Fucking awesome 3rd full length album of ultra fast and brutal Death Grind from these masters from Portugal!!!
Teufels Tombs [Rating: EXCELLENT]:
I will admit Scooping the Cranial Insides took a few listens to fully understand what was happening. There is a lot going on here, which is hardly ever a good thing to read in a review. Don’t worry, this band is no stranger to their craft, their craft may have gotten stranger though. Grog have been doing their thing for over twenty years. Portuguese legends of death metal/grind may be an understatement, although I think they are still really heavily slept on when it comes to today’s scene. Have you heard of Grog? This is their ninth or tenth release (third full length) and you really should be listening to it. Before you laugh at their name, check out the music. I seriously don’t recommend looking at the cover art though.
The instrumentation sometimes reminds me a lot of Cattle Decapitation. Or maybe Hate Eternal. Or maybe Cannibal Corpse. All three being huge compliments, of course. The songs have actual structure and dynamics, making for atmospheric swells in the music. Atmosphere, or what some may call emotion, is perhaps very hard to get across aurally in a genre where most people say every song sounds the same. This album reminds us how bands SHOULD and can be experimental with their sound, without going too far.
Peppered throughout just about every track is exciting, in your face, aggressive drumming. The kind of drumming that I would love to go see live. There is a good amount of guitar solos, some are weird, but all of which are awesome. The bassist is really talented and I love the warm bass tone. My only critique would have to be the vocals. Vocalist Pedro Pedra does a truly amazing job, though I’m picky. I usually like vocalists of brutal death/slam/gore/grind etc to have at least some sort of range. I hate almost all of these highs though. I love his lows and the aggression behind them. I’m sure if the highs were totally absent I would say “geeze this guy has no highs?!” but in this case, I’d rather have it that way. His low gutturals, though repetitive, are consistent (yes, that is different from repetitive) and explosive. For most people, the vocals actually will be quite enjoyable, as they have a variety of styles and sounds. Not me though. The track “Eskeletos De Kona” is one that could have been left out. It sounds like a joke, but I don’t think it is. It is a style of it’s own really. It is not particularly bad by itself, but it is surrounded by such differing songs that it just doesn’t fit.
Without the very creative guitar work on Scooping the Cranial Insides, I might say this was pooping on my cranial insides. Luckily, this record scoops them out and violently stuffs them back in after assaulting them with creative, entertaining audio. A stand out part would have to be the song “Anal Core,” which is probably the name of the next trending sub-genre of metal, complete with band members who are really great at farting. This track features a healthy dose of everything, good and bad, about Grog. Plus it has what I thought was just another generic sample of your moaning/screaming woman only she surprisingly spews forth a rather awesome vocal contribution to this disgusting song.
The very small parts of this that aren’t brutally charging forward and relentless are still fittingly in your face and at times a little too much. Parts of the album beg for a lull in the action but don’t get it. “Hanged by the Cojones” is a definite favorite, mixing deathgrind influences with brutal death and some experimental riffage that rips you apart. Quick and to the point.
The bass guitar shines through just enough throughout the album to keep you listening for it’s thumpy, almost fuzzy, definitely fun riffs. Every instrument has it’s part in this opus yet these seasoned musicians are obviously not showing off and they know when to stick together and/or branch off.
Now, I hate to label things (I love to label things) but I would say this is still a grind record. There are enough straight up death metal influences and experimental parts for people to disagree with that. I encourage you to label this for yourself, or just enjoy it.