Derketa, Radiation Sickness, Nucleus, Narcotic, Wrist | Cobra Lounge | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Derketa, Radiation Sickness, Nucleus, Narcotic, Wrist 

When: Sat., April 4, 8:30 p.m. 2015
Price: $12, $10 in advance
Pittsburgh’s elusive, classic-era death-metal band began its jerky journey in 1988, when guitarist-vocalist Sharon Bascovsky joined forces with drummer Terri Heggen and bassist Mary Bielich for some memorable demos and gigs. The latter pair left three years later, and Bascovsky continued with Jim Sadist of Nunslaughter and a revolving cast of supporting players until the late 90s, when it became evident the group was going to fall far short of its potential. (Derketa has often been all-female, but there have been male members, like Sadist and current drummer Michael Laughlin, late of Cattle Decapitation.) Bascovsky never entirely gave up, though, and in 2006 the band re-formed with its original lineup, plus bassist Robin Mazen after Bielich moved to second guitar. In 2012, Derketa finally self-released its first full-length, In Death We Meet. The album doesn’t sound polished, and that’s a strength: its darkness and murkiness give it an almost black-metal-like sense of atmosphere. It certainly doesn’t belong to the technical-death school either. The slow and grinding heaviness brings it closer to doom than anything else, no matter how many blade-sharp, glittering eruptions it has. Combine the album with the 2003 collection Goddess of Death and you’ll have a solid primer on this underappreciated representative of a razor-edged, broken-machine, rust-belt sound. I hope the band stabilizes enough to produce more full-lengths, because I’m looking forward to hearing more. The 2014 single, “Darkness Fades Life” b/w “Troops of Doom” (a Sepultura cover), is a promising taste. —Monica Kendrick

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