Review Summary: Come on God, answer Me.... For years I'm asking you why? Why are the innocent dead and the guilty alive... Where is Justice, where is Punishment?
The early 90s were an odd musical era; trust me I was there. The metal scene in particular was an open playground of bands experimenting with different genre fusions; taking music to different parts of the masses. Anthrax and Public Enemy receive a lot of credit for marrying rap and metal (and deservedly so). So once the noise have been brought what were we to do then? One of the first answers to that question manifest itself in Brooklyn’s own Biohazard.
One of the first widely recognized bands to bring a fusion of metal, hardcore and rap Even Seinfeld and crew absolutely exploded in 1992 with the release of their seminal album Urban Discipline. The mix of down-tuned, simple punk chord progression and hardcore rap sensibilities brought something fresh to the masses. Heavy amounts of bass, and group chanting took the basis that Anthrax and PE made and turned the volume and violence way the *** up. This wasn’t happy rap music and thrash; it was hardcore punk and near gangster rap put into a blender. The band would later go on to collaborate with Onyx on the Judgment Night Soundtrack (one of the best things to come out of the 90s), but it was Urban Discipline that set the scene.
Urban Discipline is full of many of the Nu-Metal nuances and metal-core aspects that would saturate the industry a few years later, at the time this was release (1992) it was quite refreshing. “Thousands die and kill each other. Someone rapes and stabs their mother. I think it's sick to count the death toll. On and on the media rolls.” While not the best written rap every, it was socially relevant and delivered with enough genuine animosity to be believable. On top of the anger laden, social conscious lyrics is some incredibly fun hardcore punk, mixed with just enough metal to accentuate the group chanting and rap intermissions. Evan Seinfeld (bass, vocals) has a unique enough delivery with his Brooklyn saturated nuances to make even the cornier lines sound genuine. Billy Graziadei(guitars, vocals) joins on most tracks with a more punk scream/shout delivery that plays excellent counterpoint to Seinfelds quasi rapping. Bobby Hambel (guitar) and Danny Schuler (drums) round out the rhythm section and deliver an interesting, if not somewhat generic performance (expect a ton of China boy cymbal work).
It’s funny to look back on this release. I remember distinctly buying this back in 1992 after hearing Punishment on MTV and being floored. As a fan of many different music genres here was a band that was blending so many different styles seamlessly. Sitting and listening now in 2014 its age is definitely showing. As musical fans we are so over-stimulated now by the thousands of different genre’s that exist that it is hard to remember a simpler time when things like rap and metal just didn't go together. If you haven not listened to this in a while (or maybe you have not heard it yet) it is worth the trip down memory lane.