I imagine the joy I feel when it comes to digging up and discovering overlooked death metal bands must rival that of a horde of party-hungry lice discovering a public restroom. Derkéta's "In Death We Meet" is an album that especially knows where to tap the vein and bring the trickle of blood to a torrent. Derkéta's story began in 1988 and finally reached a significant milestone upon the release of "In Death We Meet" in 2012 after spotty reunion attempts and years in slumber. A successful reunification brought the death metal valkyries from Pittsburg together again to finish what had previously resulted in only minor releases. Derkéta is colored to fit death metal and roasting with doom, conjuring images of Asphyx et al. that procreated in a familiar pile of filth.
The atmosphere and texture of primordial doom/death metal is something "In Death We Meet" almost grabs. The gloomy aura circulates everywhere, invoked by a perpetual bind of slow tempos and macabre riffs that summon similarities to a number of death metal legends of many creeds. Derkéta doesn't achieve this flexibility by hitting the listener over the head with obvious praise, but allows their networks to drift into a stable foundation. The result is a doom-covered death metal record which subtly shifts from Bolt Thrower-esque themes to haunting, tomblike melodies caught in their everlasting march, the latter of which is the album's strength. No song better represents the dire semblance of which Derkéta is capable than the systematic crunch of the opening "Goddess of Death," a ten-minute slaughter that lives up to its name.
"In Death We Meet" seldom launches into tempos that are notably quicker compared to its usual graveyard crawl, though there are moments where the blood pumps a bit faster. Its eternal, grimy lurch is actually a thing to marvel; the melodies and riffs churned out in measured increments hold an adhesive grip on Derkéta's death metal. The reissue features another song structured like the others and a cover of Sepultura's "Troops of Doom," which launches the album into its quickest pace. Chances are it is something to avoid if your death metal palate prefers constant blasting or stuff that is polished to a shine on the production side of things, but those with a sweet tooth for death metal bands marinated in doom and haunting, doleful textures should bring a few gift cards and an infant or two to Derkéta's shrine, like yesterday.