Urban Discipline/No Holds Barred – Live In Europe, 2CD Deluxe

Cherry Red
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

"Urban Discipline"
01. Chamber Spins Three
02. Punishment
03. Shades of Grey
04. Business
05. Black And White And Red All Over
06. Man With A Promise
07. Disease
08. Urban Discipline
09. Loss
10. Wrongside Of The Tracks
11. Mistaken Identity
12. We're Only Gonna Die (From Our Own Arrogance)
13. Tears Of Blood
14. Hold My Own
15. Business (demo)
16. Urban Discipline (demo)
17. Loss (demo)
18. Black And White And Red All Over (demo)


"No Holds Barred – Live In Europe"
01. Shades of Grey (live)
02. What Makes Us Tick (live)
03. Authority (live)
04. Urban Discipline (live)
05. Modern Democracy (live)
06. Love Denied (live)
07. Business (live)
08. Tales From The Hard Side (live)
09. Better Days (live)
10. Victory (live)
11. Survival Of The Fittest (live)
12. Blue Blood (live)
13. Black And White And Red All Over (live)
14. Victory (Reprise) (live)
15. How It Is (live)
16. After Forever (live)
17. Tears of Blood (live)
18. German Lesson #7 (live)
19. Chamber Spins Three (live)
20. Wrong Side Of The Tracks (live)
21. Waiting To Die (live)
22. These Eyes (Have Seen) (live)
23. Punishment (live)
24. Hold My Own (live)
25. Shades of Grey (live)
26. Punishment (live)

BIOHAZARD is very much the epitome of a love-them-or-hate-them kind of band. Whether they are one's cup of tea or not, the fact that they are trailblazers is simply undeniable. The New Yorkers' fusion of crossover thrash, hardcore punk, groove metal and rap metal was ahead of the curve.

Despite periods of inner turmoil and extended hiatus, BIOHAZARD have announced that its classic lineup will be hitting the stage again this year. Ahead of that live activity, the Brooklyn bruisers are releasing "Urban Discipline/No Holds Barred – Live In Europe", a double-disk package featuring their groundbreaking second album "Urban Discipline", originally released in 1992, as well as the 1997 live album "No Holds Barred – Live In Europe". The fact that the notable albums are coupled together, and that the sophomore effort includes four demo songs makes the album worthy of attention.

Upon their 1987 inception BIOHAZARD made waves locally in Brooklyn. However, it wasn't until "Urban Discipline" that they grabbed the global scene by the throat with the album's groovy and tough hymns about the New York streets. The release, featuring the popular video for "Punishment" which went on to become the most played video in Headbangers Ball's history, has sold in excess of one million copies. Measures of commercial success aside, "Urban Discipline" is an artistic victory because of the way that it incorporates various styles into a succinct, streamlined expression that's authentic and memorable.

"Urban Discipline" was unlike anything else when it was released in '92. Bands were already bridging hip-hop with rock and metal, in drastically different ways considering the AEROSMITH / RUN-DMC collaboration "Walk This Way", URBAN DANCE SQUAD from the Netherlands, FAITH NO MORE and the BEASTIE BOYS. But in terms of lethal metal and hardcore, BIOHAZARD took the game to a new level. The unit was deeply embedded within the infamous New York hardcore scene, playing shows and bonding with the likes of AGNOSTIC FRONT, CRO-MAGS and CARNIVORE, and they were quickly embraced at this point by metalheads across the planet.

"Punishment" gained mass appeal by virtue of its rhythmic bounce and addictive hooks, but it also entailed a genuine hardcore ferocity and dark energy. "Shades Of Grey", though, was even more reflective of BIOHAZARD's hardcore roots. Throughout the album, the trade-off vocals between bassist Evan Seinfeld and rhythm guitarist Billy Graziadei offer considerable dynamics that stand out and augment the generally minimalistic musical approach. "Black And White And Red All Over" is an impassioned statement against racism that's fiery and belligerent. "Wrong Side Of The Tracks", meanwhile, is an extremely hip-hop driven track that highlights Danny Schuler's outstanding, nuanced drum work.

The four demo bonus tracks prove to be more than obligatory add-ons. They provide a glimpse into the way that the ensemble was feeling the music out during the band's infancy. Both primary vocalists are clearly placing the lyrics into the songs rather than delivering them in the way that they would for the final product. The demo version of "Loss" somehow showcases BIOHAZARD's heavy metal background even more than the album version, standing out due to the fantastic solo ability of lead guitarist Bobby Hambel.

The release's second CD, "No Holds Barred", pulls material from "Urban Discipline" more than their other releases up to that point. While they generally flow in the same way that the original songs do, this release was so popular because BIOHAZARD is an absolute beast in the live arena. The live performance's recording is excellent, capturing BIOHAZARD's unhinged, primal energy. "Love Denied" clearly points toward the quintet's passion for BLACK SABBATH. Speaking of whom, BIOHAZARD's cover of "After Forever" shines bright on this recording, a song that they recorded for 1994's BLACK SABBATH tribute album "Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath".

For longtime diehards, word of BIOHAZARD's upcoming touring, including major European festival appearances, is welcome news. The stage is also set for potential new recordings, obviously. However that may pan out will become clear in time, in any event, this 44-song, double CD is a powerful document of one of the nineties most pivotal heavy bands.

Author: Jay H. Gorania
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