Personnel: Ice-T (vocals); Juan of the Dead (guitar); Vincent Price (bass guitar); Ill Will (drums); Sean E Sean (sampler, background vocals); Little Ice (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Will Putney.
Recording information: Lattitude Studio South, Leiper's Fork, TN; The Platinum Underground Studios.
Body Count have been holding a magnifying glass up to systemic racism and social unrest since the early '90s, but never has their expletive-macerated brand of everyman vitriol felt more relevant than it does on 2017's Bloodlust. There's nothing particularly groundbreaking about the 11-track set -- Ice-T rages against the machine in its myriad forms while Ernie C. racks up kills with his six-string -- but it so cogently reflects the political and social divides of its time that its apoplexy feels unusually palpable. The Dave Mustaine-assisted opener, "Civil War," commences with an air-raid siren followed by a detailed proclamation of martial law, but it's Ice-T's fatalistic, race-neutral decree that "The public is armed and ready to die" that packs the most punch. Elsewhere, the fiery "No Lives Matter" and "Black Hoodie" address bigotry and profiling with typical Body Count bluntness, and the savage "Raining in Blood/Postmortem 2017" recounts the band's origins and inspirations -- Black Sabbath, Suicidal Tendencies, and Slayer -- via a pre-track interview before launching into a visceral medley of two of the latter group's seminal 1986 thrash classics. It's primal, lizard-brain stuff, for sure, but this is a band that's always eschewed introspection. Bloodlust may be pugilistic to a fault, but whatever it lacks in poeticism it more than makes up for in raw power. ~ James Christopher Monger