Deftones – White Pony 20th Anniversary Review

Band: Deftones
Album: White Pony
Label: Maverick Records
Genre: Alternative Metal, Nu-Metal
Country: United States
Release Date: June 20th, 2000

I think most people active in the metal/rock world have come across Deftones in one way or another, be it through their older material like Adrenaline, Around the Fur, or White Pony to Diamond Eyes, heck, even to Koi No Yokan; I might as well just state every album in their discography really, because all their records hold special places in the hearts of fans around the world. This record brings plenty of nostalgia, about Deftones in general, Myspace, MTV, and so on. If you haven’t given much attention to Deftones, that is no problem, but I highly suggest you change that, given the very wide variation in sound they have across their records. White Pony is THE stand out classic in their essential discography and for alternative/nu-metal in general alongside other records like Toxicity (System of a DownHybrid Theory (Linkin Park), and Follow The Leader (Korn) from the early 2000’s.

One thing that is so special about Deftones is their very wide vision with the music that they make. No matter who you ask, everyone will have different favorite tracks (mine is a tie between Knife Prty, Entombed, and Hole in the Earth) and that is a true testament to Deftones’ legacy as everything they make is very highly respected (lets not talk about Pink Cellphone). If everyone has different songs as their favorite, then most or all of their material really must be that good and this is the reality, let’s be honest. Heck, more than half of the tracks from this record are considered to be contenders for their overall best tracks and that just goes to show how great songwriters this group is. Deftones have created a legacy with their music and they truly left a massive mark in the alternative music world with White Pony.

Like across Deftones’ discography, White Pony has plenty of musical variation from massive, raging tracks like Elite or Back to School, to incredibly somber and relaxing songs like Digital Bath or Teenager, along with those tracks in between. Some tracks even push it further and create these eerie soundscapes that makes you question if it makes you feel more uncomfortable or badass, as is most obvious on Knife Prty with the blood-curdling screams and cries in the background as Chino continues to smoothly and effortlessly carry the song forward with this iconic vocals. From Chino’s blistering screams to his almost sexual, brooding sung vocals in addition to the instrumentals that match the certain vibe, White Pony is a musical rollercoaster. There are plenty of artists out there who can make stellar heavy music but struggle with the softer, more dreamy and atmospheric sound and vice versa, meanwhile Deftones flawlessly deliver on both sides of that spectrum and it is damn obvious that they’re still continuing to evolve with their music to this day. There really is something for everyone on this timeless record, as there are many artists taking elements of their sound and incorporating them into their own music twenty years later; refer to the latest Loathe or Car Bomb records for example.

Deftones music as a whole has been incredibly influential and still is to this day, there is absolutely no denying that. White Pony is a perfect blend of the chunky, heavy tunes along with the incredibly dreamy and somber tracks and truly, this record would not sound out of place at all if it was released today. Twenty years later, this record still stands strong and doesn’t sound aged one bit as Deftones were way ahead of the curve. Deftones truly have a special way with music and I cannot wait to hear what they have in store for us with their upcoming record, which is allegedly set for sometime in the fall. There was even mention of an Eros-related EP (rest in peace Chi Cheng) recently in an interview so big things are in store for us!

Track list:

  1. Back to School (Mini Maggit)
  2. Feiticeira
  3. Digital Bath
  4. Elite
  5. Rx Queen
  6. Street Carp
  7. Teenager
  8. Knife Prty
  9. Korea
  10. Passenger
  11. Change (In the House of Flies)
  12. Pink Maggit

Total Playing Time: 52:45

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