Grog – ‘Scooping The Cranial Insides’

'Scooping The Cranial Insides' by GrogIn olden days of yore – before even most of the Planet Mosh crew was born (and that’s saying something) – grog was (often cheap) watered-down rum served to sailors to keep them reasonably intoxicated enough to fool them into thinking they were happy with their lot and therefore less prone to mutiny, but not hammered enough to stop them doing their jobs and falling off high masts. It was also pretty nasty stuff.

And it’s this latter adjective than can be applied, in every single way, to this death metal/grindcore four piece from Portugal – home of some rather fine wines, it must be admitted – and their third album… the title of which alone is a pretty good indicator of indicator of what to expect when you hit ‘play’.

Opening, inexplicably, with the weird haka of ‘Toia Mai’, the band – made up of vocalist Pedro Padra ‘Aion’, guitarist Ivo Martins, bassist Alexandre Ribeiro and drummer Rolando Barros, who have been together, almost uniquely in the extreme canon of extreme metal, for the entire duration of Grog’s 21-year career – quickly launch into their full on assault proper of ‘Beyond The Freakish Scene’, a workmanlike two-and-a-half minute slice of textbook DM.

What follows doesn’t really stray from this tried and test path and songs such as ‘Hanged By The Cojones’, ‘Stream Of Psychopathic Devourment’, ‘Re-Born Monstrosity’ and ‘Ravenous Loathing’ all really tell their own tell. The main problem is that is all sounds the same: despite Ribeiro’s attempts to introduce some funky bass passages, notably on ‘Split 3 To Share’ and ’10 Commandments’, it’s all formulaic – too much so, and this reviewer found himself losing interest less than halfway through the album’s 16 tracks.

Having said that, being a professional and sticking with it, there are some good ideas towards the end: Aion’s vocal aside, ’10 Commandments’ has an interesting jazzy feel to it, while ‘Eskeletos de Nona’ introduces a Latino punk vibe, ‘Barbie Doll Fuck ‘Em All’ is a 30-second blast of pure vintage grindcore and the intro to the otherwise mediocre closer ‘Decripit Pussies Cabaret’ is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

A few bright moments, but not enough to raise this release above a [3/10].

‘Scooping The Cranial Insides’ is available now on Murder Records.

Track list:
1. Toia Mai
2. Beyond The Freakish Scene
3. Split 3 To Share
4. Sphincterized
5. Hanged By The Cojones
6. Acephalus Meatgrind Orgy Hibernation
7. Stream Of Psychopathic Devourment
8. Sicko
9. Anal Core
10. Reborn Monstrosity
11. The Misanthropes
12. Ravenous Loathing
13. 10 Commandments
14. Eskelsos De Nona
15. Barbie Doll Fuck ‘Em All
16. Decrepit Pussies Cabaret

About Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff