BODY COUNT - ‘Bloodlust’ (2017)

21 April 2017
BODY COUNT - ‘Bloodlust’ (2017)
  • Лейбъл: Century Media Records
  • Издаден: 2017
  • Aвтор: Стефан Топузов
  • Оценка:

When Ice-T decided to form a metal band in the early 90s, this was an unprecedented crossing of the boundary between the worlds of rap and rock. And it still is – unless you can point me to all them other established rappers who have their metal side projects. Still, Body Count have never really fit in the context of the metal scene. And it seems this has pushed Ice-T and his gang to play even heavier, more brutal and eviler music.

‘Bloodlust’ sounds like the album Body Count have always wanted to make, but for some reason never could. The first thing that sets it apart from previous releases is the music – if until now Body Count had sounded like they were trying to play too many styles of metal, with outbursts of punk, this time there is one dominant theme: thrash metal.
 
Everything in ‘Bloodlust’ is about crushing, evil riffs played at fast tempos. And if the songs do slow down, it is not to give you a chance to catch your breath – but to cave your skull in with a heavy breakdown. The main riff in the title track, for example, is absolute Hatebreed!
 
And if you haven’t gotten the point yet, the band is happy to scream it at you with covers of ‘Raining Blood’ and ‘Postmortem’ by Slayer, and guest appearances by Dave Mustaine (for a killer solo in opener ‘Civil War’), Max Cavalera (for some guttural growls in ‘All Love Is Lost’), and Randy Blythe (for a brutal vocal trade-off with Ice-T in the verses of ‘Walk with Me…’ – one of the most brutal tracks on the album). In this context, even the idea to swap the double bass drums in ‘This Is Why We Ride’ with the sound of an automatic rifle firing doesn’t sound cheesy – but legitimately menacing.
 
The other different thing about ‘Bloodlust’ is Ice-T’s approach towards the lyrics. Let’s not kid ourselves – the likes of ‘Talk Shit, Get Shot,’ ‘KKK Bitch,’ and even ‘Cop Killer’ were never meant as songs with serious messages. And this has always been somewhat odd, given Ice-T’s quite serious approach in his solo rap records. In ‘Bloodlust,’ there is no place for silliness, though.

All the songs carry a strong socio-political charge, with Ice-T making very brutal and direct – but quite accurate – cuts at the heart of topics such as racism, police brutality, society’s polarization, and the epidemic of poverty and violence. For example, in the four and a half minute long ‘No Lives Matter’ synthesizes a much more adequate position on everything about the Black Lives Matter movement than many of the media outlets that have dedicated countless pages and hours of airtime to the topic.

If you are a dedicated fan of Body Count, you might perceive these changes as abandoning the things that gave the band its charm. But there is no denying that the combination of musical and lyrical consistency gives ‘Bloodlust’ a sense of purpose and strength that the band’s other releases just lack. Thanks to this, it is now Body Count the ones that other metal bands should take note of.

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