Deftones
White Pony


5.0
classic

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (77 Reviews)
July 2nd, 2014 | 171 replies | 5,120 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


Chapter III: The Leaders

Over the course of Deftones’ undeniably impressive career, they simply have yet to release a bad album. Everything they've released has something special about it, but White Pony is something different for the band and for music in general. Not only does White Pony prove to be Deftones’ landmark album, but a landmark album for the genre of alternative metal. At the time, everything thing across the board from lyrics and vocals to musicianship and most importantly, atmosphere had improved which is an aspect of their music that would be carry over into their later releases. Instead of crafting another standard nu metal album, they desired to create a more affecting album with emotional depth and expand into new territory. The band and most importantly, Chino Moreno, takes us on an astoundingly chilling and dark journey through atmospheric soundscapes and sinister lyrics that really manage to disturb the listener’s psyche on White Pony. Since all of the lyrics are in first person, the listener will actually feel like they're a part of the journey and it is for this key reason that White Pony remains something quite special.

As stated before, the most important aspect of the band that improved drastically happens to be none other than Chino Moreno. Right from the start of “Feiticeira,” the listener will immediately notice how affecting his performance is and how chilling lyrics are. However, it’s not until “Feiticeira” builds into “Digital Bath” which exists as a one of a kind masterpiece that the listener will be totally blown away. Completely littered with subtle effects and engaging guitar work, this track tells the sinister story of a murder from the deranged killers point of view, but told from the first person so we actually feel like we are sucked into the character’s mind. Sure, the guitar work and Chino serve as the centerpiece for the song, but Abe’s echoing snare and Chi’s bass provide the chilling foundation for these brilliant aspects to traverse. Trust in these words: Once Chino’s powerful yet conflicted delivery of “I feel like more” takes place in the bridge, the band’s vision for a more emotionally gripping ride will become clear.

This roller coaster ride of emotions easily barrels into “Elite” and “Rx Queen” with a reckless abandon with the band pulling no punches on “Elite.” It features one of the band’s hardest hitting guitar riffs ever as well as Chino’s screaming intensity turned up to eleven. In addition to the stellar musicianship described here, the phrase “When you're ripe, you’ll bleed out of control” is repeated many times and the message becomes clear. The song is so brutal and so hard hitting that Chino means to get the message across of what feeling elite actually feels like with this song. While “Elite” delivers in this type of intensity, “Rx Queen” tells the heart breaking story of a man being in love with a terminally ill women by means of Abe’s fantastically atmospheric drumming performance and Chi's simmering bass. It’s a truly sorrowful tale that showcases staggering amounts of emotional depth and masterful song writing.

Along the way, the band never exhausts any ability of delivering a powerful and intense atmosphere driven by raw yet textured guitar work. “Passenger” not only gives Tool fans a little fan service with Maynard James Keenan’s fantastic performance, but Stephen and Abe really get a change to strut their stuff with his guitar riffs bursting at the seams with passionate character and Abe’s signature snare sound finally coming into its own. Their talent really drives the song home as well as both of the singer’s perfect vocal chemistry. Both of their voices seriously sound like they were made to be in the same band together. Meanwhile, “Change in the House of Flies” shows the entire band’s chemistry as a whole being perfected. The band happens to think this is the best song on the album and they wisely chose it as the lead single. The song's chilling message of what could happen if someone starts hanging around with the wrong crowd is admirable and the track’s soaring atmosphere gets the point across perfectly.

The album ends with “Pink Maggit” and the song closes this masterpiece with a proper bang. It continuously builds by means of bleak guitar distortion and Chino’s ghostly whispers to a lyrically brutal and thought provoking chorus. However, one phrase sticks out like a sore thumb out of every line: “We are the leaders of all.” It’s quite unclear what this phrase is supposed to mean and it’s quite open to interpretation, but what happens to be clear is the band’s stature in context to this phrase. With the release of White Pony, the band truly elevated themselves as the key leader of the genre of alternative metal with many bands attempting to follow in their footsteps.



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user ratings (3671)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
YakNips
July 1st 2014



8865 Comments


hm

Digging: The Brave Little Abacus - Just Got Back from the Discomfort

BMDrummer
July 1st 2014



5434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ghost pos

Digging: Svffer - Lies We Live

KILL
July 1st 2014



71087 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice one mongers you ever thought about reviewin something a lil less covered? plenty of records out there with no reviews which need em like SPIRIT from 68 or LOVE from 68 or THE FIFTH DIMENSION from 66 you know proper classics no one can be arsed to review, good lad

Digging: David Axelrod - Song of Innocence

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2014



9510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys! First of all, wow you really bumped your review down KILL :/ and I'm VERY open to suggestions. I've been looking for something new or not covered to try out. I've wanted to write about Deftones for quite a while but I see where you're coming from. I'll try to cover more unknown stuff

Green Baron
July 1st 2014



19026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

:D

Digging: Royal Blood - Royal Blood

SharkTooth
July 1st 2014



3892 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

controversial opinon: I never cared much for Deftones

Digging: The Dillinger Escape Plan - Irony Is a Dead Scene

Green Baron
July 1st 2014



19026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not even Elite?

KILL
July 1st 2014



71087 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wow you really bumped your review down KILL :/

eh?

and sweet bro just thought i'd say before you reviewed ok computer next or some shit

SharkTooth
July 1st 2014



3892 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Not even Elite?"

Not even Elite

Green Baron
July 1st 2014



19026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You're bleeding outta control, I gotta say.

ExplosiveOranges
July 1st 2014



2113 Comments


Sweet review for a great album. Mindpos.

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Addicted

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2014



9510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@KILL oh I meant rating haha and don't worry man, I'm gonna stay away from albums like that man. Plus this didn't have a contrib review anyway. I'll search harder for stuff definitely. Been so caught up with getting into the more sputnik bands. It's a work in progress haha

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2014



9822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice work man, and a great album as well. Invisi-pos :]

risingabove
July 1st 2014



75 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is contributor quality?

SharkTooth
July 1st 2014



3892 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"the more sputnik bands"
genius idea: review Bjork's debut!!!

Green Baron
July 1st 2014



19026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"This is contributor quality?"

you bet your damn ass it is

Toondude10
July 1st 2014



3592 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You know what fuck it. I'm making a comment on this :D

Lovely review. Album is perhaps a little overrated for my standards.

Digging: Breaking Benjamin - Phobia

risingabove
July 1st 2014



75 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

relax, I'm just trying to stir shit and play devil's advocate

Green Baron
July 1st 2014



19026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album would be a 5 without Teenagers

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2014



9510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Wanted to try and work Teenager in there but I'd write like seven paragraphs if I mentioned every song
haha



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