April 8, 2015 Biohazard & Sworn Enemy lead charge to Long Island, NY 3-27-15
Veterans of New York Metal, Biohazard has forged their own genre of Metal by shoveling Hardcore Punk, Heavy Metal and elements of Rap into a blast furnace. Bassist/Vocalist Evan Seinfeld, Guitarist Bobby Hambel, Drummer Anthony Meo and Guitarist/Vocalist Billy Graziadei joined together in 1987 in the borough of Brooklyn and began to write about life in the city. Relaying a consistent message of tolerance and equality, while speaking out against drug abuse, Biohazard has released nine studio records and toured all over, building one of the most respected names on the scene. Now teaming up for an East Coast swing across the USA along side Sworn Enemy, the tour kicked off fifty miles east of Biohazard’s stomping grounds at Revolution Bar & Music Hall in Amityville on Friday March 27th. No stranger to Long Island, this would actually be the first time the local heroes had played Revolution, and with them they brought the aforementioned Sworn Enemy along with opening support from Zire’s War, Oath, and Diesel.
Local Hardcore beasts, Diesel opened the show with a ferocity usually found much later in the show. The set started with a heavy drum beat as the curtain opened. The lead singer leapt to the edge of the stage and growled at the crowd, pulling them in. He introduced the next song “Hatred,” and now shirtless, jumped off of the stage to spin kick and ground punch before jumping back to the stage. Not much is known about this five piece, but they brought it with songs like “Sick Bitch,” “DSL,” “Trouble,” and “Keep Your Head Up” from their Broken Down Heroes record. What we do know is that Diesel has intensity, as evidenced by the crowd spinning and jumping. Sadly, it was announced that this was to be their last show.
Oath took the stage as an atmospheric soundscape slowly built to signal the start of their set. This Technical Metalcore band from New York/Connecticut is fronted by former The World We Knew vocalist Frank Fanelli along with Bassist Dan McVerry, Guitarist Rob Alicki, and Drummer Joey Dibiase. Immediately, Fanelli showed his vocal range during the band’s single, “Sorrow Society.” Sounding tight, the band never led on that it was in fact only their second live show as Oath. Standing out in their set was “Army of Oath,” which featured great drumming from Dibiase, as well as the song “Mask of Idols.” Oath came to Revolution with a tight, polished show that certainly inspired the crowd. Next, they head down to Texas with Sworn Enemy for the Texas Independence Fest, so watch for them.
Next was Life of Agony guitarist Joey Z’s new project, Zire’s War. Having recently played alongside Doyle a few weeks prior, this would be the band’s fourth show of their first tour, and a homecoming for Joey Z. With this new band, Joey Z joins up with Joe LoCastro, John Fattoruso, and Felipe Torres to bring an interesting mix of Thrash and Hardcore with some Groove elements. Immediately, Zire’s War grabbed the audience right away using a spoken word intro. The fans got an early taste of Zire’s War as Joey Z called for action as the band unleashed “Saving One;” a crushing, heavy tune and a great first look at the band. Joey Z is a brutal vocalist and has amassed a talented band in LoCasto, Fattoruso, and Torres. They followed up with “Solo Sister,” “Fracture,” “Warrior,” and “Falling Below” that had the audience moving around and into the groove. This was an impressive showing for a new band that dispatched a strong and tight set. Be sure to keep an eye on Zire’s War as they are headed for big things.
After a strong set from local support, it was time for main tour support Sworn Enemy. From Queens, New York, Sworn Enemy was founded back in 1997 by Vocalist Sal LoCoco, and throughout many changes has kept this freight train slamming down the tracks. Today, Guitarists Jeff Cummings and Matt Garzilli, Bassist Mike Pucciarelli, and Drummer Taykwuan Jackson are the latest incarnation to join LoCoco in Sworn Enemy. They upped the output as LoCoco stood tall and commanded the crowd closer as they walked onto the platform. Opening the set with “Sworn Enemy,” Pucciarelli and Garzilli criss-crossed each other behind him and took turns leaping to the edge of the stage and back again, leading into new song, from the band’s 2014 album Living on Borrowed Time, “Broken Hope.” Cummings claimed his side of the stage and focused his frenzy, ripping leads and occasionally sprinting to the other side and back. Jackson offered solid tribal rhythms throughout while Cummings thrashed his long platinum hair everywhere. The crowd embraced the band’s message as they blasted through the classic “I.D.S.” and the more recent “We Hate” and “As Real as it Gets.” Sworn Enemy put on a great show and received a huge ovation from the packed house. They now are on the No Mercy No Surrender tour with Wretched, Dark Sermon, and Hammer Fight through May first.
Completely rattled by Sworn Enemy, it was time for Hardcore and Punk Metal icons Biohazard to show Revolution a good time. Taking the stage close to Midnight, 102.3 WBAB’s Fingers of Fingers Metal Shop introduced the band to a massive roar of a group of fans showing no signs of fatigue. Making their return to New York in powerful fashion, with a truckload of energy and a killer focus, Biohazard were ready to tear the house down.
With Bobby Hambel on guitar, Billy Graziadei on guitar/vocals, Danny Schuler on drums, and Scott Roberts on bass, this rock solid lineup was greeted with a sea of cheers. From the first words “There is no black and there is no white in our world, right? There are only Shades of Grey,” the crowd was all in with “Shades of Grey” from their 1992 album Urban Discipline. Immediately following, the band jolted into 1994’s “What Makes Us Tick,” which had the crowd bouncing with fists high in the air, joining the band in unified fashion. Going into the track “Urban Discipline,” Hambel artfully spun in place, looking in control and completely out of control at the same time, while Graziadei barked and snarled the lyrics to the masses. They continued to blast through their best material, with no end in sight, with tracks such as “Wrong Side of the Tracks,” “Down for Life,” and “Survival.” Bassist for the band since 2011, and part of the family since 2002, Roberts looked like a lifer, stomping, jumping, and adding solid vocals to the mixwhile making his presence felt throughout the packed house. Keeping the adrenaline pumping and bringing fans down memory lane, “Tales from the Hardside,” “Victory,” “5 Blocks” and entitled “Retribution” from their 1990 self-titled debut were unstoppable in their raw aggression. A strong finish their brutal sixteen song set was “Howard Beach,” “Love Denied,” their gigantic anthem “Punishment,” and “Hold My Own.”
Biohazard was relentless and delivered a barrage of Hardcore Thrash savagery that will go down in the books as one of the best Metal shows to come through Long Island in quite some time. From top to bottom, this bill came through with all the blitzkrieg that one looks for in a show like this. Besides the music, one could not help but notice all of the bands involved; intensely watching and supporting each other to the extent that Sworn Enemy’s Cummings bolted across the stage to assist Biohazard’s Graziadei when he experienced technical difficulties during their set. Fans, friends, and other bands’ members were seen watching Biohazard perform and taking pictures from the side, and back, of the stage, giving the sense that this was about friendship and a family of musicians in a genre that promotes unity. Biohazard wrapped up their East Coast swing with Sworn Enemy April 5th, but will be heading across to Europe in June for a series of shows including the Wacken Open Air Festival.