After being all but gone from the hardcore/punk scene for the last seven years, Biohazard finally released their highly anticipated new album entitled Reborn In Defiance. I am a little disappointed that they haven’t completely ditched the nu-metal style, but they definitely bring back the old school hardcore and punk crossover music that was relevant among bands like Agnostic Front and Cro-Mags.
Beginning right where they left off with anger-filled lyrics and furious vocal delivery, “Vengeance is Mine” brings back the glory days of the old school hardcore scene before the kids filled it with breakdowns and de-tuned their guitars to drop D. The drumming brings you in and after a punk bass line, they go into the angst-filled, heavy and fast-paced songs that they are best known for. With heavy breakdowns on the chorus and a couple guitar solos, they bring the rawness that has been missing from the scene. It’s time to put the children in their place.
The first single off the album, “Reborn” was the fans’ initial assurance that Biohazard have returned to the days when they were in their prime and to establish one of the best comebacks of the year. Thankfully they (almost) got rid of the nu-metal influences entirely for at least a few songs and opted for the old school, in-your-face style that put them on the map in the first place. A standout song in their entire catalog, everything about “Reborn” is good: the lyrics (From suffering reborn/ No compassion, no control/ Only black inside my soul), the music, which retains the old school approach yet has enough elements within the structure to make it unique, and the slowed down and heavy verse line that ends with an impressive metal guitar solo seals the deal.
Going for a heavier and more metal approach, “Killing Me” begins with a nu-metal kind of intro into spoken vocals with the instruments doing nothing but backing them up. It’s more minimalistic compared to the rest of the album, but not really all that bad. It has a strong early 2000’s nostalgic metal feeling that was common among bands like Staind and Crossfade, but of course more angry than those bands’ heartfelt or depressive vocal style.
Still continuing along the metal path, “Countdown Doom” doesn’t deviate too much from the same songwriting style as “Killing Me.” There is a little bit of rapping and I frown upon that as I am more of a fan of the hardcore, but for fans of that style of Biohazard, you will not be disappointed. The lyrics make it worth your while even if you don’t like nu-metal. I can say it’s some of the best nu-metal I’ve heard in the past five years though, so at least that’s good.
This album has a variety of songs that can appeal to just about anyone. The lyrical connections are very prevalent and that is what really sets a band’s work apart from the rest. This is almost like the album that showcases Biohazard in every section of their illustrious career, with each song like a snapshot into the past. Think of this album as a career spanning best-of album, with every song being brand new.