As longtime readers may know, I have a special place in my heart for L.A. street metal combo Body Count. Their debut album is an indisputable cult classic, and follow-ups Born Dead and Violent Demise were equally essential to the soundtrack of my misanthropic youth. BC suffered some setbacks since the early days, including the deaths of three original members. 2014’s Manslaughter seems to have been the comeback the band needed, and now Ice-T and co. are making a case for modern metal legitimacy with Bloodlust.

Opener “Civil War” kicks off with a spoken intro from right-winger and born-again Christian Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), who seemed about as likely as Charlton Heston to appear on a BC record. The song’s doomy pace kicks up a notch or three towards the end, as Mustaine reappears to lay down some tasty soloing. The guest appearances continue with Max Cavalera (Soulfly), who co-wrote and shares lead vocals on “All Love Is Lost.” As a big, stupid Chaos AD-style groove rolls by, Ice-T and Max lash out against those who have scorned them (Ice seems to be singing about an ex-girlfriend; Max’s lyrics could conceivably be directed towards Andreas Kisser).

Track 5 is a cover of Slayer‘s “Raining Blood/Postmortem,” not unlike the Suicidal Tendencies cover on Manslaughter. It’s not particularly well done — Ernie C. and Juan Of the Dead might be the only two metal guitarists on earth who don’t know how to play that signature riff, and bassist Vincent Price’s lead vocal on “Postmortem” approaches parody. The song begins with a brief explanation by Ice-T, suggesting that he’s aware that this track requires some justification.

Lyrically, Ice-T is one of very few people who have seen street life from both within and without, and this results in an interesting duality on record. On “No Lives Matter,” Ice correctly points out that America has a class war in addition to a racial one. But on “The Ski Mask Way” he’s in full-on gangster mode, conducting a home invasion during the song’s bridge. The two viewpoints collide on “This Is Why We Ride” (co-written with God Forbid‘s Doc Coyle) which seems to lament gang violence while simultaneously justifying its causes. Iceberg’s lyrical approach works best on the title track, where he describes all of mankind’s self-destructive tendencies as a “sickness.” It seems like current events have kickstarted Ice-T’s more socially-conscious lyrics, which is never a bad thing.

“Walk With Me” is among the most aggressive tracks in the BC catalog, with blast beats and near-black metal trem picking, not to mention a furious guest vocal by Randy Blythe (Lamb Of God). “Here I Go Again” finds Ice playing the role of serial killer over a horribly dated groove, suggesting the short-lived “horror rap” of the early ’90s. “Black Hoodie” is clearly intended to be a “Cop Killer”-style anthem, but while the subject matter is tailor-made to become a BC classic, the song is derailed by weak riffs and some corny-ass ICP-style “whoop whoops” on the chorus.

Bloodlust is as professional as Body Count gets, with slick production, guest stars and outside songwriters — and I guess that’s what feels wrong about it to me. BC‘s best albums felt sloppy and low-budget, which gave it a grindhouse vibe and a sense of urgency (see also: Darkthrone, early ’80s punk rock, the entire Cannon Films catalog). Present-day Body Count has been boiled down to little more than breakdown riffs, and a lot of it sounds like Ice-T fronting any Hatebreed-wannabe groove/hardcore band. To his credit, Ice is trying to express some heavy ideas, but his flow is not what it used to be. I’m already seeing a lot of press hailing Bloodlust as “Body Count‘s best record yet” or some such bullshit. Don’t believe the hype.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: Streaming
Label: Century Media
Websites: bodycountband.com | facebook.com/bodycountofficial
Releases Worldwide: March 31, 2017

Tagged with →  
Share →
  • The Unicorn

    I quite like this album. One trick pony, but Ice T brings it real. And the musicianship is tight, some really sweet solos surprisingly. Wish they would team up with Mike Muir, this would be some good mixup with S/T and/or Infectious Grooves.

  • Refined-Iron Cranium

    From what I’ve heard so far, the album isn’t bad. But I feel what made Body Count so endearing before is that they managed to balance serious stuff with fun, punky headbangers. I remember laughing at their debut album, thinking it was a joke, until I
    realised how well they did what they did. And with Manslaughter, they
    managed to hit the mark just right. This album is way too serious; not that being serious is a bad thing, but it doesn’t really fit the style of the band too well.

    In any case, it’s admirable to see Ice-T and Ernie C lay down some heavy stuff at this age.

  • If only “Here I Go Again” was a Whitesnake cover with funny lyrics, like “Institutionalized” on the last record. I’d buy that shit twice.

    • Dr_Fisting

      It’s kinda like when they did “My Way” (not the Sinatra song), “I Used To Love Her (not the GNR song), and “Who Are You” (not the Black Sabbath song).

      • The exact same time you were typing that, I was on a plane listening to “G N’ R Lies” for the first time in probably six years. Spooky!

        • Exitium

          I just listened to that album again for the first time last week in probably over a decade.

  • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

    Watching Charlton Heston recite the lyrics to “My KKK Bitch” was one of the highlights of my teenage years.

  • Michael Saurette

    Yo the whoop whoop is a KRS one reference, nothing to do with ICP.

    • Dr_Fisting

      I stand corrected. It’s still pretty lame in this context.

      • DrChocolate

        Late to the party here, but I respectfully disagree… “Sound of da Police” is arguably the seminal hip-hop track regarding police brutality. For Ice to use the hook from such an influential song, from ’93, just enforces his position that nothing about police/race/urban relations has changed in 20+ years.

        Doesn’t change the fact that the riffs are a bit limp on the track though, you’re right about that.

  • Norfair Legend

    Man, this reveiw was perfect. I feel exactely the same. Body Count always had a no fuck given, throw caution to the wind style that made their music seem near essential. While not terrible, Bloodlust is almost like they all sat down in a conference room and planned it out rather than a drunken garage session that it needed to be.

  • Wilhelm

    I never took them seriously, all the gangsta and street life lyrics never gelled with metal music and almost comes off as a parody (yes, even worse than Biohazard). I’m all for the urban youth getting into metal, but this is shit; sing about dragons FFS

    • Exitium

      Most of the fantasy stuff that you hear from Euro Flower Metal is just as bad as what you’re complaining about here. It’s just as parodic.

      • [not a Dr]

        I love power metal.
        But calling it flower metal is too funny.

  • zerospacer

    Ice T had a flow?

  • zerospacer

    I like how when Mustaine is concerned about global elites, what is happening to Europe etc, his politics are “problematic.” When Ice-T, a rich guy who hasn’t lived in the hood in 30 years is preaching about class war and repping BLM propaganda, throwing random statistics that mean nothing in for good measure (check the video for No Lives Matter), he’s “socially conscious.” lol
    But I appreciate that he is at least trying to get deeper than the superficial ms.
    I think we’ll see more of these strange bedfellows as the old political lines fall apart. Look for Thurston Moore teaming with Black Metal bands, Metallica working with Lou Reed…Oh wait, that already happened!

  • SelfIndulgence

    ” spoken intro from right-winger and born-again Christian Dave Mustaine”
    We all know about Dave and just his name will do. I don’t care what “wing” anyone is. If that were to dictate my musical choices I would have to throw out half my collection. Everyone is a devil on way or another.

    The less politicking we have here the better.

    • Dr_Fisting

      That line was less about my issues with Mustaine’s personal beliefs, and more about him appearing on an album that’s extremely left-wing. I was just surprised, that’s all.

  • Sharpface

    Im 38 years old from the bay area and grew up listening to BC. Ya the production is a shit tone better and wow they have structured songs, so that means sell out to this guy. I think the album is bad ass for what it is, and ernie c has a shit tone more “riffs” than hatebreed,i believe they have 2 riffs…..

    • Dr_Fisting

      I’m the same age as you, and I too grew up listening to Body Count. No one called BC “sellouts,” or at least I didn’t. And yeah, Ernie C. has come up with some damn good riffs over the years (although I don’t hear a lot of them on Bloodlust).

  • Sharpface

    Oh ya forgot tp say its not even clise to an icp “whoop whoop” i think its wu tang havent looked it up but know for damn sure its not icp lol

  • Here’s Johnny

    a low score because its not sloppy and has crap production? emmm just no! this is a fab record and the hype is justified.

    plus i like that raining blood/postmortem cover, its better than a lot of metal bands efforts.

    • Sharpface

      These guys are garbage, its pretty funny actually

      • If you want to have an intelligent discussion about the merits of an album, by all means please do so. If all you want to do is name call then you will be banned from the site.

  • Death_Black_Metal_Fanatic

    I actually really enjoyed this album. And their last one too. Fun stuff.

  • Sharpface

    after reading your review more in depth there is no way you are 38 bro. It reads like a 14 year old with bad acne and hates their parents wrote it. Bro you gave it a 2……i didnt think trolling your own review was possible but i think you did that. Fucking amazing. no wonder why i never found this website until today. A 2 lol lord have mercy, i really hope they dont pay you. One and done for me good luck to your website amg you are going to need it

    • Thanks for stopping by. Blabbermouth wants you back, bro.

    • herrschobel

      i think i might not like you …

      • Sharpface

        And……

        • Sharpface

          Dont get mad at me i didnt write this garbage ass review

      • Sharpface

        you would try to rape me in my sleep

        • herrschobel

          i don’t rape ugly people..so no worries

          • Sharpface

            you just confirmed this website is ran by kids, wow this is amazing hahahahahahaha

          • herrschobel

            it´s true…only children can see real ugliness..unfortunately i don´t run this website…

  • METAL OTTER
  • Finn Stone

    Best Body Count record. 2/5 isn’t fair….. get on my Black Hoodie

  • WIRED_Metal

    ‘Black Hoodie’ didn’t really do much for me, but Ice-T always gets my respect. He won it with OG/Original Gangster and the first BC album. Opened my eyes to a whole new world.