If ever one band was a product of their environment, then it is surely local lads Upraised. A post-industrial brand of hardcore that’s gnarly and tough-as-nails, yet extremely likeable, they get the evening off to an explosive start and they rarely look back over the course of thirty furious minutes. They throw themselves around with reckless abandon and it doesn’t take long until their shirts are whipped off as they proceed to dish out a musical beatdown, and one that offers little in the way of redemption. A nice cover of Merauder’s ‘Life Is Pain’ goes down particularly well, and it is to their credit that it doesn’t seem out of place amongst their original tunes. On what promises to be a brutally heavy evening, Upraised have set the bar extremely high.
Due to unforeseen circumstances Raging Speedhorn are appearing as a four-piece tonight (as opposed to the usual sextet) but they don’t appear phased at all. With the stage is bathed in blood red light and an impossibly long wall of feedback creating an unendurable tension, the band arrive with guitars blazing and drums kicking. As is often the case, reduced numbers results in a big sound, and that’s thanks in no small part to drummer Gordon Morrison who attacks his kit with great gusto. I miss the twin vocal attack, and the interplay between the two singers can often be spellbinding, yet Daniel Cook does a great job and he flits from stage left to right like a Tasmanian Devil. With just the one guitar, Raging Speedhorn become a more streamlined, punchy beast and they’ve overcome adversity with apparent ease, but as the title of their latest album says, they’re Hard To Kill.
The word legendary is nowadays thrown around in a rather casual manner, but when it comes to Brooklyn bruisers Biohazard, it is perfect apt. They’ve carved out a career that has been lived on their own terms, and helped usher in the crossover era that forever changed the shape of heavy music. The classic line-up has now reformed and are blazing a trail across Europe to show the young pretenders a thing or two. As we await the band there’s a tangible excitement cracking the air, and it is only heightened by the introduction to ‘Urban Discipline’ that fills the Steel Mill like a raging tempest. When the band appear and hit the first note, it is as if someone has pushed down a detonator; the crowd erupt with such ferocity that suggests a bomb has exploded. Throughout the evening there’s been some action in the pit, but now things are taken to a whole new level as circle pits swirl and waves of surfers crash over the barrier, and all to a soundtrack of the heaviest hardcore.
Musical chemistry is a funny thing, it’s magical and often only comes along once in a lifetime (if you are lucky) and those who find it have a special something. This incarnation of Biohazard is a prime example; while they released some great music after this line-up imploded, things were never quite the same. The fission they possess is in evidence tonight, and the band very much sparkle and fizz as guitarist Bobby Hambel performs his trademark twirls and becomes a Tasmanian Devil while Billy Graziadei threatens to invade the crowd at every opportunity. Evan Seinfeld appears not to have aged an iota, only more tattoos indicating the passing of time, while drummer Danny Schuler keeps everyone in line with some hefty beats, his Black Sabbath schooling evident in his tight-but-loose style. With a set culled from the band’s first three records, Biohazard really can’t go wrong and pull delights such as ‘Down For Life’, ‘Howard Beach’ and ‘Victory’ out the bag, each song only serving to rile the moshers towards greater insanity.
As we began with a track from Urban Discipline, so we close and ‘Hold My Own’ proves the perfect vehicle for the crowd to expend their remaining energy. Tonight’s set has paid homage to the band’s illustrious past, but with a new album promised, the future looks equally assured.
Biohazard Set List:
- Urban Discipline
- Shades Of Grey
- Down For Life
- Tales From The Hardside
- Wrong Side Of The Tracks
- lack And White And Red All Over
- Five Blocks To The Subway
- Howard Beach
- How It Is
- Tears Of Blood
- Scarred For Life
- Love Denied
- We’re Only Gonna Die (From Our Own Arrogance) (Bad Religion Cover)
- Hold My Own