Deftones are possibly my favourite band to come out of the nu-metal scene. They're full of interesting and creative ideas (something a lot of bands in the genre never had, they just ripped each other off) and I don't think that this is fully noticed by the mainstream audience. White Pony is such an original and the ideas are flowing through. For those of you that don't know, White Pony is a cocaine reference and there is plenty of drug references in this album. For example, Knife Party
isn't about a knife at all, a knife party is a drug hideout. I think they did take some substances during the making of this album as it's very trippy and atmospheric and the references being pulled back to drugs show it perfectly, though I don't think the band have hidden that they do drugs.
This album shows something new in every song, every song has a completely different concept and there is a good mix of light and heavy songs shown here. This album even showed the most nu-metal side of Deftones. Back To School (Mini Maggit)
was taken off the album due to it not flowing with the album and the only reason for it's existence is that the record company wanted singles. It's not a bad song but really typical of the scene, it's a bit ironic that the lyrics deal with every band in the scene stealing the band's ideas (those who thought it was about a school is an idiot, sorry). It is a complete rap metal song, I enjoy the verses but the chorus is pretty bland. Anyone with a copy that doesn't have the song, it doesn't matter, the last track on the album Pink Maggit
is a longer version of the song and contains the bare bits of the single, Back To School
The band are incredible musicians, containing the finest of lush guitar melodies and heavy pounding riffs. The drums don't do anything particularly amazing but show a steady beat and some complicated patterns. Chino's voice seems to be quite acquired to a certain taste; it is very low and droning. I quite enjoy his voice though as I feel his voice makes the atmosphere of the song; his screaming can perfect a heavier song while his low drone can perfect the slower songs. Listen to the album to see what I mean as words cannot describe it as well as listening and enjoying the experience. The band are just simply amazing but I feel the bass could have more lines and more shine-outs, its fine just the way it is though. The turntables again only add to the atmosphere as every song is perfectly textured and layered.
The Deftones highest point for the album is how the 5 guys can create so many atmosphere that it doesn't matter if the music is simple. It isn't that simple but it is quite easy to play. Every song contains just enough power and dare I say, 'emotion'. I do think the atmosphere puts the emotion out. I seem to be saying atmosphere a lot but again I can't describe it with words, it has to be a listening pleasure to really understand it. Atmosphere has a lot to do with the album as it gives the album the reason I like it so much. It's something you can listen to when you are sad, angry, happy or hyper. It's a universal album that everyone can relate to. The lyrics are very deep, though they may not seem like it at first, you really need to delve into it first. I think I've described Knife Party
where it's about drugs. The lyrics quite suit the 'floating' atmosphere that is portrayed in the song. Digital Bath
was wrote when Chino had a dream that he got a girl into the bath and then electrocuted her with an electrical appliance. It is unsure whether Chino had sex with the girl first in the dream (though many people think he did). None the less, it is a pretty disturbing image to think about when listening. From what I've heard, Passenger
is about sex in a car (the line, 'throw these misty windows down' gives a bombshell away). I'm trying to remember what RX Queen
is about, I think it has something to do with Chino's wife having a disease and he just wants her to know how much he loves her. I gathered that from the lines, 'cause you're my girl and that's all right, if you sting me I won't mind'.
Every song is essential to the feeling of the album, while reviewing every track seems a good idea, I'd use the word atmosphere too much and probably base the whole review around that; however I will discuss a few tracks and why I particularly like them. The obvious one would be Passenger
and I have a story to go along with it. One night, I was walking back from a friend's and I was listening to the album, that song came on and I suddenly feared for my life, that's how effective (emphasise effective) the atmosphere of the album can be. Anyone listening to the song for the first time will probably be happy that Maynard James Keen from the bands Tool and A Perfect Circle guest appears. Maynard was supposed to just help out with the track but Chino then decided that he should guest star in it. Chino and Maynard both intertwine with each other during the vocals and the piano which shows in the song is just creepy. The song is really effective; the guitar line is aggressive even for a non-aggressive song.
I've talked about this track several times but Knife Party
is such a good track. The feeling of the song makes you feel like you're floating in mid-air and you never want to be let down ever again. The song feels like it's been dipped in a bucket of flange (which is an effect which is pretty hard to explain). The female back-up vocals are quite creepy and it gets to the point where the female singer is screaming her guts out. Chino has a good performance here; he really stretches out his vocal chords. The guitars; they are so smooth and flowing and the plus of a seven-stringed guitar adds another dimension in my opinion. The song is dark and most listeners probably won't 'get' it until probably about the fourth full listen of the song. Korea
could be a song taken from Adrenaline, it joins the ranks of Elite
and Back To School
for the most 'nu-metal' song. I wouldn't consider it bad like every other song in the genre but this is possibly the heaviest song on the album with Chino screaming his heart out and the guitar using particularly chunky riffs. The drums; pounding on the cymbals and the overall heaviness of the song adds to the album that would seem pretty similar if it had not been placed where it had been placed. 'Night time, cavity to come in downtown pony, work your pitch' screams the angry Chino as he shows the listener who's boss.
Thus, our journey ends at Pink Maggit
, it starts really slow and daunting, the guitar plays just a few notes at a time while Chino slowly drones out the lyrics. This song is absolutely long, clocking in at seven minutes, thirty two seconds. At about 2:45, the song picks up with a slower version of Back to School
, this version is better though because it doesn't have the cheesiness, clich' moments of the other one. A slow, perfect song to end the album, again, the atmosphere takes place as the instruments don't particularly do a lot but the mood sets perfectly. It has a creeping sign of the album ending in it (hence being a perfect ending track). The song just fades out with a ton of effects, absolutely beautiful.
I can not say this enough, this album is absolutely breathtaking and it's a modern classic (which is something you don't get a lot of now a day). The Deftones have evolved from the days of teenage angst, and chunky guitars riffs and replaced them with something indescribable. I'm probably going to look like a fan boy but I am not, this album is amazing and one of the best of the past ten years. If you listen to metal or rock, this is essential. The mood and atmosphere will sway you and the sheer pleasure of listening to it will be there with you. Every song is amazing and adds a new part to the story of the White Pony. Whether this is a drug-influenced album I probably will never know but I know that this is a classic. Even if you don't enjoy other Deftones albums, I suggest this really bad. This is something new and original, something that you won't get these days so I suggest to try it out.