Macabre Requiems (Reissue)

Portugal’s death/grind band Grog have been slinging their brutal form of music for over 3 decades?  I cannot believe it’s been that long. The band took some time between their full length’s and have released a total of four albums during this time span. I will venture to say I have heard the band in passing throughout the years and it’s been some time since I heard their 1996 debut Macabre Requiems.

Enter in Helldprod Records to reissue this debut album and bring this brutal record to the masses once again.  The sound appears to have been tinkered with as well, but it’s a benefit and not a hinderance.  You have to give it up to Grog for releasing a brutal album when the sights and sounds of the underground were going through changes.  Many major bands, we all loved and followed, began exploring other musical elements and many of us die-hard fans felt they were abandoning their original sounds to make way for more commercial success.  Grog had an IDGAF attitude and dropped Macabre Requiems, a 13 song debut of bludgeoning proportions, that had a lot of heart.

Themed in horror noises and some clips “Embrace My Cold Body” begins after a minute + creepy atmosphere with an interesting narrative, spoken in death metal vocals and this is the entire 3+ minute intro.  It’s cool and common for horror/goregrind during this time, but then “Tribal Flesh Ceremony” comes blasting through the speakers.  The groove at the 30 second mark-well it’s intense.  Pedra’s vocals were fairly filthy and guttural, but really fit the music.  The song has some higher raspier vocal sections, like he’s chewing on shards of glass – I love it.  Around the 2.25 mark the blast beat hits and while it may not have been the tightest it sure was intense.  The vintage 90’s beat, though, is quite terrific and really calls for some serious headbanging action.  The slow beat down at the 3.49 part was really quite a killer moment.  The remastering brings out the bass guitar on this section.

“Splashterized Autopsy” may be one of the most hilarious song titles.  The song has a strong Impetigo/Cadaver/early Carcass sound to it.  Super intense with killer blasts but enough groove to satisfy the pits.  That was one thing that made this debut really cool.  The varying shifts in tempos.  The band did not blast just for the helluva it.  Now they blasted quite a bit, but the mid-paced, classic 90’s speed and groovier passages really kept the songs interesting.

“Sado-Masoquist Butchery”, from the jump, is just extreme goregrind brutality.  Love it.  Monster blasting and bashing of cymbals from here to Jupiter and beyond.  Super-fast blasting, and pretty cool guitar riffage going on and putrid vocals.  If you enjoy goregrind – and you never heard Grog, well time to get on the Ye ‘Ole Grog wagon train now.

Macabre Requiems was and still is a damn good death/grind/goregrind album.  The interesting and memorable riffs, especially on those slower passages, truly added to this being a classic 90’s debut album.  If you were looking for melody you should probably go elsewhere as this is a face-ripping album that will peel your skin from head to toe and then sell it as a limited edition meat suit.  The sound seems to have been remastered, the sound hits a bit harder than I remember and the awesome zombie album cover remains intact with some better colors, though.  I urge you to check this reissue out – Grog are one of the better goregrind bands and have been around for some time. Nice filthy brutality!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
December 20th, 2022


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