It’s likely that a good majority of you haven’t heard the name Dope since the early 00’s and, that’s okay… because it’s all about to change. After 7 years of waiting, the band is back with part one of a two-part release that might just be their best material to date. The question most of you will pose, though, is “will they sound the same or sound relevant to this era of listeners?” The simple answer is FUCK YES THEY DO… but most of you will look for a more elaborate answer so… read on for my review of Blood Money, Part 1.
3 years, with few updates to go on and many other things being announced, finally culminate in 15 tracks of blistering, soul-scorching metal that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. These guys weren’t sitting around with their thumbs up their asses, they were working tirelessly to deliver their best, most diverse and thematically-dark release to date. With a clear call to the sound that brought them to where they are, mixed with elements of more modern music and some interesting sample choices, Blood Money Part 1 sets itself apart from the rest of the band’s discography. The first taste of the album was delivered in the form of a short teaser for “Drug Music,” accompanied with a video. The album was slated to release in March of 2014 but was delayed and in late August of that year… we finally got a full-length taste of what was to come. “Selfish” seemed to be a disappointing way to tease fans, as it was met to almost completely negative reviews, stating that they sounded more like a HellYeah/Mudvayne rip-off. Whether the band was listening to HellYeah and drew influence from them for this track, is unclear, but you can definitely hear in Edsel Dope’s voice where they drew the comparison. Sadly, the single came off much more lackluster than expected but… the curiosity still grew. Personally, I grew to love it but it does have its flaws. It’s one of many ways that Edsel is telling the world that he doesn’t give a damn about what people think.
It wasn’t until July of 2016 that fans received the redeeming single that they’d been looking for in the title track, “Blood Money.” This track showed the rawer, more energetic side of the band in a much more healthy way. The lyrics are more on-par with what they’ve written in the past, the songwriting was pretty spectacular and the use of vocal effects was pretty impressive, as well. On the other side of the spectrum, Dope lets fans into the emotional side of his writing in the 2nd official single, “Hold On.” This track has a much more hard rock vibe and features his clean singing in a much more melodic manner, versus what we’ve heard in the past. It doubles as a love song and a break-up song, making it a very interesting listen once you dive into the lyrics. This isn’t the last we hear this side of the band, either… “Numb” and “Razorblade Butterfly” both show a more vulnerable side of Dope as a songwriter and an individual. It’s clear that he took himself down a dark path in writing this album and, likely, that’s one of many factors that delayed it for so long.
As a whole, this album is phenomenal. It may take a couple of listens to get into, if you’re an old-school fan of the band… as there are a lot of new elements on this album that they hadn’t previously experimented with. Personally, “Shoulda Known Better” has become one of my favorite tracks with its fun little “WOO!” every few seconds in the chorus and the way that it was executed. The bottom line is that Dope is here to get into your veins, create an addiction and feed it endlessly. You thought they were done? This party has only just begun! Do yourself a favor and pick up your copy of Blood Money, Part 1 on October 28th, via eOne Music! You can view the videos for both “Blood Money (NSFW)” and “Hold On” below, as well as view many different pre-order bundles the band has set up. The band is nearly through their “Die Mother Fucker Die” reunion tour, featuring the original line-up of Edsel Dope, Acey Slade, Racci Shay and Virus… taking along with them their longtime friends in FLAW and Motograter (the former of which released an album earlier this year and the latter of which is releasing their 2nd studio album in 2017!)
“Blood Money” (Official Music Video, NSFW)
“Hold On” (Official Music Video)
10/21 – Dallas, TX (Trees)
10/22 – Merriam, KS (Aftershock)
10/23 – Oklahoma City, OK (89th St. Collective)
10/24 – Lubbock, TX (Backstage)
10/25 – Gallup, NM (The Juggernaut)
10/26 – Phoenix, AZ (Joe’s Grotto)
10/27 – San Diego, CA (Brick By Brick)
10/28 – Las Vegas, NV (Counts Vamp’d)
10/29 – Anaheim, CA (The Grove)