointing that out thumbcrusher.

Don't get me wrong, I like most of these songs- if I was rating it as a compilation of tracks I'd give it at least 3.5. But I like albums to have flow and cohesion and I personally feel that this really lacks in flow.

defjaw83
April 2nd 2011


1767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I obv disagree with the rating but I enjoyed the review, so pos'd

renegadestrings
April 2nd 2011


1442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this a really good review and it actually reflects my opinion of the album some 2 or 3 years ago.... and yet i can't help but listen when Battle-Axe comes on my shuffle

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2011


31153 Comments


Really don't agree with this review

I mean the whole flow and cohesion thing is fine because that's your opinion which is cool, but the comparison thing is a bit thin. I mean sure, this is the first album they made after White Pony, so what? This album sounds absolutely nothing like White Pony, so the comparison simply becomes moot. If this sounded like White Pony 2.0 I could understand, but it simply doesn't. This is the album where they completely shed all traces of nu-metal and simply became an alt metal band, it's a huge turning point in the band's career, which just so happened to come after another huge turning point, the success they received off of the back of White Pony.

Your review isn't entirely hinging on that point though so I can't say that this isn't a good review, but the summary is a joke

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Counterfeit
April 2nd 2011


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wrong

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2011


31153 Comments


recommended by reviewer
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Uh......

ButcheredChildren
April 2nd 2011


5591 Comments


Good review, but I obviously disagree with the rating.

Mordecai.
April 2nd 2011


8278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

FearOfTheDuck? more like... shit cunt.

you suck a million dicks

Tyrael
April 2nd 2011


20871 Comments


This album sounds absolutely nothing like White Pony [2]

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

BassDemon333
April 2nd 2011


3376 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You shouldn't have compared this to White Pony. This album is amazing though, certainly not worth such a low rating.

Digging: Mudvayne - L.D. 50

defjaw83
April 2nd 2011


1767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol Mordecai. says it like it is

BassDemon333
April 2nd 2011


3376 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I honestly don't find any tracks on here to be boring at all, the only one that occasionally throws me off is Lucky You and even that is still really good if I'm in the right mood.

bloc
April 2nd 2011


34847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I used to think this was average too, but in the past few months this band in general has really grown on me.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Inveigh
April 2nd 2011


24958 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Both “Deathblow” and “Battle-Axe” take mediocre ideas and stretch them for far longer than is truly necessary.

except that Deathblow is like one of the songs they've ever written and Battle Axe aboslutely rules

this album is definitely a slow-burner, but it's easily my 2nd fav from Deftones after White Pony

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

Burn2Burn
April 2nd 2011


2378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album is meh. Needles In Pins, however, is probably my favorite Deftones song of all time.



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