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Rock - Released September 25, 2020 | Reprise

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Unless System Of A Down reunites and proves us otherwise, there's no nu-metal band that's aged better than Deftones. Sure, the Sacramento group has always veered closer to alt-metal auteurs like Tool and A Perfect Circle than Korn or Limp Bizkit, and if that maturity came at the cost of some cheap commercial hits back in the day, then it's paid off tenfold in the long haul. On their ninth record Ohms, their first in four years, Deftones are a bunch of guys pushing 50 who sound fresher and more energized than most metal bands half their age. The band spent the 2010s toying with increasingly experimental and cerebral concepts—the sort of thing artsy bands do when they're 15 years into the game—but Ohms is a brilliant and undeniable return to form. The album marks a reunion with their original producer Terry Date (who worked the boards for their first four records), but it also brings some new blood into the fold: guitarist Stephen Carpenter's nine-string guitar. The beastly axe allows for subterranean low-ends that sound spectacular in contrast to Chino Moreno's soaring vocals. On songs like "Error" and "Radiant City," the palm-muted chugs recall gurgling djent tones, adding a rejuvenating heft to Deftones' signature blend of dreamy and dastardly. Beyond the exquisite production and all-around knockout performances, Ohms is just a great collection of songs. "Ceremony" features a smashing chorus, just a total wallop of a song, while tracks like the surging, spastic "This Link Is Dead" and the metalcore-ish "Urantia" center their unmatched might. The record's title-track closer features a bluesy riff that splatters into gangly shredding, ending the album on a mountainous peak that brings to mind early Mastodon. Considering how long Deftones have been at it, Ohms is technically a late-career record. But in this instance, at least, age is just a number. This band sounds like they're just hitting their stride. © Eli Enis/Qobuz
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Rock - Released November 9, 2012 | Reprise

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Rock - Released November 9, 2012 | Reprise

Distinctions 4 étoiles Rock and Folk
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Rock - Released December 11, 2020 | Reprise

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Rock - Released May 16, 2000 | Maverick

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Rock - Released October 27, 1997 | Maverick

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Rock - Released April 7, 2016 | Reprise

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Rock - Released September 29, 1995 | Maverick

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Rock - Released April 23, 2010 | Reprise

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Rock - Released April 8, 2016 | Reprise

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The opening of Gore is somewhat of an oscillation between a calm and melodic register, where the bass line brings a steady rhythm, then let the guitars scream out any distortion. Chino Moreno is still master of his vocal organ and makes the alternating tempo his playground. Overall, the album is a recital of guitars, where the speaker amps are pushed to their limit, all punctuated with a drum that does not fail to hold a heavy rhythm. The intelligence of the group lies in its ability to evolve and divert as necessary. Also in the nu metal movement, Deftones add new wave sounds with this latest album, and make something very close to a supercharged grunge album. © RB/Qobuz
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Rock - Released May 19, 2003 | Maverick

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Rock - Released October 30, 2006 | Maverick

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Rock - Released April 16, 2011 | Reprise

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Hard Rock - Released October 4, 2005 | Rhino - Maverick Records

Rock critics usually reserve a special place for Deftones above or at least away from the rest of the turn-of-the-century nu-metal movement. While they definitely share the influence of a group like Tool with peers like Korn and Linkin Park, Deftones have always seemed more curious, more willing to incorporate traditionally revered sounds like dream pop or D.C. hardcore into their southern California alt-metal. So critics and fans alike will be happy with 2005's Rarities, Covers and Videos, which begins with fantastic covers of Jawbox ("Savory") and Cocteau Twins ("Wax and Wane" from 1982's Garlands) before dropping an electro-acoustic retelling of their own "Change (In the House of Flies)." Even dads will be happy with the set: Deftones turn in a version of Skynyrd's "Simple Man" that manages bluesy grit and soulful, weirdly androgynous Chino Moreno atmospherics at the very same time. (On second thought, maybe dads won't be happy.) Elsewhere they tear into Helmet (a raging "Sinatra"), Duran Duran, the Cure, and the Smiths. "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" (where they sound like Ride) and Duran's "Chauffeur" date from 1994, while the Cure's "If Only Tonight We Could Sleep" is a live recording from 2004. In perhaps the most unlikely turn, Deftones also cover pop sophisticate Sade. "Ordinary Love" plateaus into a dream state and just sort of stays there. However, even here the band conjures the razor-edged queasiness that marks the best Deftones material. The previously unreleased "Black Moon" features Cypress Hill's B Real, and "Teenager" is reworked according to Idiot Pilot's cover of the White Pony original. (It also features that band's Michael Harris.) Rarities, Covers and Videos also includes re-versions of Deftones originals like "Digital Bath" and "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)," a DVD with every Deftones video, numerous photos, and liner notes for each song written by the band. More than just a holdover until a new album, Rarities, Covers and Videos is a fan thank-you that also reinforces Deftones' ongoing creative mission. © Johnny Loftus /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 23, 2010 | Reprise

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Hard Rock - Released May 16, 2000 | Rhino

Vaulting from genre favorites to the big leagues, Californian alt-metal outfit Deftones went from being the cool kid's nu-metal band of choice to a mainstream force with their seminal third album, White Pony. Taking steps away from the hip-hop swagger, rote riffs, and unpolished youthfulness of their early work, the band delved into their sonic toy chest, experimenting with atmosphere and effects, tightening their songcraft, and boosting Chino Moreno's pure singing vocals. The result was an artistic breakthrough, one that not only signaled a new direction for the band but also -- for better or worse -- cemented itself as arguably their finest work. Bridging their beginnings with what was to come, White Pony placated the hardened metalheads with ripping ragers like "Feiticeira," "Street Carp," and the Grammy-winning "Elite," while expanding their horizons with the midtempo lurch of "Rx Queen" (featuring an uncredited Scott Weiland on vocals) and the haunted haze of "Digital Bath." Whether loud or soft, violent or tender, each track on White Pony serves melody and mood in droves, resulting in the kind of album that is instantly recognizable as a conscious leveling-up. While best known on the charts and MTV for singles "Change (In the House of Flies)" and the bastard child afterthought "Back to School (Mini Maggit)" -- which was crammed in at the behest of their label -- the real meat of White Pony lies in a trio of late-album cuts that kicks off with the searing "Knife Prty," electrified by Rodleen Getsic's terrifying vocals at the close, and extends with the brutal "Korea," which features one of Moreno's most head-caving screams ever put to tape. The album's unnerving collision of sensuality and danger climaxes on the cinematic epic "Passenger," a bone-chilling duet with Tool's Maynard James Keenan that finds both frontmen at peak performance. Hearing the group evolve from 1997's unhinged "Headup" to something like the sparse, electronic ballad "Teenager" is a wonder and, in hindsight, it was clear that things would never be the same again for Deftones. Having tamed the beast, they emerged even more potent and powerful, embarking on a course to become boundary-pushing artists and survivors of the nu-metal era. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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Pop - Released October 27, 1997 | Maverick

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Rock - Released September 18, 2020 | Reprise

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Rock - Released August 21, 2020 | Reprise

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2006 | Maverick

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Deftones in the magazine
  • Deftones - Ohms
    Deftones - Ohms Unless System Of A Down reunites and proves us otherwise, there's no nu-metal band that's aged better than Deftones.