Deftones
Deftones


3.0
good

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (83 Reviews)
August 11th, 2014 | 136 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Chapter IV: The Dark Days

Deftones’ self-titled album signified the start of a time the band appropriately calls the beginning of their darkest times. According to Chino Moreno and Abe Cunningham, the band’s happiest times happened sometime between Around the Fur and after White Pony was released. Hearing “Change” on the radio was one of the most defining experiences for the band because it let them know they were spending their time doing what they love, but also getting noticed in the process. However, once all of that was over, these dark days brought about a metamorphosis that was unwanted. Instead of recording as a unified band, they began to slowly grow distant from each other with them barely ever being unified in terms of ideas and in the recording process. Though the record could have turned out a lot worse because of this method, their haphazard recording style certainly shows here with the record as a whole being their most uninspired work to date and it even includes the unfinished closing track known as “Moana.” Granted, there are barely any moments on the record that prove to be unlistenable and it even features some of their best tracks, but when the record as a whole is all said and done, the listener only wants more of the magic that makes Deftones the passionate band we've all come to love over the years.

Luckily, the record happens to showcase some of the band’s most skillful work with “Needles and Pins” and “Minerva” both delivering that title in different ways. “Minerva,” the most engaging song on the record, delivers in passionate lyrics, fantastic textured guitar work, and a beautiful performance from Chino. Singing about a sort of Siren, Chino belts out every lyric with all of his might just as he does most of the time on the record. While “Minerva” is designed to make the listener truly feel, “Needles and Pins” provides a side of Deftones that good only be described as badass. Driven by Abe’s signature snare sound, a powerful rhythm section and engrossing guitar riffs, “Needles and Pins” certainly goes down as one of the band’s most head banging songs to date. Along the way, the listener also will encounter “Deathblow,” which soothes the palate by means of steady instrumentation and yet another soaring performance from Chino. “Bloody Cape” also showcases all of the fantastic qualities mentioned here delivery with its utmost intensity. As for the rest of the record, the underlying problem is that the band failed to use all of the potential that they showcased on the masterpiece known as White Pony.

Take “Battle Axe” for example with its main riff being the same note being repeated over and over again. Though Chino once again thrills, the recurring instrumentation of the track just simply isn’t up to par with Chino’s masterful voice. The song happens to be far from unlistenable, but the listener is only left craving something more imaginative other than just simply a repeated guitar riff. In addition to the uninspired work exhibited in the track mentioned here, “Lucky You” proves to be the one blemish on the record with it only managing to be boring and out of place in the atmosphere of the record due to its heavily electronic influenced atmosphere.

Granted, “Lucky You” seems clumsily shoved into the album and is the one blemish on the album, other songs such as “Hexagram” and “Good Morning Beautiful” feature sections that nearly make them blemishes. As stated before, Chino is at the top of his game most of the time on the record, but there are points where he surprisingly hampers the experience which he barely ever does. There happens to be a certain message that the band was going for with “Hexagram,” but it gets lost in the mix of Chino annoyingly whining “Worship, Worship/Play, Play” and his screaming which feels surprisingly off to the ears. Like “Hexagram,” the section of “Good Morning Beautiful” where Chino shouts the lyric “Wake up” only manages to agitate the listener rather than bring any sort of feeling or exhilaration.

After all is said and done, Deftones’ self-titled album exists as a solid addition into their staggeringly consistent discography, but it happens to be their most sub par work to date. It has an intense, gritty atmosphere that is quite heavy and really gets the blood pumping without a doubt. However, the record regularly features instrumentation that doesn't quite feel as passionate or inspired as it should be and Chino pitfalls at some points. The surprising thing is, Abe even admits to having never truly finished his drumming for “Moana” and it only loops near the end. This confession clearly displays the band’s mind set and recording style at the time as haphazard and far from unified. Despite these gripes, their self-titled album proves to be an enjoyable alternative metal listen throughout with it containing some of their best songs to date and it even features “Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event” which gives the listener a glimpse of more emotional styles the band will explore in the future. The band eventually knew this recording style had to go, but until then, no one could have expected such an explosion of masterful works to come by means of poor unification in the near future.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
August 10th 2014


10379 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Here's the next one after a little break to cover other stuff My least favorite tones record actually.

BMDrummer
August 10th 2014


7755 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i was actually gonna ask you when the next one would come up, good job

Digging: Shellac - Dude Incredible

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
August 10th 2014


10379 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well there ya go haha I never really found myself enjoying this one anywhere near as much as SNW, WP, DE and KNY.

tommygun
August 10th 2014


24954 Comments


sup mongi

SirDrumsalot
August 11th 2014


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Most underrated Deftones. Better than SNW, WP, DE, and KNY.


At least in my humble opinion.

SnakeDelilah
August 11th 2014


7436 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

worst deftones

Digging: Nothing - Guilty of Everything

TooManyFriends
August 11th 2014


700 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

best Tones

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2014


10379 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@Tommy Sup man how ya been?

And man those comments right after the other "Worst deftones/best tones" haha

SnakeDelilah
August 11th 2014


7436 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@TMF well you think you belong here is a good song so i guess it makes sense

fromtheinside
August 11th 2014


18363 Comments


my two cents: this comes across as someone just learning to love what the tones can do. it's far above koi pond and maybe even DE but i love that album so i won't go there. this album tho is proabably their most mature effort however and, trust me, it takes time to really sink in.

Digging: Gehenna - Seen Through the Veils of Darkness

SnakeDelilah
August 11th 2014


7436 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i think it's kinda homogenous

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2014


10379 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@FTI It's been my least fav for quite a while man. The only songs I really ever come back to a lot are Minerva, Needles and Pins, Deathblow and Bloody Cape.

TooManyFriends
August 11th 2014


700 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the only way this album could be better is if they put Lovers on it

fromtheinside
August 11th 2014


18363 Comments


dude i wasn't joking about the time thing. i just started understanding it two years ago and am falling more in love with it every time i feel like listening to deftones. one of my go-to's to be honest

sapient
August 11th 2014


2024 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Disagree with your opinion for the most part (especially with your thoughts on Battle-Axe, that one-note riff grooves perfectly), but solid review as usual Mongi

Digging: Iron Maiden - Powerslave

tempest--
August 11th 2014


13626 Comments


love this album a lot

jtswope
August 11th 2014


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is better than Adrenaline, but still one of their weakest.

tempest--
August 11th 2014


13626 Comments


Honestly, I don't see why many people think that. This just sounds like old school Deftones to me.

jtswope
August 11th 2014


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, I guess I prefer the more experimental Deftones. Adrenaline bored me. Around the Fur was a lot better, but it didn't captivate me the same way White Pony, SNW, etc. did.

jtswope
August 11th 2014


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

But this is still solid, so I still enjoy it.



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