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The Deftones have always been a criminally misunderstood band. For years
they have been lumped into categories and sub-genres that they don't really belong in. The
great thing about this band is that their music has been able to reach people of all kinds
and musical tastes. They have always been a band with a lot of talent, and in the year
2000 that point came across with a harsh and beautiful force on their third album, White
White Pony was a mindblowing disc that took the band to a whole new level
by adding a whole new depth and experimental atmosphere to their music. It was definitely
one of the best records to be released in 2000. Fast forward three years later, and the
band is just now releasing their follow up to that album. Is it better than its
predecessor? No, but Deftones is still a poetic, brutal, and truly interesting
addition to the band's discography.
This album is definitely a lot heavier than White Pony, and it rarely lets
up. We begin with "Hexagram," a mindblowing opener that seems to paint a picture
filled with commentary on religion with lyrics like, "And the crowd goes wild! And
the camera makes you seasick! God it's so sweet of you and I know you're proud. And the
car bomb hits quick click, faint smile!" Moving over to track three is
"Minerva," the album's first single, and obviously one of the best tracks on the
album. A beautiful single with a great intro riff.
The album chugs along portraying tales of confusion, paranoia, and relationships
gone wrong. Chino Moreno's vocals are as intense as ever, but not as moving as they were
on the band's last album. His lyrics are still top notch, both beautifully poetic and
disturbing. "When Girls Telephone Boys" is another one of my favorites on the
album, and features the repeated screams of, "Something's wrong with you...and I hope
we never do meet again."
Production wise, this disc isn't as slick as White
Pony, but it is chock full of effects. The sound of the album, as I mentioned
earlier, is obviously heavy, and it is presented in a murky fashion, which fills the
haunting visions of the songs pretty well. As I mentioned earlier, the band draws quite a
diverse crowd. On track ten, "Anniversary Of An Uninteresting Event," the
screams cease, and we are entertained by a beautiful piano ballad reminiscent of a Smiths
or Cure song. Experimentation like this is what made White Pony such a great
This is still a decent album, but it just doesn't have the cohesive flow that its
predecessor had. I was reading another review of this disc, and the reviewer noted that it
is almost as if this album should have came before White Pony. I couldn't agree
more. Deftones attempts to fuse the experimentation of White Pony with
the brutal hardcore of their first two albums. The result is a solid effort, but it truly
feels hit or miss at times. It will be interesting to see what direction the band's next
album takes. Hopefully it won't take three more years to find out.
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