LOUDER REVIEWS: ‘Black Stallion’ - Deftones
20 years ago, alternative metal band Deftones changed the music game with their album 'White Pony'. In 2020 now, during a year with a lot of negativity, a rerelease of the album with a remix collection is unexpected, but definitely needed. With 'Black Stallion', different musicians and DJs took their own spin with each of the different tracks to give something vibrant into this new reiteration. So, how does it play out?
Very well indeed. 'White Pony’s experimental nature is broadened with each of the remixes and helps elevate the track into something different, but also something that is respectful to the original version of the song. Tracks like 'Digital Bath (DJ Shadow Remix)', 'Elite (Blanck Mass Remix)', and 'Rx Queen (Salva Remix)' are examples of remixes that respect the original version whilst still experimenting with extra sounds and possibilities for the audience to hear them in a new way. Surprise remixes from The Cure’s Robert Smith with 'Teenager' and from Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda with 'Passenger' are both excellent, with 'Teenager' feeling like a Deftones version of 'Lullaby', showcasing that beauty and ethereal nature that is in that song, and really diving into its gothic nature. Meanwhile, with 'Passenger', the sound is just exquisite and very dreamlike. The reverb with guest Maynard James Keenan is one of the elements that helps elevate the song that much more. A lot of the songs’ remixes make it feel like you could hear them in a club or a rave, which helps meld two musical worlds together. The only issue with 'Black Stallion' is with 'Knife Prty (Purity Ring remix)'. It’s nice and space-like for the most part, but the beat that was chosen to go along with the song feels wrong and out of place for the track, and it sticks out like a sore thumb within the mix. It makes for an awkward listening session and really lets itself down.
Overall, 'Black Stallion' is a great listen, and a loving tribute to a fantastic record. A lot of love went into each of the remixes and it feels like a dream to listen to, from front to back. It’s unusual, but it’s an album that’s quirky and fun, flaws and all.
'Black Stallion' is out now via Reprise/ Warner Records - stream the record here:
Check out the video for 'Change (In The House of Flies) [Tourist Remix]' below: