Album Review: Dope’s Blood Money Part 1

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There are not many bands today who can say that they withstood the test of time without following trends or compromising their beliefs. One band who has managed to pull this off is the Illinois based metal band Dope. Dope formed in 1997 and since then, they have released five albums. They have multiple songs that are well-known anthems including “Die Motherfucker Die,” “Everything Sucks,” and “Now Or Never.”

The bands loyal fans are excited that after a seven-year hiatus, Dope released their sixth album titled Blood Money Part 1 on October 28th. A follow up album is very likely to be released at a later date, which is evident from the “Part 1” in the album title. Listening to the album was a refreshing wake up call for me. The band has obviously been working hard. Not only did they release their new album, they kicked off a tour in the U.S. and are heading to Russia and the UK in November. The reunion tour will feature the original band line up consisting of Edsel Dope, Acey Slade, Virus, and Racci Shay.  Over the years Dope has had a revolving lineup except for Edsel who has been the driving creative force taking on the duties of producing, mixing, video directing and more.

Blood Money Part 1 starts off with the cryptic intro “Confessions of a Felon.” The intro sets the tone for the eerie album. The intro bleeds right into the first track, “Blood Money” which is a euphoric mix of thundering drums, crunchy guitars and Edsel’s vocals appropriately enhanced with vocal effects. The band released an incredible video of this track. Check out the video below.

After a strong start, the album has many other notable tracks, including the heavy, fast-paced “Hold On.” The screams in the background of this song make it both emotional and empowering. It’s the type of tune that can make you feel like crying or like pumping your fists with fury. The same type of energy is expressed in “End of the World” and Selfish.”

A teaser for “Drug Music” had been released long before the album and is also worth noting. However, in my opinion, the best song of the album is clearly “1999.” Old-school music enthusiasts will be able to relate to this heavy as hell track.  Lastly, I must mention their bonus track on the album. I’m not much for bands covering songs unless they put their own unique spin or take to it. I have to admit they did one hell of a job bringing new life to Hole’s track “Violet.” Hole’s version was a very intense and heavy song but Edsel and the gang managed to up the ante with their version!

Dope has succeeded in maintaining their classic sound while adding some new age elements to Blood Money Part 1. The album is a must listen to for any fan of heavy metal music.

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