BODY COUNT - Carnivore
Release date March 6/20 (Century Media)
Carnivore is Body Count’s 7th release since the once controversial band started in 1992. Lead by the legendary Ernie C. and superstar media king, Ice T, the band tackles various social justice issues while going full-on thrash.
First of all, I find it completely surreal and amazing that Ice T continues to fully dedicate himself to this project, which shows he is a true devotee of heavy metal, maybe even more so than his early rap career. (He can’t be doing this solely for the money. It surely has to be for the love of the music.) By the way, Ice T, if by chance you read this, how about an interview and a chance for me to meet my celebrity crush, Mariska Hargitay? Seriously think about this – an actor who works and apparently is friends with a beautiful, non-controversial, highly paid white-bread actress is going full metal here. That’s 2020 for you.
The title track leads off with, dare I say, a tuned down, heavier tone of Linkin Park’s “Papercut”. Listen to both back-to-back if you don’t believe me. The song is a big "fuck you" to the pussification of our society and I give the band props for this. “Point the Finger” is a pure thrasher which tackles police shootings of black youth. The song is a solid, no holds barred dangerous metal track (featuring Riley Gale from Power Trip). “Bum Rush “is completely slamming with great background drums by Ill Will. The song is reminiscent of Suicidal Tendencies at their best.
Ice T then proceeds to give a spoken word dedication to Motorhead before the band covers “Ace of Spades.” While noble in its attempt, something about the cover falls short. “Another Level” starts as a slow, Slayer-esque tune, featuring a guest appearance by Jamey Jasta. Ice T then proceeds to resurrect his rap classic “Colors” as “Colors 2020” and it works. Ernie C and Juan of the Dead crank this song to new heights. It’s amazing how 32 years later, the lyrics still work and the heavy guitars bring you into today’s dystopia.
“No Remorse” is tuned down chunk with brutal lyrics, where Ice T, despite his success, is still real. For some reason, Ice T needs to add more spoken word about the death of Nipsy Hustle before “When I’m Gone”. The song is actually really good and has a guest spot by Amy Lee of Evanescence. Her voice is beautiful and adds a great juxtaposition to Body Count. “When I’m Gone” doesn’t need the spoken word. It is great on its own and the listener should have to research what the content is about. “Thee Critical Breakdown” makes the listener realize that Ernie C., Juan of the Dead and drummer Ill Will, are an impeccable metal force. “The Hate is Real” tackles racism while sounding a lot like Slayer, with duel lead work. The song then goes pure thrash.
The production on Carnivore by Will Putney is solid. The only thing that holds back the album are the spoken word intros by Ice T. That being said, he’s in this for the love of thrash metal and needs to be commended. The music will excite any fan of Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies and, of course, Body Count. Ernie C. and the rest of the band are all in, which makes Carnivore very good.