It’s not always clear what exactly Chino is railing against on Around The Fur. His vocals are submerged under lashings of snarling guitar, and the man himself sounds as if he’s foaming at the mouth. But like Korn’s Jonathan Davis, you know that even when Chino is saying nothing he’s saying something, venomous words tripping over themselves as they surge from between his lips. And you won’t hear a better vocal performance all year, as the whispering, shrieking Chino takes you on a rollercoaster ride in and out of his personal hell.
‘Please don’t fuck around,’ he roars on the albums’s title-track, and the Deftones don’t from start to finish here. My Own Summer (Shove It) is an outstanding opening statement of intent, stripped-down verses colliding with a monster chorus while Chino takes RATM’s defiant ‘Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me’ sentiment and condenses it into the blunt, persistent demand ‘Shove it’. Lhabia and Mascara – with their dirty, distorted drones and spacious, ringing riffs – eschew traditional soft-loud dynamism and build tension with slow-burning build-ups threatening to boil over into atonal chaos at any given moment. Around The Fur itself is electrifying and terrifying, relentless staccato riffing prodding you to lose yourself deep in its frenzy.