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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Dr. Israel

By Aldo Singer
Published October 28, 2005

Patterns Of War

Dr. Israel is back after a seven-year hiatus with two releases this year: Patterns Of War and one from 1998 with two bonus tracks, Inna City Pressure.  His albums blend many genres like dub/reggae, hip-hop, rock, jungle/drum n bass, punk and metal, ending with a rhythm that flows. The Brooklyn resident’s influences, Black Sabbath, Run DMC, Bad Brains, Black Uhuru, and Roni Size are evident throughout Pressure. On “The Doctor vs. The Wizard,” Dr. Israel rhymes on a Black Sabbath riff, and Rancid’s Tim Armstrong is featured on “Coppers.” Through most of Pressure the Doctor rhymes about the social and political issues he has dealt with, without sounding preachy, coming up with tracks like “Life In The Ghetto” and the Clash cover “Armageddon Time.” Patterns Of War is not as strong as Inna City Pressure, granted, but Patterns is focused more on dub/reggae and jungle/drum ’n’ bass. Lady K and Israeli-born Chemda contribute to this record. The female vocals on these tracks snatch your attention without a fight.