BODY COUNT — Murder 4 Hire (review)

BODY COUNT — Murder 4 Hire album cover Album · 2006 · Crossover Thrash Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
UMUR
"Murder 4 Hire" is the 4th full-length studio album by US heavy/crossover metal act Body Count. The album was released through Escapi Music in August 2006. Body Count took a longer hiatus after the release of "Violent Demise: The Last Days (1997)" and there have been quite a few lineup changes in the 9 years between the two albums. Beatmaster V, who died of leukemia shortly after recording "Violent Demise: The Last Days (1997)", has been replaced by new drummer O.T. and Vincent Price has taken over the bass duties from Griz. Rhythm guitarist D-Roc the Executioner died from lymphoma cancer in 2004, which stalled the recording of the album some until the band recruited Bendrix as their new rhythm guitarist.

9 years between albums and lineup changes doesn´t change the fact that the music on "Murder 4 Hire" sounds unmistakably like Body Count. With a charismatic singer like Ice-T behind the microphone it´s really not that strange, and the band´s usual combination of rap, hardcore/punk, heavy metal, crossover thrash, and rhythm´n´blues is also in place.

Despite a few decent tracks (the chorus to "The End Game" is for example really great), the material unfortunately feels a bit uninspired. Something the band themselves have also mentioned in inverviews over the years. But it´s not only the tracks which generally aren´t that memorable, it´s also the delivery, and the sound production which aren´t up to par with the band´s usual standards. First of all new drummer O.T. doesn´t do a very good job at replacing Beatmaster V. He has a drumming style, which sometimes makes me wonder if it´s actually a machine playing. Secondly the normally well playing Ernie C is a shadow of himself. There are not many interesting guitar solos featured on the album, and the riffs are pretty generic and lifeless sounding too.

Combine that with a weak sounding production, where only the vocals stand out in the mix (the instrumental part of the music is way too low in the mix), and you more or less have a recipe for disaster. Not surprisingly "Murder 4 Hire" is a self-produced effort with Ernie C and Ice-T acting as producers. In my experience it´s very seldom a good idea to self-produce your music (with exceptions), and "Murder 4 Hire" is proof of that.

When that is said "Murder 4 Hire" isn´t a total disaster and it´s still obvious we´re dealing with relatively skilled musicians, and the basic song material isn´t completely uninteresting either. It´s just a flawed album which clearly could have been better and the 9 years of waiting for a new Body Count album definitely wasn´t worth it. A 3 star (60%) rating isn´t all wrong.
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666sharon666 wrote:
9 days ago
Reviewer's Challenge points: 3

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