ALBUM REVIEW: Dying Wish – Symptoms of Survival


For those heavily into the metalcore scene, Dying Wish have been that band on everyone’s lips that are looked on to be the scene’s next biggest thing. 

Their debut album, only a couple of years old, burst onto the scene and took everyone by surprise. Filled with some of the filthiest breakdowns and the hardest sounds in metal, it’s no surprise that their sophomore effort, Symptoms of Survival (Sharptone Records), is being closely looked on, to see what comes next for the band, how they are looking to adapt and evolve and to keep up that momentum.


It is clear that within the last two years, the band have not faltered on lowering how heavy they are, right from the moment the opening title track hits play, you’re hit by build up of chugging, sporadic guitars before Emma Boster’s demonic screams kick in, launching everything into chaos. 


The band doesn’t need longer than thirty seconds to immediately place your mind into what this song will cause on the live circuit. Even at home, the urge to start throwing yourself about to the frenetic sound of the band is high. 


“Symptoms of Survival” acts as a great baseline to the rest of the album it’s named after. Not only to remind fans who they are and why they loved the debut release, but also to equally establish their whole vibe to newcomers.

The re-establishment doesn’t last long before the band starts bringing in new sounds. For the first time in the second track, “Watch My Promise,” Boster shows off her clean vocals, displaying a whole new melodic side to the act. 


Elements of the likes of Killswitch Engage can clearly be heard in how the clean vocals mix harmoniously with the dynamic guitar riffing. Whilst the more melodic side can be seen as the band slowing down already, this is far from true. The contrasting sounds from the visceral screams to the uplifting clean vocals only works in the bands favour, making the dynamics of the song seem more heavier when the band truly go all in on the breakdown. 


Similarly to Periphery’s latest album, the band manage to line up the heaviest and lightest track next to each other in harmony. Starting with “Paved In Sorrow,” the entire song marks a first for the band in that it’s completely clean. The light guitar work with sparse drumming working in conjunction with Boster’s ethereal voice gives this otherworldly atmosphere. Almost as if you’re being lifted up, until it’s followed by “Tongues of Lead” and immediately slammed back down to ground. Gutturals and a maelstrom of breakdowns descend upon the listener in one of the band’s heaviest tracks to date. The carnage this will cause when it is performed will not leave many venues still standing. 


Where the title track brings together everything that made the first album tick into a nice box, the closing song “Lost In The Fall” does the same for everything developed and evolved throughout the new album. The more dynamic, Killswitch-esque guitarwork floods the room as chaotic screams take the foreground, flickering between that and clean sections. 


The sound cuts out altogether briefly, before bringing it back tenfold, reminiscent of Rolo Tomassi’s Time Will Die & Love Will Bury ItThis emotional crescendo to close the album shows how much more this band is willing to explore musically.


Symptoms of Survival is a clear example of a band bringing together the best parts of their debut album and honing it into more controlled chaos. The breakdowns somehow manage to hit harder than ever before, and the newer influences from clean vocals bring out a whole new, more polished side to the band not reflected prior in their earlier materials. 


This isn’t the sound of a band that will fade away in the next couple of years – this is the sound of a band that is in it for the long haul.


Buy the album here: 


8 / 10