No.4 White Pony - Deftones
This is probably my favourite album ever, so why is it in this list? Because it’s massively undervalued, that’s why.
I don't ever expect Deftones to release another White Pony, and despite them being my favorite band, I don't expect them to recapture the brilliance of this album either. Every band has a climax, a defining album, and Deftones' belongs to White Pony - although they got close with Diamond Eyes, they didn’t quite manage it.
Onto the album itself and a dystopian future is painted beautifully by Steph Carpenter’s dark and grinding guitar work, yet he somehow manages to be smooth and clean-verging on ethereal- at the same time, impressive stuff. Feiticeira, opens up the album and exemplifies Carpenter’s signature sound. While Moreno repeatedly drones, “soon I’ll let you go, soon I’ll let you go,” it gives the song depth and an unnerving emotion. Digital Bath, kicks off with yet another simple, yet catchy, drum beat compliments of Abe Cunningham. The quiet strums of Carpenter’s strings really do emulate the sound of water, for which I’m thankful they pulled off without using any samples or loops. Throughout the song Moreno proclaims, “Tonight I feel like more, which shows off the singer’s classic range quite nicely. Elite throws the listener a curveball by being a full-blown metal song. Chino screams his voice raw shouting, “You’ll bleed out of control,” more than a few times.
Teenager, a song originally for Moreno’s mellower side-project, Team Sleep, showcases some lovely samples from Frank Delgado (who officially became a member of the group with this album). It’s a very simple love song sampling a soft acoustic guitar and drum loop that is a pleasant departure from the previous songs but still fits well on the album.Knife Party is yet another classic on the album, at the end of the track you can hear artist Rodleen wailing some impressive vocal range.
The ultimate guest appearance can be found on Passenger. Maynard James Keenan of Tool/APC fame appears and his vocals are the perfect compliment to Moreno’s wailing. It is easily my favorite rock duet, if you will. It’s an epic song that has a lot of atmosphere to it; the delivery by both artists is brilliant.
Change (In the House of Flies) was the first single at the time, and it’s also one of the few tracks that features Moreno on guitar as well. The subtle sounds that Delgado samples give the song great eerie tension. Moreno’s soft-spoken pre-chorus blends wonderfully with the mellow environment of the song; the buildup is top-notch. This is my favourite track on the album
I love the bipolarity of this album. It’s so dark and gritty, but smooth at the same time. It sounds like a true garage album that has been polished off by a smart producer. Terry Date has done most of the Deftones albums, and this album shows why. Any producer could have easily screwed the sound of this album up.