Album Review: Dope – Blood Money Part 1

Due to the always on, instant gratification that lives so vicariously in today’s society, especially in the younger generations, many forms of entertainment and the people who create that entertainment live in a “what have you done for me lately” mindset. That is, if a revered actor comes out of a hiatus or a professional athlete who retired decides to come back and make one more go at it and they weren’t prominently in the spotlight prior to their disappearance, chances are many people might not know them. This is where nu-metal act Dope find themselves with a vast majority of todays tuned in music scene as their sixth studio album, Blood Money Part 1, is nearly upon us after being announced in 2013 and the first new content from the band 7 years after their last album, No Regrets. With such a lengthy period between releases and the inevitable reworks of the record itself, longtime fans have been left wondering if this has been worth the wait.

[tw-toggle title=”About Dope”]
Genre: Nu-Metal | Heavy Metal
Label: eOne
Release: October 28, 2016
Connect: Facebook | Twitter
Purchase: iTunes | Google Play

To put it bluntly, Blood Money Part 1 is a tried and true representation of what Dope have created over their lengthy and established career thus far. This is a record that’s presented in a packaged way, containing a blisteringly heavy sound and a dark lyrical approach, further enhanced by the overall appearance of the album and the band itself. The records cover is a naked woman covered in blood over money, befitting of the title while the track titles themselves prelude the lyrical content of each individual track and the album as a whole as drugs, sex and violence make up the epitome of the themes behind the record. These themes are enhanced by the fast faced and precise instrumentation as hard rock riffs soar throughout with industrial backdrops, brooding growls and pounding basslines drive home the overall sound presented on the record itself fitting the lyrical content extremely smoothly. Succinctly, Blood Money Part 1 is an aggressive record with dark lyrical content enriched in the industrial and nu-metal style found prominently in the 90’s and early 00’s, true to the bands roots and one that will ultimately appease longtime fans.  

Dope – Blood Money

“Blood Money” is off of Dope’s new album ‘Blood Money’ Get “Blood Money” now –

At the forefront, Blood Money Part 1 has a very distinct and established identity, but that is also going to be one of the biggest issues of the overall record. In a musical world that is so accustomed to constant genre pushing sounds, Dope offer up nothing of the like on their long-awaited record and instead play it entirely too safe with a sound that has faded in general reception over the past decade. The album is a tried and true sound that they’ve become known for and one just has to look at a track like “1999” to realize the band is still living in the past. There’s no harm in staying the course with, but today’s musical world is a constantly evolving, genre pushing and experimental one that requires uniqueness to stand out amongst an overly crowded sea, and Blood Money Part 1 comes across as if it’s resting on the laurels of a once extremely popular sound and band. The band’s best attempts at a modern sound are when they opt for a radio friendly one like “Hold On” or “A New Low”, but they also are eerily reminiscent of other artists and don’t come across as something Dope would create.

Even with 7 years since their last album and 3 years since it was announced, fans have been waiting with eagerness and patience and ultimately will not be disappointed. From the rooted sound in nu-metal and the style of music that made them famous and fans attached themselves to, Blood Money Part 1 is a Dope record at heart. They’re clearly a band that were on a mission, knew exactly what they wanted to create and say and went for it full-go – and this is only part 1. The lingering question of if the lengthy hiatus would have an underlying effect on the bands talent can be tossed out the window, but it will leave non-hardcore fans wondering why this album took so long when it wholly plays it safe, resulting in a somewhat uneventful and heavy, but bland sounding record.


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