Review Summary: I am content to be your heretic.
There is an unexpected element that has been thrown onto Endangered Species
that isn't present off of Dalek's more renowned records. It's definitely safe to say that this album basks in the aftermath of the months following the 2016 election, which means that it's essentially soaked in negativity and has a very "the entire earth is crumbling and we are the propagators of this madness" feel to it. Maybe this isn't anything too
new for Dalek, being as socially conscious as they are. What is new, however, is how Dalek manages to maintain the melancholy off past albums while toning down the weirdness. Albums like Absence
felt like a puzzle where the pieces all fit together perfectly, and yet the image still felt warped and bewildering to look at. This isn't entirely the case here, however.
First off, this is notably less abstract than previous affairs, being notably more direct in its sound. We're greeted with a thick, dense fuzz and slow, pounding drum beat off of "Echoes Of" , which certainly paves the way for the rest of this record. The track is grimy, like sewage sludge propelling into the Atlantic. Accordingly so is Dalek's rap performance, spewing forth lines such as "Truth's once evident/replaced by vile rhetoric/content to be your heretic/i'm surrounded by my derelict's" in a dark and hazy tone. That is essentially the atmosphere surrounding this album-jaded and drained. The sins committed, morals defiled and chaos that the world has been building upon brick by brick is finally crumbling, and Endangered Philosophies
is a creation that coagulated from the black smokes arising from an incinerated earth. Tracks like "Beyond the Madness" prove this further. "let's stop pretending this breath is eternal/precious external/existence in peril". The earth, being pushed beyond known limits, will come to a grinding halt. This will be of our own doing, and our time is running out. We may only have one last breath, and so lets make that breath worth something. This is what Dalek is trying to tell us.
Dalek doesn't throw any punches off this album. They say what is necessary and close the album promptly with "Numb", which is a perfect recap to ethereal shroud that is the other tracks. Despite the immense praise I have given, this does bring about a problem, which in itself is also another positive attribute. The tracks blend seamlessly, perhaps just a bit too much even. There aren't many songs that are distinguishable, which is a minor shame. Another slight irk (incredibly slight, mind you) is that the beat behind "Beyond the Madness" is a literal cut-and-paste from Cannibal Ox's "A B-Boy Alpha". Still, this puts only a slight damper on the record. Dalek has still managed to put forth an album of unrestrained truth, seen through a tired and jaded lens, one that I think the world is looking through. Right now.