Body Count, ‘Bloodlust’ – Album Review
The time has come for Body Count to rise up once more! The band, led by Ice-T, is back with a brand new album, and if we know anything about Body Count by now it is that there will be a social message delivered against the backdrop of some seriously heavy, aggressive music that commands the listeners attention. On the Bloodlust album, Body Count are definitely on top of their game.
"Music happens in climates," states Ice-T in the press release for the new album, and if you've paid attention to the news at all, there's all sorts of topics that could fuel the Bloodlust album. This disc in particular pays delves into elements of race, class and violence with a personal viewpoint.
The album opens with the excellent "Civil War," with Dave Mustaine's voice coming in over a warning siren speaking about an impending state of martial law. It's a particularly insightful song speaking about issues with race, class, police violence and the role of press and politicians in spinning an agenda. And just when this song hits its peak, there's some scorching guitar work ready to set the pit into a frenzy. Mustaine previously stated it was one of his favorite features he's ever done.
From there we hit the recent single "No Lives Matter," a powerful song opening with Ice-T's commentary on the downplaying of the "Black Lives Matter" movement. But rather than making it all a black-and-white issue, the vocalist speaks about the ugliness of the situation and boils it down to more of a rich-and-poor class issue.
There's plenty to get angry about, and the band addresses it not only in the lyrics but in the full-on brutal heaviness of the music. "The Ski Mask Way" warns those who flaunt their riches on social media that they may be the target of someone looking to get paid. "Black Hoodie" delves into the police violence coming from racial profiling. And perhaps one of the album's finest moments comes with "This Is Why We Ride," an emotionally raw track about the senseless street violence that takes place in the hood. The chugging rocker drives home the message with beats that sound like gunshots, as Ice-T draws from the personal experience of losing a loved one and the desire for revenge.
Bloodlust also delves into more personal issues, with Max Cavalera guesting on the brutal "All Love Is Lost" about the betrayal of falling victim to someone you trusted. "Walk With Me," featuring Randy Blythe, follows Ice-T into the "darkest recesses" of his mind as he deals with internal demons, and "Here I Go Again" comes across as a character study of a horror villain preying on his victims.
The disc also includes a cover of Slayer's "Raining Blood" with a little history lesson from Ice-T, who reveals that the band started after seeing kids moshing off hip-hop tracks and pulling from such influences as Black Sabbath, Suicidal Tendencies and Slayer. It's a solid homage to a metal classic, showing the continued appreciation of the music that inspired them.
Simply put, Body Count are the right band at the right time and Bloodlust is an album that cuts to the core of many societal issues. The special guests might lure some new fans, but the music and message should stick and make for one of the year's more important albums.
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