10 bands that wouldn’t exist without Deftones

The impact Deftones has had on heavy music is immeasurable. Having started out as one of the first players in the nascent nu metal scene of the 1990s, Californians of Sacramento have since endlessly experimented with their fiercely beautiful metal, evolving into one of those rare acts that simply defy any classification. Here are ten groups that wouldn’t be here without them.

Metal hammer line cut

To hate

Loathe played with light and shadow in their nightmarish, technical debut, 2017 The cold sun, but the follow-up, I let him in and he took it all, the Liverpudlians really let their Deftonian influences shine through. A more ambient, atmospheric and experimental album, on shimmering tracks like One-way mirror, the band has done a truly transcendent work, establishing themselves as one of the UK’s most innovative new bands. Deftones frontman Chino Moreno certainly agreed, tweeting his support for the group, much to the disbelief of Loathe frontman Kadeem France, who said Hammer, When I saw this tweet, I thought it had been hacked!


Since the architects have established themselves as leaders of the scene with the seminal of 2016 All our gods have forsaken us, they have constantly pushed musical, conceptual and emotional boundaries and have seen their sound emulated by countless bands. In 2014, Architects frontman Sam Carter cited Deftones as a major inspiration to “do their own thing,” recounting Hammer, “When people tried to classify [Deftones] they always burst out of the box. This state of mind was palpable this year For those who wish to exist, which removed all creative limitations, taking the architects in a new, melodic and cleaner direction.

Static dress

Static Dress wasted no time in becoming one of the UK’s most exciting new bands. With a sound steeped in post-hardcore and angular emo, the Leeds quartet has previously backed Creeper and worked with Loathe guitarist Erik Bickerstaffe, who produced Static’s frenzied singles in 2019. To clean and Adaptive taste. And there’s no way the band didn’t listen to many Deftones in their day – just look at those jagged guitars and the blunt romanticism of the latest single, sober exit (s).

Every time I die

Another band sitting on an almost perfect set of albums, the gloriously chaotic hardcore / metalcore crossover of Every Time I Die has left their own indelible mark on our stage. Since their beginnings in 2001, Yesterday evening in town, the Buffalo band has become one of our most beloved treasures and we have to thank Deftones for that – well if you ask ETID frontman Keith Buckley anyway. A superfan since the age of 16, Buckley credits the group with their greatest musical inspiration, a long-standing love that can be heard rippling throughout the hypnotic track, White blank, on the band’s recent ninth album, Radical.

curse knife

Disregarding the boundaries of genres straight out of the Deftones playbook, Oklahoma City’s rising quartet, cursetheknife, mix technicolor grunge and rock-hard rock to come up with their self-proclaimed “alt shoegaze”. There’s no way a churning track like Feel real, or the dissonant Moo, from the 2021 album, Thanks to be here, was not directly influenced by Chino and co.

Glass jaw

Glassjaw from Long Island was formed in 1993, but they didn’t release their groundbreaking debut album, Everything you always wanted to know about silence, until 2000 – a month before Deftones released his mind-blowing masterpiece, white pony. Of course, Glassjaw’s deft post-hardcore was a game-changer in itself, influencing groups on the left, right and center, some of whom are on this very roster, but there’s no doubt that the distinctly Deftonian presence weighs down on cups ragged like thunder pink roses and Mu Empire, from their 2002 classic, Adoration and homage.

Sleep Wake Up

Michigan newcomer Sleep Waker released one of the best metalcore albums of 2021 in A.k.a, and they have a lot to thank Deftones. Balancing beauty and brutality and switching between dreamlike melancholy and dark, low catharsis, tracks like Skin and scary Distance carried an emotional weight, plunging into the insomnia and sleep paralysis that drummer and songwriter Frankie Mish suffered as a child.


Deftones is not the first group that comes to mind when considering Deafheaven’s work. But just like the best in Sacramento, since Deafheaven released its breakthrough Sunbath in 2013, they were a changing group. Never afraid to frustrate their fans’ expectations, much like how Deftones risked the wrath of the diehards by avoiding their more pronounced penchants for light and airy textures on 2016 Blood, 2021 was the year Deafheaven went from leaders of the blackgaze scene to lush, layered shoegazers on this year’s fifth album, Infinite granite.

Wrist razor

Wristmeetrazor’s diverse sound draws inspiration from everywhere – nodding to the Swedish melodeath giants At The Gates, the classic metalcore of 00, the industrial onslaught of Code Orange and of course Deftones, whose presence is felt in the atmospheric hooks and vocal melodies of WMR’s 2021 album, Replica of a strange love, especially on intoxicating tracks, Last Tango in Paris, with Knocked Loose guitarist Isaac Hale, and Sulphide eyes.


Earlier this year, when Spiritbox singer Courtney LaPlante was asked to reveal Ten Life-Changing Albums, it was no surprise to see Deftones’ most experimental work, white pony on the list. Having formed Spiritbox with his partner, guitarist Michael Stringer, to create music without borders, the band’s debut, Eternal blue, was one of the most anticipated albums of 2021, oscillating between sharp, post-metalcore and oceanic sides of ethereal melody.

When Hammer Catching up with the band during the recording sessions, Courtney told us, “The unifying theme is fluidity. I want a record that someone will listen to to the end and enjoy as a collection of works, rather than a few singles. We wonder where they got this state of mind …