Monday 10 April 2017

Album Review: BODY COUNT - Bloodlust

Body Count - Bloodlust

01. Civil War (feat. Dave Mustaine)
02. The Ski Mask Way
03. This Is Why We Ride
04. All Love Is Lost (feat. Max Cavalera)
05. Raining in Blood / Postmortem 2017
06. God, Please Believe Me
07. Walk With Me... (feat. Randy Blythe)
08. Here I Go Again
09. No Lives Matter
10. Bloodlust
11. Black Hoodie

Body Count's last studio album Manslaughter was my favourite album of 2014, so I've been looking forward to hearing Bloodlust since it was announced. I'm pleased to say that once again, Ice-T, Ernie C and crew have delivered the goods.

I was fortunate to see Body Count's original line-up when they played Wolverhampton back in 1994 on the Born Dead tour, and they made an everlasting impression on my teenage mind. I saw them again at the Phoenix Festival in 1995, and once more, they were amazing, so years later when the only surviving members of the original line-up, Ice-T and Ernie C announced that they were bringing Body Count back, I was over the moon. Comeback album Manslaughter was even better than I thought it'd be, and both in terms of song writing and production, was easily the best Body Count album to date. So my expectations of this new album Bloodlust were ridiculously high.

There is still some of the escapism and dark humour associated with Body Count albums, but Bloodlust has an overall more serious vibe than its predecessor. It's definitely a reflection of the world it was written in. Times are more uncertain, people are more divided than they have been for a long time, and so this album was clearly inspired by current events providing a way for the band to channel their rage. 

Opening with a guest appearance from Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, Bloodlust starts with Civil War, a cautionary tale about a future that's frighteningly close already. It's followed by the savage The Ski Mask Way which is a riff-tastic song about a home invasion, with a dark humour that touches on the risk of showing off wealth on Instagram or anywhere else when there are dangerous, desperate people around. The razor sharp Metal continues until the band hits the listener with a mid-album cover. On the last record they covered a Suicidal Tendencies song and nailed it. This time they tackle some classic Slayer and do just as well. Hearing Body Count playing Raining Blood is just what the doctor ordered!

The album progresses with more solid tracks, but saves the best until last, as the final three songs are arguably the highlights of the album. Ice-T is a clever guy, and he's at his best when he's rapping about social injustice, racism, and police brutality, and he fearlessly tackles these subjects head on. These are issues I believe Rap and Metal bands should be singing about. Real life issues that should make you angry. Ice-T taps into the enmity felt by so many people, which is why Bloodlust is such a relevant and important album right now.

Although I prefer Manslaughter, Bloodlust is a great album. Its predecessor may have some better songs, but Bloodlust, as an album in its entirety, is more consistent. If you liked Body Count before, I can see no reason why you wouldn't love Bloodlust, as it has everything you'd expect and more.


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