Graphic Nature – A Mind Waiting To Die

Posted: 17 February 2023 in Albums
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Rude Records – 17th February 2023

Christopher Nosnibor

I’m somewhat conflicted here. Broadly speaking, my view is that there is good music and bad music, and it’s not a question of genre: there are good songs in all styles, even if they’re the exceptions to the rule. I’m not a rabid fan of many genres – hip-hop and jazz to name but two – but really rate some songs from each of them. Apart from pop-punk, that is. That’s just the worst kind of music, period. Oh, and folk-punk can fuck off, too. Even worse than the music are the fans, especially at the end of the night at a festival. Anyway. Nu-metal. I can’t say I was ever a fan. I mean, it was a bit shit, right? At its worst, it was juvenile, dumb, and not even that heavy. But then, I was listening to Swans and Godflesh and early Pitch Shifter, bands I still point towards when offering examples of truly heavy music. I even went off Pitch Shifter when they transitioned to nu-metal. But then, I can’t say I hated all of it, and in some respects, I kinda miss it now. Is that simply nostalgia for shit because time? Or is it that there really does feel like there is no specific trend now, and everything is so fragmented there is no real sense of there being any cohesive culture or subculture?

Kent metallers Graphic Nature took their name from a track on Deftones’ Koi No Yokan album and cite Slipknot, but also Nine Inch Nails as key influences on their sound. And having formed in 2019, it’s fair to say that the band represent a new wave of nu-metal (which sounds a bit daft, but not as daft as The New Wave of New Wave that happened briefly in the early 90s, and it wasn’t only shit, but didn’t even really sound especially much like new wave). The point is that while lyrically, the subject matter is pretty obvious – death and decay, but mostly anxiety, people being fucked up, the world being fucked up – the anger and angst is channelled with a focus and force that is rather more sophisticated than some of the turn-of-the-millennium hits. There are no shit rap breaks or scratching, and pitched as an album designed to ‘start a dialogue about the issues that matter’, there’s a seriousness about A Mind Waiting To Die. ‘Rollin’’ or ‘A.D.I.D.A.S’ it is not. Thank fuck.

Halfway through the album, there’s a minute-long drum ‘n’ bass instrumental interlude. I’m not convinced it’s the most comfortable break, but it’s a necessary one, because there’s not much respite for the rest of the album’s thirteen-track duration – although the slower, sparser ‘A Twin’ which pitches the NIN influence to the fore – is a different kind of powerful.

For the most part, they combine their various influences into a dense, murky mess of fast-paced, high-octane racket, and as is the case with a fair bit of metalcore and nu-metal, the song structures tend not to focus too much on the conventions of verse/chorus, instead leaping to and from between tempos and riffs with brutal slabs of guitar, overdriven to the point that chords are compacted and become lumps of noise. There aren’t many easy inroads here, but in terms of an album that relentlessly blasts raging catharsis, well, job done. A Mind Waiting To Die simply isn’t a ‘tunes’ album: it’s gut-spilling nihilism, a mess of entrails and frayed nerves laid bare. It’s not exactly fun, but it’s harsh and heavy and they mean it.



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