Deftones began work on their fourth album under the working title Lovers.Regarding the album’s direction, Cheng commented that “We’ve proven that we can musically go in any direction we want, and we want to get kind of heavy on this one.”Moreno underwent vocal training as a precaution after severely damaging his vocal cords on the band’s 2001 summer tour.The band converted their rehearsal space in Sacramento into a fully equipped studio and recorded most of the album there at negligible cost. The band brought in Terry Date to assist with production, and also received input on musical arrangement from Greg Wells on several of the album’s tracks. The band later added more material at Studio X in Seattle, WA and at Larrabee Studios in West Hollywood, CA. Overall the album took twelve months and cost roughly $2.5 million to produce with the band being fined by Maverick for missing deadlines.
In January 2003, Deftones left the studio to perform some “one off” shows in Australia and New Zealand as part of the annual Big Day Out Festival. Shortly after, the band returned to the studio to finish their fourth album. The self-titled Deftones was released on May 20, 2003. Deftones entered the Billboard 200 at number two and sold 167,000 copies in its first week.The album remained in the Billboard top 100 for nine weeks, supported by the first single, “Minerva”.The band shot a video for their second single, “Hexagram”, with fans watching the band play the song in an indoor skatepark in Simi Valley, California. The band made a video for the track “Bloody Cape”, but it was never released for play on television. The video was only made available on the band’s official website for one day. It was later released on their B-Sides and Rarities DVD.
Reviews were mainly positive, praising the band for the heavy album’s progression and originality in the midst of declining creativity in contemporary metal.Moreno was quoted as saying, “It’s all on record. We told motherfuckers not to lump us in with nu metal because when those bands go down we aren’t going to be with them.”In reviewing Deftones, Stephen Thomas Erlewine writes that “Hexagram”, the album’s opener, “hits hard — harder than they ever have, revealing how mushy Staind is, or how toothless Linkin Park is,” but also goes on to say that the album “sticks a little too close to familiar territory.”The Onion’s A.V. Club similarly called the album “less rewarding than its predecessor, though its peaks rival any in the genre.”
The band released a compilation album titled B-Sides & Rarities on October 4, 2005. The CD includes various b-sides and covers from throughout their career, while the DVD contains behind-the-scenes footage and the band’s complete videography up to that point.
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