Indonesia’s love for grindcore and brutal death metal is beyond comprehension. President Joko Widodo wears a Napalm Death t-shirt and references them as one of his favourite bands. Sepultura’s Arise album went gold upon release in 1991 before any other country, including Brazil. It seems extreme metal has a wide fanbase in this Muslim-majority nation and produces more grindcore bands than London churns out grime artists.
The latest to emerge from the archipelago are Chancroid, a trio that will draw lazy comparisons with Wormrot because they’re a three piece with no bassist and hail from an Asian country. But this music is pure slam in the mould of Suffocation and Regurgitate. It’s not original, but, my God, do these boys bludgeon? ‘Coitus Deification Terminology’ is an insane slab of brutal metal with guitar triplets like machine guns and drums that pummel like the rapid fire barrage of a World War One artillery attack clearing the way for an infantry advance through no man’s land. The pinch harmonics in ‘Maximum High Tension Penetrating’ resemble the high velocity blowback against the shoulders of those that load the howitzers. You can imagine the music video to ‘Distortion Cognitive of Malicious’ as a three-minute compilation of gruesome infantry deaths caused by stray shells. The music is lightning fast and frantic, just like the terrifying noise of war and the smell of carnage.
It might be more accurate to refer to Chancroid as a musical artillery regiment. ‘Sadomasochist’ captures the unsteady vibrations in your hands as you gut your nemesis with a chainsaw. The pain works both ways and the blood spatter does not discriminate. Drummer, Arief, is a colossus of the slam genre. Those double-bass kicks received no polish in the studio but will translate well into a live setting. The best example of this is the excellent ‘XYY’, which also showcases guitarist, Hendri’s, arsenal of riffs from heavy downstrokes to chugs and fast alternate picks.
As a rule, the staff at Scream Blast Repeat don’t award brutal death metal albums higher than a 7 out of 10. The music is too one-dimensional and beholden to the mighty influence of Suffocation. The same applies to Chancroid. You need to be in the mood for this type of audio assault. Distinguishing one song from the next is often more difficult than abstaining from porn for longer than a week. You want to see it through, but your instincts get the better of you.
Fortunately, the instinct to reach for the stop button after track six does not apply here. The band are sensible enough to include an interlude of minor key piano refrains with haunting cellos on ‘Hebephrenia’. This breaks things up at the midpoint and prepares you for the second half with a renewed determination.
Give Chancroid a go and see if you like the experience.
Disclosure: We don’t mean the sexually transmitted disease of the same name, but you already know that, right?
Release Date: 20/06/2020
Standout tracks: Coitus Deification Terminology, Maximum High Tension Penetrating, Distortion Cognitive of Malicious
Suggested Further Listening: Suffocation – Effigy of the Forgotten (1991), Oncology – Omniversal Antigenesis (2020), Regurgitate – Carnivorous Erection (2000)