Who else is totally sick with (thrash) bands that claim to be tough and to have faced many difficulties in life while they actually stayed home safe and sound, thinking about which party or girl should they crash to next? BODY COUNT is not that type of band. Ice T and the band came from the streets of Compton, came a long way to have every right to create a record like ‘Bloodlust’, a record that is furious and extreme.
The record’s theme orbits around the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, while it is a plea against police violence, the violence in the streets, the ‘bloodlust’ politics and the oppression of the poor. It takes courage to speak out to the world like Ice T does in this record, singing songs like ‘Black Hoodie’ and ‘No Lives Matter’. No else than an African-American, who was raised in the hood, have the right to speak openly about those matters, even if Ice T is no longer a gangbanger. However, police brutality, violence and racism are criticized through eleven songs full of attitude, crossover riffs and neurotic grooves.
“‘Bloodlust’ is a record of truth; the same truth that can be found in the streets of the poor American neighborhoods.”
The music of ‘Bloodlust’ is a warzone. The band used even faster riffs and doom break-downs for this record, while they still remain crossover. Ice-T vocal lines still impute a punk vibe to every riff Ernie C has composed for this album, even if this riff is a slow, blues guitar solo like in ‘God, Please Believe Me’ or in the doom rhythms of ‘This Is Why We Ride’. Sharp lyrics come to bond with the music and the vocals, while great effort can be attributed to Ill Will’s raging drumming. In ‘Here I Go Again’ the band turns it music into a more groovy tone, while most of the tracks in ‘Bloodlust’ remain simple and minimalistic, so as for a punk-like sound to be achieved. In overall, the record is trying to sound closer to heavy metal rather than in the first BODY COUNT record but Ice T’s hip hop influence in his singing style remains intact.
The record features many guest musicians. Most notable is Dave Mustaine, who composed the lead guitars in ‘Civil War’, as well as the spoken lines. Randy Blythe chipped in with its unique vocals for ‘Walk with Me’ and last but not least, Max Cavalera appears in ‘All Love Is Lost’. The record also includes a cover of ‘Raining Blood/Postmortem’ by SLAYER. The band kills the cover and the most interesting part is the vocals in it. It is great to hear Ice T giving his unique singing style, which is influenced by his rap years, into a song created by the godfathers of thrash metal, SLAYER (only in ‘Raining Blood’) though.
‘Bloodlust’ is a record of truth; the same truth that can be found in the streets of the poor American neighborhoods. With police not only neglecting the problems of the poor but also oppressing them, only art can support and speak out for those people. That’s what Westcoast music has been about, at least in the past. BODY COUNT honors those values and shouts out loud against society with deadly riffs and aggressiveness as weapons. So be sure to wear your black hoodie and rock this record, because without a doubt, is one of the most aggrieved ones this year.