Ablutionary Rituals

The Portuguese metal scene has really caught my eye of late with the likes of The Ominous Circle, Goldenpyre, Primal Attack, Switchtense, and such. But it’s been missing something a little more brutal, and that’s where Grog come in.

Though they have been around since 1991/92, and have released a fair amount of demos, this is only the band’s 4 full length album, and its a solid take on brutal death metal with a dash of grindcore. Picture US act Hateplow with a more brutal, Comatose Recordings, death metal approach and you get a good idea of Grog’s competent if hardly ground breaking sound.

Formed by veteran members of the Portuguese scene from acts like (Scent of Death, Decayed, Switchtense, The Firstborn, Neoplasmah) the delivery and execution is confident and competent. The album is 14 songs blazes by in a little over 40 minutes, so it blends grindcore and death metal in both aesthetic as well as style and substance.

There is nothing incredibly memorable about any of the songs, except that they are savagely paced with rarely a let up. The grindcore based riffage and brutal vocals with a few screeches are all violently rendered with a solid productions that’s perfect for the style. Throw in song titles like “Savagery”, “Sterile Hermaphrodite”, “Uterine Casket”, “Gut Throne”, and “Cardiaxe”, there is no mystery as to how the band sounds. It’s pure blunt force trauma. A few grindcore grooves barge their way in once in a while such as start of “Gut Throne” or “Cardiaxe” but they are short lived and steamrolled by blast beats and burps pretty quickly.

There is a album ending curveball in the 6 minute “Katharsis – The Cortex of Doom and Left Hand Moon”, which sounds like a different band altogether with a lurching slower pace and a semi growled spoken word vocal delivery. There is even an acoustic/electronic break. It’s a bit like Napalm Death‘s Diatribes era stuff and does not quite fit in, but I can appreciate the attempt to break the otherwise predictable, if brutal mold.



[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 26th, 2017


  1. Commented by: M Budziszewski

    ‘Grog was the name of my 11th born son” – Conan, King of Hyborea

  2. Commented by: M Budziszewski

    * Fact check: King of Aquilonia

    Cool record. Interesting how clear it all is for a deathgrind album. The bass is straight up bright. Like a stripped down Sarpanitum.

  3. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Or this:?

    Grog is any of a variety of alcoholic beverages. The word originally referred to a drink made with water and rum, which British Vice Admiral Edward Vernon introduced into the naval squadron he commanded in the West Indies on 21 August 1740. Vernon wore a coat of grogram cloth and was nicknamed Old Grogram or Old Grog. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, which agrees with this story of the word’s origin, states that the word “grog” was first used in this sense in 1770, though other sources cite 1749.

    In modern times the term “grog” has had a variety of meanings in a number of different cultures. In Australia grog can mean any alcohol.

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