Ranking the Deftones Albums


Parker Traman

When it comes to the wild world of nu / alt-metal, few bands have remained as consistent, and unique, as the Deftones. Formed in California’s capital city in the late 80’s, early 90’s, the unit which has remained intact (minus the bassist position, as the band’s most consistent bassist, Chi Cheng, sadly passed away in the late 2000’s from injuries sustained in a vehicular accident) and has released quite a few beloved records within the modern day rock and metal spectrum. So allow me, the elitist of musical creation, to provide a definitive ranking of the diverse collection under the Deftones’ name.

#9:) Gore (2016):

Good God, this is awful. Gore has to be one of the laziest, bland records I’ve ever had the displeasure of playing for myself. It’s such an odd misstep as well, as nearly every Deftones album has something to enjoy, but here the only standout track is the opener, “Prayers / Triangles”. The rest of the album is filler garbage meant to fill a quota. The production is lacking any sort of variety and nuance, the lyrics are emotionless, and the songwriting is uncharacteristically one-note. Avoid this album, its defenders are drinking the stupid juice.

#8:) Koi no Yokan (2012):

Maybe my hottest take here, Gore‘s 2012 predecessor isn’t as amazing as everyone else finds it to be, in my opinion. Dripping with shoegaze stylings, Koi no Yokan manages to have a few standout tracks that provide quintessential Deftones flavors, such as “Swerve City” and “What Happened to You?”. But honestly, this album just kinda drags on. I don’t love it at all, but I don’t hate it. It’s just meh.

#7:) Deftones (2003):

Following up the band’s 2000 smash hit, White Pony, was going to be a difficult task. Luckily the resulting album isn’t a disaster, in fact it’s quite good, it just doesn’t provide anything new. It’s a record that expands upon White Pony‘s formula, just without the magic it had. “Hexagram,” “Minerva,” and “Good Morning, Beautiful” are all fantastic, but when this record doesn’t hit, it hits dang near rock bottom. Good songs are good, bad songs are awful.

#6:) Ohms (2020):

The most recent Deftones album is a clear example of not being worse than the previous records on the list, but not having the firepower to contend with the big boys. It’s an enjoyable record that provides some of the band’s heaviest material, but won’t blow you away. “Genesis,” “This Link is Dead,” and the title track are highlights, and it of course is a step up from Gore, that’s always a plus.

#5:) Around the Fur (1997):

We’ve made it Parker’s dad’s favorite Deftones album, and yes, it is an important release in their discography. It marked a turning point for the band, laying down the foundation for their future releases, but similar to Ohms, the next four albums are just that much better. Deftones classics do lay within the track listing though, as “My Own Summer (Shove It)” and “Be Quite and Drive (Far Away)” are certified bangers, but deeper cuts like the title track and “MX” are awesome as well.

#4:) Saturday Night Wrist (2006):

By far the band’s most controversial album, I’ve seen some people disown this record, while I’ve seen others swoon over it. Well as you can see, I’m apart of the latter group. Saturday Night Wrist was recorded during a tumultuous times for the band, as they were extremely close to breaking up, vocalist Chino Moreno detested his fellow band members, and they were forced to record it separately from each other. But the crazy part is that this record hits. Yes the production is weak, as the spliced together segments of each member’s recordings are a little jarring at times, tracks like “Hole in the Earth,” “Beware,” “Combat,” “Rats!Rats!Rats!,” and especially “Kimdracula” make up for it. I considered putting this record in the top three, but upon a recent listen, it falls just a bit short.

#3:) Adrenaline (1995):

Okay ignore my Koi no Yokan opinion, this is my hottest take on the list. Deftones’ debut record, Adrenaline, is very flawed and is commonly ranked among their worst records, but for me, it’s just so fun and raw. It’s unfiltered and never lets up, and I appreciate the band’s personality here, as this feels more personal than any other release despite the very not personal lyrical content. “Bored” is my favorite Deftones track of all-time, and it’s a nostalgia trip for me. Yes, you’re allowed to hate it, but I’m allowed to love it.

#2:) White Pony (2000):

Watch out, the normies are butthurt. White Pony launched the Deftones into superstardom back in 2000, and they were a key name in the new wave of alternative metal, but this just isn’t their best. Yes, so many tracks are amazing, but it is not flawless. I can live without “Rx Queen” and “Teenager”, heck even “Feiticeira” isn’t that great. And sadly, those three tracks keep it from the top spot.

#1:) Diamond Eyes (2010):

By far the band’s most emotional release, as it was the band’s first album without Chi Cheng, Diamond Eyes is near flawless. It combines the band’s best elements: heaviness, ambience, beautiful harmonies, and vibey sounds. There is literally only one song here you can skip, and that’s “976-EVIL”. Other than that, the record is perfect. The title track, “Royal,” “CMND/CTRL,” “You’ve Seen the Butcher,” “Beauty School,” “Prince,” all fantastic. Pure glory for nearly the entire runtime.

So yeah, get mad at me Deftones fans, but you won’t deter me. Eat Arby’s.