Ice-T and his crew are back again right when the country could use a slap across the face. America hasn’t changed a whole lot since the legendary rapper went metal back in 1992. We still live in a time when riots fill our streets and our television screens. Police still brace themselves behind transparent shields and throw tear gas grenades into seas of angry and oppressed humanity. Society still teeters on the brink of implosion. And luckily we have BODY COUNT to help us realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Age hasn’t caught up to the nearly 60 year old superstar. He’s still full of venom and spitting fire, and as always he’s surrounded himself with an incredibly talented group of metal musicians. BODY COUNT’S newest album entitled Bloodlust (March 31, Century Media Records) hits every bit as hard as the band’s debut. Raw and powerful vocals mix so incredibly well with the relentlessness of hardcore, thrash and punk riffs from Ernie C and Juan of the Dead. The listener gets assaulted from every angle and I couldn’t help but be thankful for the beating.
Album opener “Civil War” hits us with some air raid sirens and a warning that the president has declared martial law. This is only a taste of what’s to come on this record. Things are bleak, hard and heavy. There’s no filtering out what Ice-T is trying to tell us. We are savages and our legal system and government are corrupt. This isn’t a feel good record folks. Title track “Bloodlust” is possibly the best song on the album. A head bobbing rhythm and brutal riff lay foundation on which T can break down his truth. He reminds us that we are the most barbaric of animals, while at the same time admits that he also has that same bloodlust coursing through his veins. It’s a refreshing take on human nature when someone reminds you of who you really are at your core, while at the same time admitting they are no better than you. It’s a heavy hitting song and one I can’t get enough of.
“Black Hoodie” helps to round out an impressive metal album. The statement here is clear. It’s become ok to kill a man because of what he wears. A controversial topic indeed, but one that deserves attention. Dark tones and a serious message mixed with fantastic metal music. It’s the perfect combination, and these guys have found the sweet spot with this track. The cover of SLAYER’S “Raining Blood” is pretty cool, too. Ice-T takes the time to pay respect to BLACK SABBATH, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, and of course, SLAYER before breaking into this impressive cover. The band also assembles an all-star cast of metal gods to play on the album. Randy Blythe, Max Cavalera and Dave Mustaine all perform on separate tracks. This speaks volumes to the amount of admiration Ice-T has in the metal community.
If you like your metal with a heavy dose of social commentary then by all means pick up Bloodlust by BODY COUNT. There isn’t one dud on this record and I was really impressed with how much went into making it, and how well it turned out.
Standout tracks: “Bloodlust”, “Black Hoodie”, “No Lives Matter”, “This is Why We Ride”