After escaping the nu-metal scene and becoming one of the most respectable alternative metal bands of all time, Deftones success has always been thanks to their marriage of different styles and influences – alternative rock, down-tuned metal, shoegaze, post-hardcore and electro – Deftones are a veritable melting pot of genres. After more than three decades as a group, they continue to be a massively successful group that manages to consistently have top 10 albums and sell out arenas across the planet.
They wrote some of the best and biggest tracks in metal from the mid-90s onwards, and with nine full albums to their name, there’s a whole slew of forgotten tracks. Deftones songs that fans overlook. With the band finally on the road to support their excellent release in 2020 ohmit’s more than ever the time to go digging for some Deftones‘best deep cuts!
Hidden at the end of diamond eyes, “976-EVIL” is a great song whose only sin is that it’s on an album with arguably even more material. It has undoubtedly been overshadowed and more or less ignored by the band – having only been played once during a live stream in 2010, where the quintet performed diamond eyes in its entirety. But don’t let this lack of recognition fool you, “976-EVIL” is classic Deftones features – dreamy guitars, deep tuned grooves and a killer chorus. A very underrated and very strong track to kick off our list.
From the 2006 film Fueled by Tension Saturday night wrist“Fight” is a Deftones‘ song that is rarely mentioned – or performed live for that matter, only seeing the stage once. The album it came from is a bit of a mixed bag, containing some of the most diverse and restricted material the band has released to date. “Combat” takes well over a minute to get going, but once the intro soundscapes pass and the track kicks in, it’s packed with powerful riffs and a light, airy chorus. Despite some personal challenges during the LP recording process, the leader chinos by Moreno cleans and screams are still strong and captivating.
“Damone” is essentially a product of time past – the hidden track at the end of the CD. This practice died out when the digital age took over the music industry, but in the 90s it was a nice bonus for die-hard fans wanting to sit down (or fast forward) for more than 20 minutes of silence. Stuck at the end of Deftones‘ sophomore classic About fur – after the cleaner album “MX” – “Damone” is a big heavy song, wrought with emotion and power. It could have easily been inserted anywhere else on around the fur – and why it is not. The truest definition of a deep, straight cut one of the best hidden tunes in metal.
Another hidden song, this time from Deftones‘ first version Adrenaline. album finale “Fist” was curiously produced by nu-metal Svengali Ross Robinsoninstead of Sponge Date who handled the rest of the case. While a good part of Adrenaline Leaning heavily into angsty alternative/nu metal, “Fist” has almost a post-rock style structure and vibe, with no real chorus or verse to speak of. It’s an interesting track to wrap up their debut, but also a sign of the experimentation and outside influences the band would embrace throughout their long career.
“Gauze” is one of two tracks from the excellent Koi Nope Yokan never played live, which is a real surprise as it’s an excellent piece. The 2012 record saw Deftones getting better and better, and it’s packed with top-notch material – so it’s understandable that not everything makes it to the live stage. Still, “Gauze” is a fantastic piece of music that we don’t talk about enough – Steve CarpentersEight-string guitars are at full effect, but the atmosphere and vibe are never lost, even during the overwhelming outro. Plus, it has an absolutely transcendent chorus that elevates it to the next level. A great song from a later brilliance Deftones‘.
Closing Deftones‘ Fourth self-titled album, “Moana” is a terrific forgotten track from arguably the band’s most underrated album. The great wall of guitars and abe Cunningham’s the pushing but grooved drums integrate perfectly with the rest of Deftones atmosphere, while by Moreno voices float above, adding layers of emotion. It’s a great way to end the proceedings, but probably due to its positioning, it’s unfortunately been overlooked, with tracks like “Hexagram” and “Minerva” taking all the limelight. A real underappreciation Deftones gem.
One of Deftones‘ the less metallic, but important influences are the British pop rock band Duran Duran. Interestingly, their B-side & Rarities the collection contains two Duran Duran covers – “The Chauffeur” appears on the album itself, but our featured song “Night Boat” is only available on the iTunes Exclusive Edition – meaning it’s not on the CD or on other streaming platforms. Our guys are sticking to the composition of the original, only increasing the heaviness and bringing the production into the modern age (at least by 2005 standards). The moody original track covers very well with Deftones‘, and it’s no surprise that the band covered it several times live in 1996.
For many Deftones fans – this scribe included – 2016 Blood was a bit of a disappointing album. Eight full lengths at this point, it just seemed like it wasn’t as strong as their previous material, but there are still some standout moments to be found. “Pittura Infamante” (literally translated as “defamant portrait”) appears halfway through the record and contains octave-heavy guitar work (more than likely from both Moreno and Carpenter) and a drum groove that gains in complexity as the song progresses. The group extracted most of the tracks from Blood play live, but “Pittura Infamante” remained locked up.
One of the most famous unreleased albums in rock music history, Deftones‘ Eros is apparently destined never to be completed. After putting the LP on hold after Chi by Cheng serious car accident in 2008, the complications of which tragically cost him his life in 2013, the only track that stands out from the release on the shelves is “Smile”. It’s a heavily post-hardcore influenced piece of music, with lots of atmospheric guitars and a slower middle beat feel. The song was released online for the first anniversary of by Cheng passing as a tribute to their late bandmate; however, controversy ensued when for some reason it was pulled by Warner Brothers for copyright reasons.
One of the most popular numbers White Pony“The Boy’s Republic” was only released on select editions of the CD – primarily the red and black cover editions, as opposed to the more commonly available gray and white editions. The song is indicative of the sound the band had molded on the White Pony, big drums and chord-driven guitar riffs, with very emotional and passionate vocals. Like many other bonus tracks, it is not available on Spotify and other streaming services, but DeftonesFans are strongly advised to hunt “The Boy’s Republic”. Additionally, there is an awesome acoustic version found on the Music In High Places DVD released in 2002 which is also worth seeing.
How did we go? With nine albums, over 100 original songs, and plenty of great covers, there’s more than enough Deftones‘ tracks that could be considered deep cuts – so what else could have made it to our list? Let us know in the comments below!
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