Dope - "Blood Money Part 1" (CD)
"Blood Money Part 1" track listing:
1. Confessions of a Felon
2. Blood Money
3. Shoulda Known Better
5. Hold On
7. Razorblade Butterfly
8. Drug Music
9. A New Low
12. End of the World
Reviewed by Diamond Oz on October 26, 2016
Dope was a band that always divided opinion. While they've contributed some anthems to the nu metal field, such as "Debonaire" (which wrestling fans will remember was used by Extreme Championship Wrestling as the theme for the opening to the "ECW Anarchy Rulz" video game as well as the entrance music for Rhino) and "Die Motherfucker Die" from their second album, "Life," there have always been critics and detractors. So, being seven years since releasing last album, "No Regrets," how has the band evolved from their past? The answer is: They haven't.
Let's focus on the positives first: there's quite a few attempts at variation on the record. While many of the songs are throwbacks to the early 2000s, the group experiments with plenty of more modern electronic sounds and genres, most notably by fusing dubstep with their music. There's also a couple of decent examples of song writing, particularly the song "Hold On," which stays true to their old sound but is actually a pretty good melodic thrash metal track.
Sadly, there's not much else to say that's praiseworthy. As mentioned, Dope hasn't grown as a band and certainly hasn't grown lyrically, still a little over impressed with the word "motherfucker," and considering the band was formed in 1997, Dope is still coming across like obnoxious teenagers. The track "1999" would have been much better if it wasn't based around the phrase "fuck it," while "Razorblade Butterfly" suffers a similar fate, being intriguing to begin with, before poor writing rears its head again, ultimately resulting in an annoying throwaway track.
"Blood Money" is also littered with pointless interludes, from the ten second opening track to the dark "Lexipro" and "X-Hale," which has nothing interesting to present. The previously discussed dubstep blend is weak and uninspired, with the already outdated genre doing nothing to improve the sound or quality of the record, which is most prominent on "Numb," an appropriate title if every there was one. The whole album comes across as juvenile and therefore, sad, as a band which has been around this long really should have matured in one way or another.
This is music for people who thought "Suicide Squad" was a great movie. It's snotty, irritating and totally forgettable. While fans may still enjoy it, "Blood Money" does nothing to improve relations with those who've dismissed Dope, or with old fans who have grown up a little.
Highs: "Hold On"
Lows: Juvenile song writing, weak lyrics, pointless interludes.
Bottom line: For hardcore fans only, everyone else will look at it as another forgettable album from a band they were never fond of anyway.
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