Body Count: Bloodlust (Century Media)
Ice T, Ernie C and their metal rap outfit are back with an enormously infectious album, number 6 in the catalogue. It's an observation of America, and unsurprisingly touches on many of the civil issues which currently challenge the world's largest superpower. Civil War touches on the many different aspects to life across the country, black or white, rich or poor, wrong or right and features a screaming solo from Megadeth's Dave Mustaine. The Ski Mask Way reflects on home invasion as an income source, with the typical aggression which we've come to expect from this hard core bunch. All Love Is Lost contains a raging Max Cavalera on backing vocals, a song of betrayal and containing some huge riffs.
Ice T explains his love of metal and particularly Slayer before launching into a momentous Reign In Blood/Postmortem with rhythm guitarist Vincent Price doing vocal duties on the latter. You can't go wrong with that riff on Reign In Blood and this version is fast and nasty as it should be. Obviously Ice can't match the mighty Araya vocals and he doesn't even attempt to. The outstanding track on the album comes shortly afterwards, a brutal, guttural Walk With Me which features Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe, his roaring contribution unmistakable. Further social commentary on No Lives Matter which understandably focuses on the discrimination against poor, whether white or black. Bloodlust is fast and thrashy, a real rap metal beast. Whether you like them or not, this is a beast of an album. 9/10
Me And That Man: Songs of Love and Death (Cooking Vinyl)
The unlikely combination of Behemoth frontman Nergal and indie pop Englishman John Porter, a Polish resident since 1976, Me And That Man's debut is a dark, anti religious country, bluesy slice of Americana which really makes a pleasant transfer from the norm. Some of the album has the Johnny Cash sound, especially opener My Church Is Black and Of Sirens, Vampires And Lovers, although there are many other sounds which are identifiable throughout. For those of us familiar with the blasting assault of Behemoth this is a complete change.
However repeated listening soon establishes the usual 100% commitment. The raging Love & Death is followed by a country fused One Day which has an almost evangelical feel to it. The 50's sound of Voodoo Queen belongs on a diner jukebox on some distant highway. The whole album has a haunting, at times sinister and Gothic feel. Although it may not be to everyone's tastes, it's a really interesting release which gets better after repeated listening. Well worth taking the time to invest. 8/10
Moon Duo: Occult Architechture Vol 2 (Sacred Bones)
The second instalment from the Oregon psychedelic drone outfit follows quickly on the heels of the essential Vol 1 which we reviewed about six weeks ago and it's just as bloody brilliant. Tripping from Depeche Mode type electronica to space rock mellowness Vol 2 is a slightly shorter release with five tracks, albeit with a running time of not far off 40 minutes. The use of the single beat with repetition allows the three piece to experiment and freestyle. It's relaxing, chilled and totally enjoyable. Mirror's Edge and the industrial beat of Sevens are enchanting. Once again, well worth the effort. 9/10
Desecrator: To The Gallows (Dinner For Wolves)
More Australian action, this time its full frontal thrashing from Melbourne's Desecrator. To The Gallows is a decent slab of old school thrash metal which follows the faithful blueprint which sometimes is just what you want. The band have been around for over eight years and clearly like what they like. There is more than a shade of the UK's Evile in many of the tracks and that can't be a bad thing. From the all out raging of the title track and paint stripping Serpents Return to the more melancholic As I Die this four piece give it everything. However, when you get a track entitled Thrash Is A Verb then you really can't help but warm to them, even if they've stolen at least four riffs in the process. Heavy metal grammar? Fuck yeah! 7/10