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Around the Fur

by Deftones

Released October 28, 1997 via Maverick Records

Reviewed November 2, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) (80%), My Own Summer (Shove It) (73%), Around the Fur (53%)

One of the most prominent names within nu-metal--and even more so, the umbrella term of alternative metal--Deftones’ second album is a crucial puzzle piece to the development of early 2000s-and-beyond metal. While the general trend of nu-metal leaned toward incorporating elements of hip-hop, Deftones’ origins as a nu-metal/nu-metal-adjacent act would become less apparent with each release following Around the Fur. It’s as loud, intense, and angsty as you’d expect any metal of the late 90s to be, but Around the Fur is noticeably more refined than much of the output of their contemporaries. Housing some great riffs, an endless supply of explosive energy, tight drum work, and incredible groove in its baselines, the foundation for a prime nu-metal record is there. But what differentiates it from being just that is a clear influence from shoegaze and post-hardcore sounds. The distortion of the guitars, and the frequent shifting from harsh and loud sections to more atmospheric and melodic parts helped Deftones create a nuanced display of anger. An ever-present anger finds its shape through this fusion of sounds and vocalist Chino Moreno’s delivery, which takes multiple forms in whisper-like rapping, almost whiny singing, and full on screams. The songwriting offers a similar sense of pushback, guarded and unpredictable by often cryptic lyrics; there’s a sense of longing and loneliness throughout—accompanied by a desire for companionship, or sometimes, just sex—while simultaneously rejecting all outside interaction. – Dominick (8.2/10)

Nu-metal, alternative metal, post-hardcore, post-metal, what have you. The alternative world welcomed a giant to its ranks, though that would become more apparent in due time - the giveaway signs were there. “My Own Summer (Shove It)” and “Be Quiet and Drive” would become alternative metal masterpieces in their own rights. They would find regular mainstream play on the airwaves and mainstream TV. Deftones harbour an enigmatic crossover appeal from the hardcore heads to the more on-the-fence music fans. It's an intersection that I don't think many acts manage to pull off quite as well. Around the Fur is where the Deftones train really gathers momentum; the wheels find themselves securely on the tracks, warmed up and ready to decimate whatever barriers stood ahead. Whoever is on board is in for one hell of a ride. While it isn't their best record, you can see where things were heading. The potential was of fervent quality. – Peter (7.5/10)

Cam: 8.8/10 | Ben (Synth): 8.5/10 | Pax: 8.4/10

Dominick: 8.2/10 | DeVán: 7.5/10 | Jared: 7.5/10

Community Reviews:

Nu-metal is often a genre that a lot of artists get lumped under and criticized for, but Deftones take some of the core formulas and a few other influences from shoegaze, post-rock, etc. and create this loud, but controlled chaos that feels like you're submerged and drowning in the music in the best way possible. – @albumopedia (10/10)


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