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June 16, 2024

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No Holds Barred (Roadrunner Records)

By: Jeff Lockwood

To tell you the truth, I thought that Biohazard had disbanded after their "duet" with the hip-hop group Onyx. Not that the mix of rap and hardcore between them was a bad collaboration, but I had not heard anything from the group since.

But, alas, Biohazard and their aggressive blend of Hardcore and Metal (if there is even much of a difference) are alive...ore! WooHoo! It turns out that they never broke up. They have been just playing and playing for ten years now. In fact, they just released No Holds Barred, alive album recorded in Hamburg, Germany.

Hardcore is more than just a loud and fast music played through a stereo. It is an experience that must be witnessed in person. Studio CDs don't quite capture the thrill of going into a scummy club and seeing the facial expressions of band members and concert goers, the smell of sweaty slam dancers, or the ringing you get in your ears. The live show, and all of the energy, emotion, and friendship that come with it, is the heart of hardcore music. So it makes sense that Biohazard attempted to duplicate this experience and finally released a live album.

The music of Biohazard mirrors the concrete and intensity of their hometown of New York City. No Holds Barred takes this music from Brooklyn, gives it to a rowdy German audience who, in return, give a lot of energy back the band who, as a result, share it all with the listeners of this CD. Heavy guitars speed along with an incessant and solid pounding from the rhythm section while brutal vocals shout out about everything from city living to corruption and greed.

To replicate the experience of a live hardcore show, don't shower for a week and watch nothing but the news, go buy a weight set, turn the heat up in your apartment, work up a good sweat by lifting the weights, turn No Holds Barred on full blast and wait for your large pissed-off neighbor with tattoos and a shaved head to come down and kick your ass for an hour.

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