Thursday, November 6, 2014

Indonesian 'ardcore.

Written by Craig Hayes.

Indonesia has a thriving set of metal, punk and crossover communities spread across the nation’s many islands. Pick any band from any heavy and thunderous genre, and you're guaranteed to find an Indonesian band to meet your needs, and even the country’s brand new president is an avowed metal fan.

However, as vibrant and varied as Indonesia’s heavy music scenes are, there are still religious, political and social tensions that can make life difficult for those who create and support metal and punk at home. Fans and musicians who are willing to speak out about contentious issues can run into serious trouble. For example, in 2011, in a well-documented case, 65 punk rockers were detained in re-education camps in Indonesia's Aceh province because their behaviour, attire, and attitudes didn’t meet the region's strict moral code.

Of course, Indonesia has a diverse and dynamic society, and it shouldn't be defined that act of oppression. However, there is a lot of metallic punk being produced throughout the country that’s fuelled by a palpable sense of anger and frustration with Indonesia’s social struggles and political issues. I’m far from an expert on the metallic punk being made in the country, but I have stumbled upon a lot of great bands from Indonesia on Bandcamp lately. So, here’s a few furious outfits from the nation’s crossover metal/punk scenes that are well worth checking out.


Theist reside in that pool of Indonesian musicians drawing from the legacy of punk legends like Discharge and Amebix. However, the Bandung-based band also throws plenty of sludge, thrash, and even a dash of atmospheric black metal into their self-titled debut EP as well. Theist sound massive and mean here. The band’s crust-metal onslaughts hurtle along with plenty of fast and ferocious flavour, but Theist isn't afraid to slow things down on occasion for some slower grinding and gnashing on their tracks too.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]


Artwork by JoHart

Four-piece Ancaman crash and smash through ten-tracks of grindcore on their debut full-length, Aggressor Insidor. Indebted to bands like Napalm Death, Nasum, and Rotten Sound, none of Aggressor Insidor’s tracks hang around for very long, but all of them bring plenty of spit, spite, and snot-nosed defiance. Crude, and with the middle-finger raised throughout, Aggressor Insidor is a great example of resistance and passion threaded through raw sound.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]



A lot of Indonesian punk and metal rests in the realm of the raw – with recordings bashed out in a DIY saw-toothed fashion. Wicked Suffer's early works are certainly rough and ready, but the band’s latest EP, Nihilist, was mixed and mastered at Dead Air Studios in Amherst, Massachusetts, and features a thicker and heavier sound from the band. Nihilist is caustic and bloody, and Wicked Suffer’s blend of steel-edged hardcore and powerviolence is firmly focused on a destructive course. Tracks like “Despair”, “Gloom”, and “Bleak” are black holes of wretchedness and rage. And everything on Nihilist is delivered in rapid-fire bursts, making for 10 minutes of vitriol wrapped in electrifying abrasiveness.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]



Warthole deal in crossover thrashing punk, with a healthy shot of grindcore injected into the brew. Codes and Keys is the band’s debut EP, and it’s a corrosive blast from start to finish. All the tracks on the EP are brief squalls, some more composed than others, but all end up being a lot of fist-pumping fun. Fans of Toxic Holocaust and kin will likely enjoy Codes and Keys’ wonderfully unpolished punch.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]



I’m predisposed to liking Avhath simply because they describe themselves as the, “filthiest motherfuckers from the Rue Morgues”. The band’s tracks on their split with hardcore act Haul certainly make for some very grubby and tasty blackened crust and d-beat. Clocking in at around two-minutes each, “Per Aspera Ad Astra” and “Raised by Wolves” are fiery eruptions heavy on distortion that follow Darkthrone’s forays into crustier locales. Avhath's previous Bandcamp releases, the “Une Génération Perdue”and “Catch 22!” singles, are comprised of much of the same mix of old school black metal meets unsanitary hardcore too.

Note: Haul's songs are included with the download. You can stream them here


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]


Cloudburst, Disfare, and Warmouth all released extremely promising two song demos on Bandcamp this year. Cloudburst bring tar-thick metallic crust and hardcore (think something akin to Tragedy or Wolfbrigade bathed in acid) on the two fantastic tracks found on their demo. Disfare and Warmouth take a more grindcore influenced route, with a swarm of dissonant noise swirling around their tracks. All bands are well worth keeping an eye on for any future recordings.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Tagged with 2013, 2014, Ancaman, Avhath, black metal, Cloudburst, Craig Hayes, crossover, crust, Disfare, free download, grindcore, hardcore, punk, sludge metal, Theist, Warmouth, Warthole, Wicked Suffer
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