Review by chrisc7249 on January 29, 2023.
I apparently missed out on the hype train for this band, because this album (and the band itself) came out of nowhere for me, being hailed as a return to form for the legendary death metal label Unique Leader Records. Now that's something I like to hear; ULR has been stacked to the brim with a lot of subpar deathcore in recent years and save for some scattered releases throughout, they've been lacking heavily behind upcoming labels like The Artisan Era and Everlasting Spew Records. 2020 has been different - with high quality releases from bands like Afterbirth, Xenobiotic, Exocrine, Ahtme, Cytotoxin and Deeds of Flesh, it would seem as though the once beloved label is making a solid return to form.
Of all these bands, Cordyceps is the newest face on the block, with this being their debut. This isn't necessarily a knock on the band, as they are up and coming musicians, clearly with a lot of hype surrounding them, but this really does feel like a band's debut.
It's not the performances are subpar, far from it, but the problem here comes in with the identity of the band. Brutal death metal is a jam packed genre with bands from all over the world, and a lot of them tend to blur lines with one another more so than other death metal subgenres, and bands can easily get lost in the sauce. "Betrayal" offers monstrous vocals, a great production and slamming riffs for all, but it doesn't stand out too much among some of the genre's greats.
First, that production. It is very raw sounding, not overproduced and it works for the sound they're going for. I do like my bass with a little more pop & chunk to it, but it's audible and gets the job done. As for the music, well, as you can already imagine, it is a fairly standard affair for brutal death metal. I'd say this is mostly in the vein of bands like Euphoric Defilement and Condemned, a middle ground where they don't get too technical, nor do they get too slammy. The band relies on crushingly heavy riffs and a heavy use of dissonance to achieve a destructive sound that, to anyone who hasn't listened to literally any brutal death metal album before, would surely cause them to rip off the headphones and give you that "this is the shit you listen to," look.
The vocals unfortunately suffer as they are one dimensional and possess very little range. Funnily enough, I can actually understand a lot of what the vocalist says, but his gutturals are very monotonous and come off more as a background noise to serve the music rather than its own entity. A few songs featuring Mitch Harris do little to help this vocal stagnation.
Overall, I'm not sure what more I can say on this album. I definitely enjoy the first half more than the second half, with the best song being the title track tucked neatly in the middle of the track listing. The music is catchy, brutal, but offers little more than a brief (but murderous) listen. For a debut effort, not bad, I'm stoked to see where this band heads in the future.
FFO: Condemned, Euphoric Defilement, Disentomb
Favorite tracks: 'Betrayal', 'Parallel Dissonance'
Rating: 6 out of 10467