It felt like such a huge privileged to catch Body Count a couple years back at Download Festival. As their performance came to a close the legendary Ice-T and his Hardcore Metal group stood on stage with the realization this could well be there last live show in the UK. I took this as a sending off, that in his 50s maybe this was it for the group, so it came as a huge shock to hear they had released their sixth record, one that could easily be considered among their best. Very relevant, politically charged with nothing held back, "Bloodlust" is a raw and blunt record with a lot of bite.
Ive always loved how the group found a connection between Metal and themes of street violence, most commonly heard in Hip Hop music. Bringing his life experiences and knowledge of the streets, Ice-T has no remorse performing from the perspective of societies most brutal and unforgiving characters, taking it to vivid extremes as he walks us through the thoughts and actions of a character like Jeffery Dahmer on "Here I Go Again", the track dressed with torturous screams in the chorus to bring the atmosphere to life. His unfiltered views might be a lot to handle but on "No Live Matter" I think he nails the mark, making a bold statement that racism is a distraction in a system that targets its most vulnerable, often pitting them against one another. There is a lot of violence, crime and bluntness in his words that may not be for everyone, his performance though as commanding and ripe with anger as ever.
On the instrumental side we have a crisp, rounded production with lean guitars capable of delivering the brutality without excessive distortion. The performance and instrumentation is tight, a hybrid of Groove, Thrash and Hardcore that's capable of stretching itself in several directions for pummeling aggression on "Walk With Me..." and slower, moody tracks like "God, Please Believe Me". It makes for a solid record that offers a lot as it goes through its motions. Its biggest strength in my mind are the Grooves, its loaded with tight, momentous riffs that rock heavy in their metallic tone from start to end, with a fair amount of spicy lead guitar thrown in to.
Its not a record that dazzles but Body Count are in-sync and on point here, giving us a helping dose of exactly what we want. If it has a weak point, the middle of the records cover of "Raining Blood" doesn't quite suit Ice-T's vocal tone, however the instrumental is rock solid. It starts of with a statement of the band hailing their big influences, Black Sabbath, Suicidal Tendencies & Slayer, before diving into the legendary song. Its been a very enjoyable few days binging this record! No doubt its one ill enjoy again and again.
Favorite Tracks: No Lives Matter, Bloodlust, Black Hoodie