Too often we shy away from the ugly truths of mental health, but Graphic Nature are prepared to take a good, hard look at every unsettling detail. The Kent quintet’s band name might be a reference to a track on Deftones’ 2012 landmark Koi No Yokan, but this no-holds-barred debut is more indebted to the chest-crushing, confrontational mania of Slipknot. It is the sound of pushing right up to – then past – your breaking point. Bypassing the DayGlo gaudiness and deluded machismo that too often undermined the peers of such bands, and cutting straight to the chilling atmospherics and chaotic energy at its core, it feels like proof that nu-metal need never get old.
Proceedings begin with cold, metallic intro 404, but after this the record’s opening half is defined by fire and fury. The djent-inflected churn of first track proper Sour ramps up into frontman Harvey Freeman’s breathless demands to ‘Go! Go! Go! Go!’, already calibrated for maximum mosh madness. Into The Dark adds a little of the industrialised menace of latter-day Code Orange, with its scattershot breakbeats and foreboding asides perforating the sheer heaviness with genuine unpredictability. Elsewhere, the alternately jittery/bludgeoning hardcore of Killing Floor, Sleepless’ overdriven electro-metal and monstrous highlight White Noise – a track that mirrors not only the scarred sound but the authentic intensity of the ‘Knot – complete a scarily intense first 15 minutes.