Body Count


By Tina Hagerling 

Ice-T and company waste no time getting to the point with their latest  album release. Bloodlust, which marks the 6th studio offering from the  rap-metal group, is chock full of the themes that have permeated their  music throughout the years. Racism. Gang life. The abuse of those in  power. It's all in there, and then some. Mix in fuel from the recent  political developments, and Body Count appear to have taken things up  even one more notch. The result is an edgy - albeit sometimes  over-the-top - album.

True to form, the genre-melding band called on the contributions of  some of metal's big guns including Lamb of God's Randy Blythe, Max  Cavalera from Sepultura and Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, whose spoken  word intro starts things off. "Civil War" clearly sets the tone with  it's message of an impending dystopia: "coming soon to a town near  you". Air raid sirens, a thrashing guitar and Ice-T's militant vocals  all come together to form a volatile package from which the rest of  the album follows suit.

One of the better (and probably most aggressive) tracks on Bloodlust  is "Walk with Me". An ode to inner demons and the "dark recesses of  the mind", the song features a pounding rhythm, heavy guitars and the  trademark guttural vocals of Blythe. Things slow down and go somewhat  old school with "This is Why We Ride" and "Here I go Again," but  quickly pick back up with tracks like the cover of Slayer's "Raining  In Blood / Postmortem 2017."

If anything plays out as slightly awkward in the mix, it's the spoken  word interludes. While they afford Ice-T the opportunity to give a  shout-out to the band's influences and attempt to get ahead of the  knee-jerk criticism that will likely befall "No Lives Matter", they  also become a bit of a momentum killer. But as gripes go it's a small  one. And the songs go on to recover the pace fairly quickly.

Bloodlust goes out much the same way it came in - with a  politically-charged anthem that doesn't mince words. Inspired by the  Trayvon Martin case, the message is pretty clear: “All these people  out here, tripping about police brutality like this shit is something  new / Give me a fuckin' break / I've been talking about this shit for  over 20 years”. While it may come in the form of a more refined sound  and slick production at this point, Body Count’s
sentiment clearly  remains the same - over a quarter of a century later.