Deftones (album)

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Deftones-selftitled albumcover.jpg
Studio album by Deftones
Released May 20, 2003
Recorded March–October 2002
Studio Studio X in Seattle; Larrabee Studio in West Hollywood; The Spot in Sacramento
Length 47:14
Label Maverick
Deftones chronology
Back to School
(2001)Back to School2001
B-Sides & Rarities
(2005)B-Sides & Rarities2005
Singles from Deftones
  1. "Minerva"
    Released: June 29, 2003
  2. "Bloody Cape"
    Released: 2003 (Promotional)
  3. "Hexagram"
    Released: December 30, 2003

Deftones is the eponymous fourth studio album by American alternative metal band Deftones, released on May 20, 2003 by Maverick Records. The album features a broader spectrum of musical styles than the band’s previous albums, ranging from some of their heaviest compositions to moody trip hop influences, and some recorded mostly with seven-string guitars. It was the band's final album to be produced by Terry Date, whose collaboration with Deftones dated back to their debut album Adrenaline (1995).


Originally titled Lovers, the album was instead given an eponymous title because singer Chino Moreno considered Lovers too obvious in relation to the context of its material (the former title song "Lovers" did appear as a A-side and B-side on the UK "Hexagram" single). Deftones was the last album produced by Date, who had collaborated with the band since Adrenaline, due to the vast amount of time spent in the studio. The band's slow writing and recording pace frustrated Date, as well as their lack of previously composed material when they entered the studio. A leaked track list from a month prior to the album's release featured "Needles & Pins" as the opener, under the title "Aria"; The song title and the album's track list were changed at the last minute.

Musical style[edit]

Deftones is an eclectic album, with songs spanning many different ideas in diverse genres. It has a much different feel than prior efforts, due in part to Frank Delgado leaving his turntables behind and instead focusing on playing keyboards and synthesizers. Most of the album's songs make extensive use of the band's low drop G# tuning and Moreno's high screams, resulting in some of the heaviest songs in the band's catalog. On the other hand, the track "Lucky You" is a dark, soft, trip hop-influenced piece featuring DJ Crook from Moreno's side project Team Sleep and vocalist Rey Osburn of Tinfed. A grand piano and toy piano were featured in the mournful "Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event."

In addition to trip-hop influences, significant shoegaze elements have been noted on the album, especially in regards to the song "Minerva.".[1][2][3]


Deftones produced two singles, "Minerva" and "Hexagram." Music videos were shot for both singles as well as the track "Bloody Cape". The latter's video was only available on the band's official website for one day, but was later released on the DVD portion of the band's B-Sides & Rarities. As the lead single, "Minerva" featured a melodic, commercially viable sound and gained strong rotation on mainstream rock video programming. In contrast, the extreme heaviness of "Hexagram" landed it on shows such as Uranium and Headbangers Ball.

"Battle-Axe" was featured in the video game Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, while "Minerva" was featured in True Crime: Streets of LA, NHL 2004, House of Wax, and also as downloadable content for the Rock Band series.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 74/100[4]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[5]
Dot Music (8/10)[6]
E! Online 3.5/5 stars[7]
Entertainment Weekly B[8]
Playlouder 2.5/5 stars[9]
Q 4.5/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[10]
Pitchfork (4.7/10)[11]
Spin 3/5 stars[12]

Deftones was well received by critics, earning an aggregate rating of 74 on Metacritic.[7]

Q praised the album, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars, stating, "In a genre considered creatively bankrupt, this is genuinely new metal".[7] Rolling Stone stated, "This is metal that crushes, then soothes; collapses, then soars... Deftones just blows open the possibilities".[10] In contrast, reviewers from sites such The A.V. Club and AllMusic gave the album positive scores but criticized the band for returning to their heavy style, instead of the more soft and artistic style of its predecessor, White Pony.[13][5]

Spin magazine also give it a positive score, but complained about the album's notable darkness, saying, "On their fourth album, Deftones are sad as hell, and they're not gonna take it anymore; this is less an 11-song album than a single long-form mope".[12] Playlouder's mixed review praised the band's musicianship, but criticized Moreno's high, screamed vocals.[9]

In 2016, Jonathan Dick of NPR Music retrospectively noted the album's "trip-hop nuances" and included the album as an example of Deftones' varied catalogue, stating that "Deftones' catalogue reads like a case study in how a band can translate influences into a sound that's definitively their own."[14] The track "Minerva" was placed at spot number 12 in Consequence of Sound's article "The Top 20 Deftones Song," with Jon Hadusek claiming that "[in] a way, Deftones brought shoegaze to the alternative metal mainstream with 'Minerva', a crushingly heavy, textured jam indebted to Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins and Hum [...]" Hadusek further stated that the track was "far-and-away the best track" of the self-titled album and that the track "hints at the dreamier directions" that Deftones would continue to explore.[1]

Commercial performance[edit]

This album sold 167,000 copies in its first week of release in America, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, making it the highest charting album to date by the band,[15] and went on to sell over 500,000 copies in the U.S., giving it gold status.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Deftones except "Lucky You"; by Deftones and DJ Crook.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Hexagram"   4:09
2. "Needles and Pins"   3:23
3. "Minerva"   4:18
4. "Good Morning Beautiful"   3:28
5. "Deathblow"   5:28
6. "When Girls Telephone Boys"   4:36
7. "Battle-axe"   5:01
8. "Lucky You" (feat. Rey Osburn) Deftones and DJ Crook 4:10
9. "Bloody Cape"   3:37
10. "Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event"   3:57
11. "Moana"   5:02
Total length: 47:09




  • Terry Date – production, engineering and mixing
  • Kinski Gallo – additional photography
  • Sam Hofstedt – assistant engineering
  • Frank Maddocks – art direction and design
  • James R. Minchin III – band photography
  • Rey Osburn – additional vocals (on "Lucky You")
  • Pete Roberts – Pro Tools engineering and additional engineering
  • Nick Spanos – additional photography
  • Sean Tallman – assistant engineering
  • Greg Wells – arrangement



Country Certification
Canada[34] Gold
United Kingdom[35] Silver
United States[36] Gold


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  2. ^ Unterberger, Andrew. "The SPIN Interview: Deftones". SPIN. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Gormely, Ian. "Deftones: Beauty and Brutality". Exclaim!. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "Deftones - Deftones Warner Brothers / Maverick Summary". Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
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  6. ^ "Deftones Reviews". 3 June 2012. Archived from the original on June 3, 2003. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Deftones by Deftones". 
  8. ^ "Deftones". 23 May 2003. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "PLAYLOUDER - review - Deftones". 24 June 2003. Archived from the original on 24 June 2003. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "Deftones Album Reviews". Archived from the original on February 12, 2007. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Bryant, Andrew. "Deftones: Deftones Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Deftones, 'Deftones' (Maverick) - SPIN". 15 June 2003. 
  13. ^ "Deftones: Deftones". 3 June 2003. 
  14. ^ Dick, Jonathan. "Deftones' Chino Moreno on Surviving, Evolving And 'Gore'". NPR. Retrieved 3 June 2016. From the trip-hop nuances of its self-titled album in 2003 to the bleak math metal tendencies of 2006's Saturday Night Wrist to the goth-rock tinged shoegaze of 2010's Diamond Eyes to the prog-rock flirting of 2012's Koi No Yokan, Deftones' catalogue reads like a case study in how a band can translate influences into a sound that's definitively their own. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Deftones - Deftones". Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  17. ^ "Discographie Deftones" (in German). Das Österreichische Hitparaden- und Musik-Portal. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  18. ^ "Discografie Deftones" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  19. ^ a b "Deftones - Deftones". Billboard. 
  20. ^ "Deftones - Deftones" (in Danish). Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  21. ^ "Discografie Deftones" (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  22. ^ "Discography Deftones" (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  23. ^ "Discographie Deftones" (in French). Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  24. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Deftones / Longplay" (in German). PhonoNet. 
  25. ^ "Discography Deftones". 
  26. ^ "Discography Deftones". Archived from the original on 2012-10-21. 
  27. ^ "Discography Deftones". Archived from the original on 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  28. ^ "Discography Deftones" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  29. ^ "Deftones - Deftones" (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  30. ^ "Discographie Deftones" (in German). Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  31. ^ "Discography Deftones" (in Swedish). Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  32. ^ a b Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK: Asher D – Dyverse". Zobbel. Archived from the original on 2015-10-19. 
  33. ^ "Deftones Album & Song Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. 
  34. ^ "CRIA Searchable Database". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 2013-05-17. 
  35. ^ "Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. 
  36. ^ "RIAA Database Search Results for Deftones". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
Preceded by
The Golden Age of Grotesque by Marilyn Manson
Canadian Albums Chart number-one album
June 7, 2003 - June 14, 2003
Succeeded by
How the West Was Won by Led Zeppelin