20 best Deftones songs

Deftones is one of my favorite bands, and this is my list of the 10 best Deftones songs. It also includes five songs that almost made it into the list. Even with my five extra songs I left out massive Deftones songs like “Minerva”, “My Own Summer (Shove It)” and “Knife Party”. Truly a glorious band!

20. “Royal” (Diamond Eyes, 2010)

We kick off the list with a schizophrenic song from the “Diamond Eyes” album. I love how chaotic and out of control “Royal” is, and Chino hits some of his most dramatic high screams over the breakdowns.


19. “Beware” (Saturday Night Wrist, 2006)

Foreboding atmosphere goes into a heavy breakdown in this underrated “Saturday Night Wrist” song.


18. “Bloody Cape” (Deftones, 2003)

This track is a mess, but what an awesome mess is it is. Some of the heaviest downtuned riffs that Deftones ever had.


17. “Korea” (White Pony, 2000)

A signature track for Deftones. Perfect live opener and energy song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHxf6FnY_w0


16. “Gore” (Gore, 2016)

I grew to love the “Gore” album over a time, after a slow start. When the downtuned chorus of this kicks in I go crazy. Every time.

Deftones full-length studio discography

  • Adrenaline, 1995
  • Around the Fur, 1997
  • White Pony, 2000
  • Deftones, 2003
  • Saturday Night Wrist, 2006
  • Diamond Eyes, 2010
  • Koi No Yokan, 2012
  • Gore, 2016
  • Ohms, 2020

15. “Hole in the Earth” (Saturday Night Wrist, 2006)

A more melodic and controlled side of Deftones that also has a more metallic edge. If you’re a big fan of this song you should probably read my review of Junius – “Reports from The Threshold of Death” which is quite similar to melodic Deftones.


14. “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” (Around the Fur, 1997)

One of the band’s biggest hits is number 14 on the list of Deftones songs for me. The main riff is instantly memorable.


13. “Headup” (Around the Fur, 1997)

“Headup” is pure nu-metal aggression in the best of ways. Gets my energy going every time.


12. “Kimdracula” (Saturday Night Wrist, 2006)

Strange, sensual, gazy track from the “Saturday Night Wrist” album. Quite representative for the “Saturday Night Wrist” album and one of my favorites from it.


11. “Rocket Skates” (Diamond Eyes, 2010)

Deftones crazy rock n’ roll indulgence truly summed up in one song. Downtuned grooves and sadomasochistic lyrics makes it a very Deftones song and a live staple.


10. “Passenger” (White Pony, 2000)

The crazy, out of control drive and unforgettable Maynard guest appearance makes this a deserving classic.


9. “Beauty School” (Diamond Eyes, 2010)

Many of Deftones lighter, brighter tracks are gorgeous. This one takes you to a complete different place, with great lyrics to match.


8. “Diamond Eyes” (Diamond Eyes, 2010)

The “Diamond Eyes” album is straight to the point, and the live staple title track is no different. A golden note chorus melody mixed with gigantic djent breakdowns in perfect disharmony.


7. “Change (in the House of Flies)” (White Pony, 2000)

One of the ultimate Deftones songs, with a creepy atmosphere and an infectious chorus. It’s overplayed by now, but still undeniably appealing.


6. “Cherry Waves” (Saturday Night Wrist, 2006)

An underrated Deftones song from an underrated album. Much like my number 9, “Beauty School”, this is Deftones at their most light and pop. Chino’s vocals on this are out of this world, and leads the listener into unseen shoegaze landscapes while still sounding totally Deftones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIT6t-LBSHk


5. “Romantic Dreams” (Koi No Yokan, 2012)

The “Koi No Yokan” album has been my favorite Deftones album, and an obsession for years. “Romantic Dreams” is a disorganized song that keeps coming at you with infectious grooves and shoegazy melodicism.


4. “Tempest” (Koi No Yokan, 2012)

Another “Koi No Yokan” highlight is the single “Tempest”. It’s got a downtuned groovy drive unlike any other Deftones song, and just like on the rest of the album, Chino sounds like a pack of rabid dogs.


3. “Sextape” (Diamond Eyes, 2010)

“Sextape” is the song that got me into Deftones in the first place. It’s easily their most dreamy song, taking you to a completely different world, especially when watching the underwater music video.


2. “Leathers” (Koi No Yokan, 2012)

“Leathers” starts by going from psychadelic guitar noise into a bang of distorted guitars and screams, and it represents the song well. Chino keeps driving the song forward with downtuned guitars and abrasive screams, only to seemlessly switch into melodic vocal section that no-one else could deliver.


1. “Digital Bath” (White Pony, 2000)

This song is exactly what Deftones is about, ethereal dreamy beauty with an aggressive edge. Inventive drum beats, psychadelic mood, an explosive chorus; “Digital Bath” has it all.


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