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One of the better OSDM demos - 85%

meshigene, September 29th, 2016

This demo has every reason to suck donkey balls. First of all, it's an obscure demo from 1990, and most demos from that era sound like complete and utter crap because of the nonexistent production. Then, it's death/doom metal. A lot of death/doom bands just aren't skilled enough to play death metal at full speed or make catchy and groovy (and/or gloomy and depressing) doom metal, so they play slow death metal that sounds boring and sloppy most of the time. Lastly, Derkéta is an all-female band, and a lot of all-female metal bands only rely on their gimmick value. Needless to say, Derkéta's "The Unholy Ground" doesn't have any of these problems, except obviously the gimmickry.

So what we have here is 19 minutes of primitive and brutal doomy death metal in the vein of Cianide and Asphyx. Everything reminds me of these more well-known death/doom metal bands, from the simple but ugly, dissonant and, most importantly, heavy, Celtic Frost-influenced riffs to the similarly simple and effective drumming. Half of the time, the tempo is a bit faster than your typical death/doom crawl, but sometimes the band goes full speed, and the more brutal moments aren't much less enjoyable than the slow and doomy ones. The vocals are another great aspect of Derkéta's music. Sharon Bascovsky's death growls and haunting raspy screams put every female death metal vocalist I've heard so far to shame. Hell, she can growl deeper than a lot of male growlers. You can't really understand the lyrics, though, but this is death metal so I guess that goes without saying. The production is also top-notch, it's pretty raw and unpolished but no instrument sounds muffled, grating or unpleasant. I especially like the guitar tone, which is very murky and fits the riffs perfectly.

Derkéta has re-released this demo together with a bunch of EPs and splits and an "official rehearsal" as a part of the Goddess of Death compilation, so you should get it from the band if you like raw, slow and skull-crushingly heavy old school death metal.