Derkéta – Goddess of Death

derketa-goddess_of_deathIn the winding genealogies of East Coast death metal, Derkéta shows up as the band that connects others but never had a release of its own. To fix that, a few years ago the band compiled all of its recordings to date onto a single album named Goddess of Death.

Like most compilations, Goddess of Death is better suited for fan listening than a casual introduction because there is heavy repetition of songs since each showed up on more than one release. The good news is that you can listen to these songs “grow up” and refine as time goes on, which is why it might make sense to listen to this CD from finish to start instead of the usual method.

Derkéta bill themselves as doom metal, which may be true since doom metal isn’t really a genre but more a description of bands that play slowly with morbid feeling, but the underpinnings of this release are pure old school death metal, with the feeling of the hopelessness of the industrial city merged with a mythological sense of human mortality. Like other doom-death bands Derkéta specialize in thunderous, resonant, slow and brooding chromatic riffs which build up to a mood of darkness with an inner core of sentiment.

Goddess of Death will most appeal to someone who appreciates the charm of the era, which includes rough production and musical theory that has more of “winging it” than reliance on formality. The riffs are slow, but inventive, and songs while utilizing standard structure are prone to sudden breaks and twists. The result is a shuddering wall of sound that projects its mythos of mordant sensation through radiant sound.

After this compilation, Derkéta went on to record a full-length that showed more influence from the melodic side of doom but those influences are also audible here, just in more subtle and tentative form. Combined with some uptempo riffing, a little bit of primitive death-doom drone, and just the right amount of panache, Goddess of Death satisfies the old school death metal urge.

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7 thoughts on “Derkéta – Goddess of Death

  1. Christopher says:

    Good stuff. Their more recent full-length is even better. Saw them live recently and they did a great cover of “South Of Heaven,” tuned down to B.

    1. I agree that In Death We Meet is even better, but think it’s a continuation of the first four tracks of Goddess of Death, which are the most recent work (early-2000s) prior to In Death We Meet.

  2. deadite says:

    This band kicks ass. I saw them do that South of Heaven cover too – they pulled it off really well. This particular compilation was actually my introduction to the band.

    Why is it that this band does not get recognized as a beacon for women in metal, and bullshit like Otep and Arch Enemy does? No fuckin’ justice, man.

    1. I have to differ, and with a slightly radical thought:

      How about we just treat them like any other metal band, and not even worry about whether women are involved?

      I think the point of our review here is that this album stands on its own.

      “Women in metal” is a way of marginalizing women. Just picking the best music always wins out.

      1. deadite says:

        I guess what I meant was – not so much a rawr Angela Gossow-I’m-so-feminine bullshit facade, but more like these bands are role models for other women to look up to. Let’s be honest, as a male I am usually inspired more by men – women I wouldn’t expect to differ much in that regard – they’re inspired by women (mainly). In that regard they may be able to relate to the genre more, thereby bringing in bright minds to create even more good metal.

        I do agree pointing them out marginalizes them. Which is why loudmouth frontwomen of mediocre metalcore bands do the genre and their gender a disservice.

        1. I’d agree they’re better role models, mostly because of a lack of the behavior you describe (the grandstanding) and also, the quality of the death metal.

  3. kvlt attakker says:

    Derketa is is pretty cool.

    Cheers to women that are able to succeed in metal without sexualizing themselves to cater to perverts.

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