Review Summary: Gutter Tactics thick, doom sound that defined Dälek's approach has now turned back and smothered any attempt at a unique change.
It has been two years since Abandoned Language
, the last release by Dälek, and not much has changed. With Abandoned Language
there contained a certain aura that made the drone hip-hop/experimental sound of Dälek so appealing. The album was cohesive, rhymes often bouncing off every eloquently spoken word, but with Gutter Tactics
it has become rather redundant.
Pastor Jeremiah Wright profoundly begins Gutter Tactics
with his segment about the hypocritical state of the United States used as a sample. In fact, “Blessed Are They Who Bash Your Children's Heads Against A Rock” may be the best track on the album, but from there not much occurs. The industrial/doom sounds created by producer The Oktopus are overdone and rarely indicate any sort of climax in the tracks. Instead, songs tend to wander and often fail to become anything stimulating. However, there are exceptions, “We Lost Sight” twiddles with guitar riffs in a more ‘upbeat’ spirit, encapsulated under massive, stirring tones. Another track removed of headache inducing drone is “A Collection Of Miserable Thoughts Laced With With,” which lightly hops and alleviates the pressure endured from the rest of the Gutter Tactics
. Make no mistake about it, The Oktopus has made compelling tracks before, but this time, they are not as obvious.
More importantly than the bogged down sounds from Gutter Tactics
are Dälek’s lyrics. Dälek is known to rap in such a manner that nearly every word or line rhymes within a verse. Take “Gutter Tactics,” which personifies his technique, ‘Gutter tactics backed with mathematics/ acts to cause havoc/ words weave with static/ streets tattered/ preachers turned addicts/ knowledge subtracted/ equation is tragic.’ While the style is fresh, over the course of an entire album it becomes forced and utterly unnatural, even if an individual song is brilliantly written. Reading Dälek’s lyrics, it is clear he is an intellectual individual who has a strong political standpoint. Such is the case with “Los Macheteros / Spear Of A Nation,” a track that spits names, dates, and addresses in one of the more perplexing songs. Granted Dälek meant to send a message, but the impact is hardly felt and it can be said for Gutter Tactics
as a whole.
Unfortunately, the combination of Dälek and The Oktopus did not work as well on Gutter Tactics
. If there were a finger to be pointed, The Oktopus would bear the blame for creating a sound too overpoweringly dense to see the messages clearly. More than that, Gutter Tactics
flow and overall rhymes pale in comparison to those found in Abandoned Language.
It is as if Gutter Tactics
thick, doom sound that defined Dälek’s approach has now turned back and smothered any attempt at a unique change.