Saturday, June 16, 2012

Derkéta - In Death We Meet

In Death We Meet
2012 Self Released
The saying goes that the female is the deadlier of the species.  That may well be true, but the music of Derkéta  gives one the idea that all-female death metal bands could be the more brutal as well.  But I really don't want this review to come across as some kind of "battle of the sexes," because in the end all that does is cheapen things.  So first, some background and then we'll move on to the nuts and bolts ... or blood and guts as the case may be.  For the most part, Pittsburgh's Derkéta has always been an all-female band.  Guitarist/vocalist Sharon Bascovsky has been their main driving force for the past twenty-plus years, with drummer Terri Heggen (also of the legendary Mythic) being a semi-regular in the lineup.  At the time of this recording, Derkéta  consisted of Sharon, Terri, Mary Bielich (guitar, but perhaps best known for her basswork in Mythic and Penance), and Robin Mazen (bass, from Demonomacy).  In my own not-so-humble opinion, I'd have to say this qualifies as a supergroup.  Apparently, since this album was recorded, Terri has again departed, and has been replaced by one Mike Laughlin, who now holds the distinction of being one of the few male members in Derkéta's history.  So there you go.  For those unfamiliar with Derkéta's sound, they play a kind of doom/death, with most of the emphasis being on the doom side of things.  I would not term them "funeral doom" though.  They may play slow, but not that slow!  Even so, the eight songs here -- and did I mention yet that they're all brand new, no old demo cuts! -- do give the listener that uncomfortable feeling of being buried alive.  Or perhaps more accurately, you'll feel like you survived a cave-in, but come to the realization that there's no way out of your situation.  Those hoping for speed and fancy fretwork would do well to look elsewhere, because it's not here.  At best you'll get some mid-paced material, and that's just fine.  This album is all about old school brutality and a never say die attitude.  I hope this isn't the last we'll hear from Derkéta, and I also hope it won't be another decade before they return.

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