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Body Count - "Bloodlust" (CD)

Body Count - "Bloodlust" CD cover image

"Bloodlust" track listing:

1. Civil War (featuring Dave Mustaine)
2. The Ski Mask Way
3. This Is Why We Ride
4. All Love Is Lost (featuring Max Cavalera)
5. Raining In Blood / Postmortem 2017 (Slayer cover)
6. God, Please Believe Me
7. Walk With Me... (featuring Randy Blythe)
8. Here I Go Again
9. No Lives Matter
10. Bloodlust
11. Black Hoodie

Reviewed by on April 18, 2017

"...bringing in Agent Steel axe-man Juan Garcia was a major move towards instant metal cred. Garcia is one of the best thrashers in the game..."

These days, Ice-T is a name more synonymous with film. His reality show and major role on “Law And Order: SVU” has led to much of the population knowing more about his wife, Cocoa, than the fact that he put out a song called “Cop Killer” that was eventually censored from store shelves. They don’t know that Ice-T is one of the oldest rappers in the game, even going back to the days of break dancing. He is the O.G., the original gangster of rap.

Now it’s time to put him back behind the microphone and fans can once again say he's a strong street poet. There are plenty of topics Ice-T hammers home on the new album, "Bloodlust," that this country can relate to, whether they agree with his views or not. Going back to the days of his solo rap album “The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech…Just Watch What you Say!” and of course, the self-titled, Body Count debut. Police brutality and martial law are subjects he approaches. “Civil War” begins with a siren and a FEMA broadcast declaring martial law. The martial law aspect reminds me of the intro narrated by Jello Biafra on the “Iceberg” album. Topics like police shootings have divided the country about the core reason for such violence, and I think Ice-T seeks to bring together the people on “Blood Lust.”

Ice-T’s lyrics are thought provoking, even anger provoking - he’s a good song writer as long as he doesn’t use vulgarities for rhyming purposes. I know he has a larger vocabulary than that, but often this is the case. He makes good points, but doesn’t tell stories as well as he did on the debut. While Ice-T’s rhyming isn’t what it used to be, the band’s music is better than ever. Guitar-playing friend Ernie C. has improved in leaps and bounds, while bringing in Agent Steel axe-man Juan Garcia was a major move towards instant metal cred. Garcia is one of the best thrashers in the game, and he meshes well with Mr. C.

Some of the tracks to check out include the doomy leanings of the death rap/serial killer narration of “Here I go Again.” Also, there are some great twin harmonies such as those heard on “God Please Believe Me,” and “No Lives Matter.” In a short interview, Ice-T mentions hardcore, Suicidal Tendencies and Slayer. Musically, (and lyrically if you consider hardcore) he’s right on in these comparisons. Also, their backwards presentation (Raining Blood comes before Postmortem) rendition of "Raining Blood" sounds like a good thrash song.

If Garcia wasn’t enough to help the band, just think of the guest appearances by Dave Mustaine, Max Cavalera and Randy Blythe. Blythe brings aggression to the thrashy number “Walk With Me,” which seems tailor-fitted towards the Lamb of God front man. Also, there are the death growls from Max Cavalera on “Civil War” that echo with a haunting effect.

Body Count has made other albums since that eponymous debut, but I can’t speak much on those, so this review is like a follow-up to that first record for me. In so many ways, the band has improved, particularly in the music department. Ice-T has a knock for bringing up topics that are controversial and writing infectious chorus lines, but his use of vulgarities sometimes makes his rhymes a bit juvenile. That being said, “Bloodlust” is a decent album, not a top-of-the-year record, but definitely worth checking out.

Highs: Musically, Body Count has improved in leaps and bounds, especially with Juan Garcia on second guitar.

Lows: Ice-T's rhymes come off as sophomoric at times

Bottom line: A decent album worth a few listens that covers controversial topics

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)