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Body Count brought the metal to Melbourne for the first time in 22 years

Here’s the thing with Body Count: they’re a f**king metal band.

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Image source: 
Sally Townsend

Years ago when they hit the scene, there was a whole ‘metal and rap together, WTF?’ thing going on. It’s bullshit. Body Count arose from Ice T and guitarist Ernie C’s love of rock and metal, and you won’t hear a single hip hop beat at a Body Count show. What you’ll hear is aggressive, socially conscious metal from a band whose singer happens to be Ice T, and whose vocal style probably has more in common with Slayer’s Tom Araya than, say, the actual rap/metal hybrids of the Nu Metal era. Hell, the opening track was BC’s cover of Slayer’s Raining in Blood/Postmortem.
 
Body Count’s latest record, Bloodlust, and their previous one, Manslaughter, are killer entries into the metal canon, and they hold up to anything from the band’s ‘90s catalog. In particular, No Lives Matter from Bloodlust is a song that uses 20-teens terminology but hinges on social issues that are chillingly timeless. And it sucks that songs like Cop Killer and Born Dead are as relevant today as the day they were written over 20 years ago.
 
Special mention must go to Ernie C: his riffs have a brutal punk edge but are seething with metal attitude, and his guitar solos have a ferocious, wild abandon. Rhythm guitarist Juan of the Dead adds more of a hardcore vibe to the band, and bassist Vincent Price holds it all down (have you seen that custom three-stringed Schecter bass he’s been rocking lately? Badass). But for all the brilliance of the individual elements, Body Count is a true ensemble. A War Ensemble, if you will.
 
Highlight: Ice T adopting a 14-year-old attendee as his honorary nephew as he intro’d Talk Shit, Get Shot
Lowlight: No Bitch In The Pit.
Crowd Favourite: Cop Killer.