Album Review: Body Count - Carnivore
Artist: Body Count
Genre: Rap Metal
Review: Jay Kleinschmidt
I was eagerly anticipating the release of this album since Body Count's last effort, Bloodlust, absolutely kicked my arse. The things that made that album so great were rocking riffs, excellent production, guest artists and politically motivated lyrics which were relevant at the time – and unfortunately still is. Adding to that was a great shout out to Slayer with a brilliant cover of "Raining Blood." Carnivore picks up right where the former album left off. The riffs are there in spades, the production is excellent and there are new guest artists that collaborated on this album.
Title track, "Carnivore", starts off the album right with a riff that is a headbangers delight. The lyrics sound absolutely evil; with talk of roaming the streets at night and eating flesh and drinking blood – this would be Ice-T sharing his thrash/death metal influences.
"Point the Finger", is the first track featuring a guest artist. This time it’s Riley Gale of Power Trip. This track’s lyrics focus on civilian fatalities at the hands of police. These themes have been explored before by Body Count and other artists. It’s unfortunate that this issue is as relevant as ever. Complementing the lyrics is a riff that is a fast paced thrash verse with a slow breakdown for the chorus. This works a treat.
"Bum Rush" picks continues on with a furious riff and lyrics about wealth that’s generated through spreading fear and hatred. Once again it’s politically motivated and Ice-T labours his point home of class divide. That theme has been central to songs of his in the past, such as "No Lives Matter."
The next track is a cover of Motörhead’s famous song, "Ace of Spades." They make a point to include a cover on each album to showcase their various influences and give a shout out to a fellow artist. This cover does justice to the original. Give it a listen.
"Another Level" changes the mood of the album towards topics such as motivation and achieving your dreams despite negativity. This song features Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed and is another welcome guest appearance on this album. Great track.
"Colors 2020", a revamping of the original 1988 classic about gang violence, gets a heavy metal makeover. It sounds fresh when compared to original hip hop version, which shows signs of age with its 80's beats and overall slow feel. The guitars, bass and drums really make this song heavy and, once again, this is aided by the excellent production work of Will Putney.
"No Remorse" is the perfect revenge song. Directed towards no one in particular, Ice-T goes on a tirade containing vitriol and hatred. I’d hate to be the person that really does get on his bad side. Lyrics such as “I refuse to say I’m sorry” and “revenge is all I think about” really sets the tone for this abusive monstrosity. This is similar to "All Love is Lost" from their previous album. My favourite lyric is “If you was starvin’, I wouldn’t fix you a hot bowl of shit”. Give this track a listen. You won’t be disappointed.
"When I’m Gone" was inspired by the murder of Nipsey Hussle in 2019. The central theme is about telling the people in your life that you care about them while they’re alive, and not at their funeral. The guest vocals by Amy Lee of Evanescence really makes the chorus all the more chilling.
"Thee Critical Beat Down" is another song like "No Remorse", although this song is more about anger than revenge. Once again, it’s directed at no one in particular, which makes it all the more entertaining.
"The Hate is Real" has an opening riff very reminiscent of "For Whom the Bell" tolls of Metallica before launching into something fast paced and punk crossover styled. This track closes off an album full of heavy riffs, a lot of anger, and pertinent political messages. The guest artists contributed well to an album ready to kick some ear drum. It’s also a perfect introduction to anybody not familiar with Body Count.
If you spend the extra cash and get the deluxe album you won’t be disappointed. The bonus tracks include and 2020 revamping of classic hit "6 in Tha Morning." Additionally, there are live recordings of tracks from Bloodlust taken while on their Australian tour of 2017. I was at the Brisbane show of that and can testify they are an excellent live band. I can’t wait until they tour this album in Australia. Meanwhile, as it approaches the cooler months I’ll be rocking my Body Count beanie and listening instrumental versions of all the tracks as part of the deluxe edition. There’s plenty of value in the deluxe edition and I would recommend it to every metal head out there!
Carnivore is out now via Century Media Records.