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Killer Death/Doom - 84%

sdaniel, January 7th, 2008

I like old-school death metal. I like it a lot. Albums like this one are the reason for my passion. This is the first 7" by Derketa released by the cult label Seraphic Decay.

The production is pretty bad, even by underground death metal standards (I'll elaborate as I describe each of the instruments) but in my opinion adds a sinister atmosphere to the music, especially because of the nature of the music (slow, crushing death/doom), it does however spoil some parts (please read on).

The vocals consist of low grunts and screams, and aren't half bad, somewhat muffled though like the previous reviewer mentioned, which makes them sound even better in my opinion, I do think however that a more guttural approach would've suited the music better. I know the vocalist is female, and
can't reach tones as low as a male one (please correct me if I'm wrong) But still, no excuse. Don't get me wrong though, the vocals are excellent!

The guitar riffs are slow, catchy and repetitive, reminiscent of early Cianide in the slow parts. Occasionally they'll speed things up a bit, and here's were the production ruins it somewhat, in the afore-mentioned fast parts, the drums drown the guitar as they speed up themselves, but it's not a really big problem, as there aren't really many sped up parts, just un-relenting heaviness. The bass just follows the guitar and adds to the heaviness, which is fine by me and the drums aren't anything special either, they just bang along to whatever speed the music is on.

So if you're into slow, crushing death/doom or old-school death metal, then this is most definetely recommended. On the other hand, if you're looking for technical, melodic music, you'd best stay away from this 7" that got lost in the pages of death metal history.

P.S: I don't want to be an asshole or slam anyone, but someone who says this sounds like Rottrevore, has quite clearly never heard this amazing band. Sure it's similar in it's production and downtuned-ness (Inquitous at least) but how on earth is Rottrevore slow?

Heavy would be an understatement - 93%

Drowned, December 19th, 2005

Derkéta are a band that I've always been a fan of. Together with Acrostichon, they were one of the first death metal groups to use a female vocalist, paving the way for the likes of Mythic, Demonomacy, Sacralis and Mystic Charm. I had the opportunity to meet the vocalist at a local concert a while back and my respect for them grew even further. Sharon is one of the coolest, most genuine metal chicks I've ever met!

"Premature Burial" is the title of their first 7" released by Seraphic Decay Records in late 1990. Derkéta play some insanely downtuned, slow death metal along the lines of fellow Pittsburgh heavyweights Rottrevore. But unlike that band, the music here is even slower and walks a fine line between death metal and doom. The production on the 7" is killer. Everything sounds incredibly heavy and gruesome. I just have some minor beef with the vocals. For the record, Sharon is one hell of a vocalist and some of her growls are deeper than most male singers. Her voice sounded bonechilling on the demo tape, but for some reason this time it's very muffled and almost sounds like it was recorded in a box (a coffin - hey!). It sounds especially bad on the second song, where she implements the occasional high rasps into the mix. It's a real shame, because somebody might pick this up without hearing Derkéta's other stuff and get turned off by the seemingly weak vocals.

The title track starts off with a ghastly intro composed of blowing winds and thunder. What's cool is that the illustration in the cover art goes hand in hand with these sound effects, as you can imagine yourself standing there in the cemetery witnessing the corpse arise from his tomb. A heavy guitar melody enters the picture as the song unfolds into a dark symphony of doom. The track remains at slow pace almost to the very end, except for the brief change in tempo after the halfway point. It's here where the speed moderately picks up, as the drummer uses some heavy double bass kicking to move everything along.

"Eternal Misery" is the other song on the EP. This one already appeared on Derkéta's demo tape "The Unholy Ground". It seems to be played a bit slower for this recording, along with a couple added changes such as the very last solo that was missing from the demo version. The song begins at a similar, doomy pace as "Premature Burial" but eventually speeds up to mid tempo. The drummer unleashes a series of skull-crushing thrash beats during the verses, along with a more generous amount of double bass. Some of the chunkier riffs on this song remind a lot of what Incantation were doing at the time.

If it wasn't the poor vocal mixing, this 7" would be damn close to flawless. The production on the vocals is so bad that you can't understand what Sharon is singing - something that wasn't a problem on the demo. Nonetheless, a killer piece of vinyl from a bunch of morbid femmes!