Review Summary: Following the vein of Means to End, Reborn in Defiance is a heavy, chunky record, but nothing new for Biohazard.
After 7 years, people may have begun to wonder if Biohazard had the fuel left to pull out another album. Even after the disaster surrounding ‘Means to an End’ which was announced to be the final Biohazard record, it felt like the band was nearing the end of its tether. However, it is 2012 and the album Reborn in Defiance has been released making it their 9th studio release.
A very solid album, with some enjoyable groove orientated riffs, displaying the essence of their music since their early beginnings as one of the progenitors of rap metal, or nu-metal, Reborn in Defiance has some variance, with tracks such as Killing Me standing out with its clean intro. However, there are a lot of very stagnant guitar parts, mainly the choruses, and some of the verses.
When listening to several songs, the guitar parts are almost identical, making for a disappointing feel. This let down is made up by the spattering of solos spread around the album, a good example being the slightly cliché wah laden solo at the end of Vengeance is mine.
This album is lyrically orientated, and contains a lot of lines that you’d expect to see from a punk band, such as “As we collapse, politicians lie, gets fat, get richer as they watch us die. Stand by, watch it from the sidelines, *** no! Don’t do it, fight them from the inside.” The first that comes to mind when listening to these tracks is Disturbed. Although Biohazard pioneered this style, a lot of the songs on this record sound like b-sides from ‘Asylum’.
It’s not all bad though, because whilst a lot of these lyrics are overdone, that doesn’t negate from the enjoyment that one can have whilst listening to Reborn in Defiance. Some golden moments are when the band starts to speed up into a thrash metal style and the two vocalists, Billy Graziadei and Evan Seinfeld begin to howl in a grin inducing harmony. Although the rapped lyrics on this album are less than they were on previous records, they still add a nice variance, not being overdone like a certain infamous nu-metal band.
The main issue with this record is the murky, muddy recording. Some of the leads are buried in the mix to the point where you can barely hear them. This is frustrating because there are some really enjoyable leads on this record that are just completely overpowered. One of the only songs on the record that isn’t muddy is the closing song, Season in the Sky, which itself is an instrumental, with one the longest non distorted segment seen on the album.
In consideration to their previous records, this really isn’t anything special; it feels a lot like Means to an End: Part 2. There are a few tracks that stand out but really, for a band that has been playing for 22 years, there should be more experience to compose better songs than a lot of the ones that are found on this record. My personal issue is how so many songs could swap lyrics and still sound exactly the same.
At the end of the day, it’s just another Biohazard record, an easy listen, nothing new musically and no real ground breaking progress lyrically. For fans of the band, it should definitely give them more material to enjoy.
Recommended tracks: Killing Me, Vengance is Mine, Seasons in the Sky.