Deftones
Deftones


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew W. Gold CONTRIBUTOR (91 Reviews)
November 12th, 2012 | 186 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An excellent album by Deftones with a few minor flaws that prevent it from stacking up to their classics.

Deftones are widely regarded as one of the most original bands in the alternative scene. Their unique fusion of alternative rock with nu-metal, progressive rock, and even post-rock tendencies have given the band massive critical acclaim, with three of their albums going platinum in the United States. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the band is their frontman Chino Moreno. He’s one of the most versatile vocalists in the genre, with chops ranging from warm crooning, ear-piercing shrieks, and borderline rapping when the song calls for it. The fact that he’s backed by an extremely talented rhythm section makes it no surprise that Deftones received the recognition they did. There is one dark horse album in their discography though, their 2003 self-titled album, which is generally overlooked by Deftones fans and unfairly viewed as one of their weakest records. In almost every respect, however, Deftones doesn't disappoint.

The band members themselves are at the top of their game. Chino in particular gives a jaw dropping vocal performance throughout, especially on album opener “Hexagram,” where he belts out one of the most impressive, haunting screams of his career. Drummer Abe Cunningham also delivers by using a variety of offbeat accents to keep the rhythm section interesting. Even then, he does so without ever coming across as flashy, like many modern drummers do. This is best shown in “Needles and Pins,” where a simple guitar riff is repeated during the verses and Cunningham’s snare and bass hits give the song an almost polyrhythmic feel. The guitars and bass are standard for Deftones: odd yet tasteful chord changes make up most of these songs, coupled with some of the band's best songwriting.

One of the most glaring flaws of Deftones is the fact that it doesn’t have a resounding vibe that other Deftones albums have. For example, Diamond Eyes had an ethereal texture to it, Saturday Night Wrist had post-rock, almost shoegaze undertones, and White Pony had an unsettling linger throughout the entirety of the album. Unfortunately, Deftones doesn’t have this, and sounds like a collection of songs more than anything, each one having their own distinct character and mood. On the other hand, this can be favorable for some listeners since the stark contrast between the songs help keep the album from becoming monotonous.

The scope of dynamics on Deftones is possibly the widest in their discography. “When Girls Telephone Boys” is arguably Deftones’ heaviest song. It starts with distorted guitar backed with powerful drums and Chino’s signature screams soaring above them. The song stays with this in-your-face intensity throughout, being one of the few tracks where Chino doesn’t have any clean singing whatsoever. A few moments of beauty shine in the bridge, though, when the guitars take a break from the dissonance in exchange for a melodic progression, perfectly segueing into the song’s massive outro. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the penultimate song “Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event” is one of Deftones’ softest pieces, beginning with ominous piano and soft cymbal taps in the background, continuing on with subdued guitars and moody vocals. The use of percussion such as bells and a shaker is prevalent up until the end of the song, where a single note is left ringing until the track finishes – an alternative rock ballad done right.

“Lucky You” is one track on the album that simply isn’t up to par with the rest. It's a poor attempt at a trip-hop song, and due to the mundane chorus and overall lack of inspiration, you're left waiting for an explosive climax that never comes. An irritating chorus also hinders “Good Morning Beautiful” from being an excellent song, but the rest of the track does a good job at redeeming itself, specifically the emotive vocal melodies in the bridge. Despite these minor flaws, Deftones is an excellent album that features some of Deftones' most dynamic songwriting, making it a worthy listen whether you’re a fan of the genre or not.

Recommended Tracks:
Hexagram
Minerva
Deathblow
When Girls Telephone Boys
Bloody Cape



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user ratings (2349)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


22448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

underrated album imo

Digging: Faith No More - Sol Invictus

Youtellme
November 11th 2012


1351 Comments


Good review, though i believe maybe you didn't spent enough time on one specific aspect, and just tried to jump on as many aspects as you wanted.

But it works either way, and at least it's not another fucking TBT hidden with paragraphs.

Pos'd.

BassDemon333
November 11th 2012


3426 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

My favorite Deftones record, and a truly underrated one. Bloody Cape is incredible, especially that outro. I mean damn.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


16388 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

don't like but your review was ok

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


22448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dam already a neg

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


16388 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this had 4 votes about 2 nanoseconds after it popped up hehe

FearThyEvil
November 11th 2012


13210 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

My favorite Deftones record, and a truly underrated one. Bloody Cape is incredible, especially that outro. I mean damn.



God Help me, God Help me, GODDDDD

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


22448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hexagram in general is one of my favorite songs by them. i can see why people dont like the chorus but i think its m/

Youtellme
November 11th 2012


1351 Comments


For whatever unknown reason, When Girls Telephone Boys reminds me of Disturbed.

That's not good, by the way.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


22448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

eh ive always disliked the chorus of that song but its a good one

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


16388 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

doesnt matter if they came out after it his descriptions may be helpful for people who have heard the others

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


22448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks, yea i kinda used the mindset that people have heard their other albums. oh well.



and its an interesting chorus no doubt but idk something about it rubs me the wrong way. tbh i like every song a lot except lucky you

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


16388 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

if he was using it that way then ye doesnt make sense

BassDemon333
November 11th 2012


3426 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I need to see Bloody Cape live omfg

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


22448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i was using it as an example of how it's not as good as their other albums, not of how it was poorly received

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


16388 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

then it does make sense then

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


22448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i can imagine bloody cape being intense as fuck live. id be happy to see them live period :/

BassDemon333
November 11th 2012


3426 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

They are amazing live, saw them when they were touring in support of Diamond Eyes and they were top notch. Lately they have been playing Bloody Cape live in every set though, I really want to see them on this tour too.

Sapient.
November 11th 2012


1109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wicked underrated record, Arguable their darkest release. Pos'd

StagnantWords
November 11th 2012


318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This was my favorite deftones release for quite some time, but has grown off me as white pony and around the fur have taken its place, I don't understand some people's complaints with the album whatsoever. Your five recommended tracks haven't left frequent rotation since this came out in '03



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