Back To School: How Deftones’ ‘White Pony’ changed alternative music forever

The year 2000 was, simply put, one of the most pivotally important ones in modern music history. Several albums released that year are rightfully considered among the most important in the last 20 years of music – Hybrid Theory, Kid A, Relationship Of Command, and Deftones’ White Pony were just a few of the year’s best. White Pony, in particular, is bestowed a certain unquestionable presence in the pantheon of alternative metal, transcending nu-metal completely.

Why is the album so celebrated, though? A multitude of factors come into play here, but White Pony is an important album because of the scene it transcended – it’s a bold departure from their previous work that could have easily flopped.

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Deftones confirm new music is coming in 2019

While it’s been almost 3 years since their most recent album Gore was released, fans of the alt-metal veterans won’t have to wait too long for new music. Having just headlined their own Dia De Los Deftones festival in San Diego in November, the band has officially confirmed they’ll be releasing new music in 2019.

While we have little idea what the record will sound like, fans can likely expect some progression from Gore, as well as their sound overall. While Gore certainly wasn’t the best-received Deftones album to date, there are plenty of great tracks on the record – especially “Doomed User”, the emotive and post-rock influenced “Hearts/Wires”, and “Phantom Bride”. Perhaps it’s worth revisiting again, as it’s an album that tends to grow on the listener.

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Deftones release highly influential alt-metal album, “White Pony”, 18 years ago today

“Soon, I’ll let you go. Soon, this will be all over”. The words of the opening track off White Pony, “Feiticeira”, ring out like a statement and not merely just words. Perhaps that’s the great duality of what Deftones really brought to the table on their highly influential (and arguably magnum opus) 3rd album, White Pony. Released as nu-metal was starting to hit its decline phase, White Pony is Deftones at their experimental and atmospheric peak.

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When Girls Telephone Boys: Ranking Every Deftones Album


If you’re looking for consistent excellence in your bands, there’s very few I can think of who haven’t ever really put out anything even a little disappointing. Progressive death metal veterans Enslaved (13 albums in, and everything they’ve done is still solid at worst), alternative rockers Thrice and The Dear Hunter would probably fit here too – a combined almost 30 years experience between the two, and the least awesome thing either have done was Thrice’s debut full-length, Identity Crisis – which wasn’t even bad, really.

Speaking of Thrice, alternative metal veterans Deftones have much in common. They’re both from California, are well-respected both critically and commercially, and have added new elements to their sound over time – both bands are also considered massive influences on many of today’s current alternative rock, post-hardcore, and metalcore bands – how many vocalists are influenced by Chino Moreno in some way? The answer: many.

Their 8th studio album Gore is now out, and while the mixing is still a little off to me, it’s another great addition to their discography. It even went to #2 on the Billboard Top 200. But where do their 8 studio albums since 1995 rank as a whole? Find out below.

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