Nu Metal may seem like a joke to some people. However, the music from this genre is serious and has a great musical quality to it. This album by Deftones is no exception. Let’s dive in and have a listen to it.

My Own Summer (Shove It) begins with detuned riffs, a great sense of rhythm and strange vocals, reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails. This is a great piece of music and was released as a single from the group. You can hear why, it sounds very awesome, and strangely enough has a pop feel about it. A great way to start the album. “Shove it, shove it, shove it!” is screamed here repeatedly in the chorus, making this a great listen.

Lhabia is a chugging riff masterwork. The drums and guitars combine for an awesome rhythm, and the chorus is melodic. The song goes from whispering to singing to screaming, all in this particular song. This is surprisingly good, and definitely worth your time. There is a multitude of influences here on this album, all in all, brilliant. The fade-out is very metal.

Next is Mascara. It starts very slowly with some cleaner riffs and some gentle singing. Some of the lyrics here sound quite disturbing, but hey, this is Nu Metal music. It’s a slower number, still effective all the same. A good listen.

After that, we have the title track, Around the Fur. It’s a more upbeat, chugging metal number which bursts into some intense screaming in the choruses. One would have to wonder about how difficult screaming is on the voice itself. But yes, this is a great listen indeed. The background screaming sounds like something out of a horror movie, which is pretty cool.

Rickets is led by the drums more so this time, with some murmured vocals and guitar riffage, change feeling and structure at the drop of a hat. This is quite a good listen, the album and structure of the album is very consistent and never boring.

Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) is another slice of Nu Metal greatness. The riff here is more melodic compared with the previous songs on the album. The music here is very good quality and well structured, never a dull moment here, which is great. The whole band sounds on it, they have a sense of cohesion and consistency many others, even in the Nu-Metal scene, lack. Great stuff. There is a great feeling of suspense from these guys, too.

Next is Lotion. It sounds pretty brutal for the music at hand, and the lyrics match it as well. There is a repeated lyric, “I feel sick!” through it. Musically, it has a chaotic and very percussive structure to the song. Heavy metal and Nu Metal fans, in particular, will rejoice at hearing this. More profanities than you assume are here too.

The next song Dai The Flu arrives with some interesting riffs that sound really very good. The singing sounds somewhat like Marilyn Manson here. It really kicks ass here, a great and wonderfully constructed piece. Good to hear, and it is actually quite emotion-provoking, for this sort of music. The guitar effects are tripped out, too. A great listen.

Headup starts with a demonic riff and builds up into a great amount of screaming, distorted guitars, pounding basslines and percussive drums. It’s a really good listen and is extremely catchy. Heavier than Metallica, yet really just as good here in many ways. It then goes into a more subdued and instrumental second half, which is image evoking. Brilliant.

MX begins. It sounds like a jam that has been carefully worked out by the group. It’s a good listen, more of what you’d expect from the other songs on the album. There are some whispered and distorted vocals here, too. It’s not politically correct stuff here, so bear that in mind. It fades out into oblivion. There are some secret tracks (Bong Hit and Damone) after the main track here after around 30 minutes of silence, which are a must-listen if you are keen.

This album is better than many would think of this kind of music. It’s wonderfully thought out and is well deserved in its place in musical history. If you feel that Metallica is not heavy or extreme enough musically, give this a listen, you won’t be disappointed.

9/10