Deftones (album)

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Deftones-selftitled albumcover.jpg
Studio album by Deftones
Released May 20, 2003
Recorded March–October 2002 at Studio X in Seattle; Larrabee Studio in West Hollywood; The Spot in Sacramento
Length 47:14
Label Maverick
Producer Terry Date and Deftones
Deftones chronology
White Pony
B-Sides & Rarities
Singles from Deftones
  1. "Minerva"
    Released: April 29, 2003
  2. "Hexagram"
    Released: December 30, 2003

Deftones is the fourth studio album by the American alternative metal band Deftones. It was released on May 20, 2003 through Maverick Records. The album features a broader spectrum of musical styles than previous Deftones records, ranging from some of their heaviest compositions (such as "Bloody Cape" and "When Girls Telephone Boys") to rather moody trip hop influences (such as "Lucky You"), and recorded mostly with 7 string guitars. It would be the band's final album produced by Terry Date, whose collaboration with Deftones dates back to their 1995 debut, Adrenaline.


In November 2002, drummer Abe Cunningham revealed via Glassjaw's official website that the album would be expected to feature 12 to 37 tracks, alongside various features from the likes of Timbaland and Missy Elliott; plans for this however were shelved due to unknown reasons.[1] Originally titled to be Lovers, the album was instead given an eponymous title because singer Chino Moreno considered Lovers too obvious to the context of its material. The song "Lovers" does, however, exist on the UK single for "Hexagram" as a B-side. Deftones was the last album produced by Terry Date, who had collaborated with the band since Adrenaline, due to the vast amount of time spent in the studio, for example the band spent the first 3 days hanging around. They took considerable amounts of time to write and record music which frustrated Date as much as their lack of material when they entered the studio, the latter of the songs were written in the studio. A leaked tracklist from a month prior to the release featured "Needles & Pins" as the opener, under the title "Aria". The song's title & tracklist 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 from prior efforts, due in part to Frank Delgado leaving his turntables behind and instead playing keyboards and synthesizers. Most songs on the album make extensive use of the band's low G# tuning and Moreno's instable high screams, resulting in some of the heaviest songs in the band's catalog. On the other hand, "Lucky You" is a dark soft trip hop-influenced piece featuring DJ Crook from Moreno's side project, Team Sleep. A grand piano and toy piano are featured in the mournful "Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event."


Deftones produced two singles, "Minerva" and "Hexagram." Music videos were shot for both singles as well as the track "Bloody Cape," the video for which was available on the band's official website for one day only. However, the video was later released on the band's B-Sides & Rarities album. As the lead single, "Minerva" features 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, and as downloadable content for the Rock Band series.


This album sold 167,000 copies in its first week of release in America opening up at #2 on the Billboard 200 (the highest charted album to date by the band)[2] and went on to sell over 500,000 copies in the U.S. giving it Gold status.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 74/100[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[4]
The A.V. Club C[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]
Sputnikmusic 5/5 stars[13]

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

Q also praised the album, giving it four and a half out of five stars, stating: "In a genre considered creatively bankrupt, this is genuinely new metal." Dot music considered the album "an important leap forward for the band" while Rolling Stone stated: "This is metal that crushes, then soothes; collapses, then soars... Deftones just blows open the possibilities." In contrast, reviewers from sites such The A.V. Club or AllMusic, although giving it a positive score, criticized the band for returning to their heavy style, instead of the more soft and artistic style of its predecessor: the White Pony album.

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." A mixed review came from Playlouder, which, while praising the band's musicianship, criticized Moreno´s high screamed vocals.

Track listing[edit]

All songs were 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. Reyka 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:


  • 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

Chart positions[edit]


Country Certification
Canada[32] Gold
United Kingdom[33] Silver
United States[34] Gold

Chart procession and succession[edit]

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


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