BY Bradley Zorgdrager Published Apr 10, 2020

How you feel about Cordyceps will come down to your ability to stomach vocals that sound like you're emptying yours out; burping is the name of the game here. Despite not reaching the depths of alien flatulence emitted by the finest of Finns, it's appropriately brutal here — even more so on a track like "Comatose Subservient," which layers nasty highs atop. Don't forget the similarly pitched guest screeches care of Mitch Harris on "Comatose Subservient."

Betrayal is all about brutality, and that extends beyond just vocals. Key genre components are used but not relied upon. Palm-muted riffing on frets and strings higher than the lowest of the low builds dynamics into the structure. Blast beats rise and fall over these moments, making their collision with faster death metal licks like a 9-volt battery to the tongue. Slower parts are split between slams and breakdowns à la the toughest of hardcore ("Maelstrom of Hypocrisy," the aforementioned "Comatose Subservient"), which results in an energizing feeling when the music drops out.

Fortunately, that feeling is also there throughout. Chugs come with slight stutters that make this feel less like standard fare. "Parasitic Degenerate" is a prime example. The tempo is a balancing act that tips into faster territory, accentuating the sense of impending doom with ominous notes and off-sounding chords. Perhaps this is where the "blackened" and "thinking man's" prefixes associated with the band's brutal death genre come from.

Like label-mates Disentomb before them, Cordyceps bring something more palatable to a genre made to be anything but. Hopefully they'll follow their predecessors' path to expansion, but, as it stands, they're in good company in Unique Leader's lineage — from late founder Erik Lindmark's Deeds of Flesh, through Disgorge, Decrepit Birth and the aforementioned Disentombed.
(Unique Leader)

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