REBORN IN DEFIANCE
Sure, the 20 years later thing brought some interest to this release. Yes, the reunion of that classic lineup made you look up and think, "man, can they really bring it back the way it used to be?" Well, what's forgotten in those initial thought are those 20 years; 20 long years where this lineup wasn't together. Twenty years where the guys didn't continue their growth together as a band. Two decades that saw this lineup go on very different paths as individuals. The long and the short of it - REBORN IN DEFIANCE is a decent release from an older and less angst filled version of a legendary hardcore superband.
Even with later albums from the band, the one thing you could count on was that aggression that never quit. There's just too many times when it's not fully there. Take a song like "Reborn". It has it's typical Biohazard moments, but then has other points where it almost sounds radio ready and dull. This is followed by "Killing Me", which might be the worst Biohazard song ever. This song just lays there and lumbers along. Vocalist Evan Seinfeld seems to either have a flat effect on his voice for this song, or he's just particularly uninspired as he croaks out the lyrics. Even when Evan teams with Billy Graziadei in the chorus, it's just not working. Graziadei also doesn't have the voice that he once did, so a good amount of his screams are broken up and lacking.
This album hits with a thud musically as well. The return of the team of Graziadei and Bobby Hambel should have been able to produce more of that catchy guitar that powered albums like STATE OF THE WORLD ADDRESS. Instead, they provide a fairly murky, downtuned mesh of sound that doesn't stand out at all or add that razor sharp quality to songs like "Countdown Doom"; a song that could otherwise have been a really good, familiar Biohazard song. It's just disappointing, and seems as if the guys were trying to sound like Biohazard instead of actually just getting together and being Biohazard. I have no idea if that makes sense to many people, but to me, REBORN IN DEFIANCE is a parody of a band that I once saw destroy the stage night after night with Sepultura and Pantera. This is far from that band.
PITRIFF RATING - 52/100 - A major disappointment to open 2012...big time. I have always, always loved hardcore, and specifically these guys unique blend of hardcore and straight up metal. This just sounds, for the most part, like middle of the road downtuned modern metal with the occasional throwback to a band that no longer exists. Definitely far from great.