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Diphtery > Survival Instinct > Reviews > Talented Juli
Diphtery - Survival Instinct

A Forgotten Gem. Well, Sort Of. - 70%

Talented Juli, June 1st, 2017

Survival Instinct opens with moody, hypnotizing guitar leads playing over plodding drums and a chugging rhythm piece. This is how the album continues for much of its 34 minutes. The good parts, at least. Make no mistake: Survival Instinct is carried by its lead melodies.

And what great leads they are. They are not catchy. Instead, they create a dismal and forlorn atmosphere that reminds of albums like Gorement's The Ending Quest, or Sentenced's Shadows of Past. In combination with the catatonic drumming accompanying many of Survival Instinct's riffs, Diphtery lulls their listener into a state of relaxed melancholy.

Unlike the aforementioned Scandinavian albums, Survival Instinct has an oppressively dry guitar tone that is matched by its vocals. These death growls are less growl than they are wheezes. They are not entirely unwelcome, as they feel perfectly at home and lend a unique sound to the album. If you can get over their weirdness, there is something to appreciate here.

Survival Instinct is at its weakest when it drops the guitar leads and settles into predictable chugging riffs. It is in these moments that I can best describe this album as a bargain-bin Leprosy. For weaving so seamlessly between the derivative and the sublime, Survival Instinct is worth a listen, and maybe a repeat, if you know which tracks to skip.