Our top 10 Biohazard songs list digs deep into the music of an American band acknowledged for its mix of heavy metal, hardcore punk, and hip hop genres. The band was established in Brooklyn in 1987, with its original lineup consisting of rhythm guitarist and vocalist Billy Graziadei, guitarist Bobby Hambel, vocalist and bassist Evan Seinfield, and drummer Anthony Meo. However, Anthony Meo soon left the band with his position taken by Danny Schuler the following year.
Soon after the Biohazard’s inauguration, the band started opening for thrash and hardcore punk bands in New York. Agnostic Front and Cro-Mags are some of the New York-based bands that Biohazard opened for in the late ’80s. Eventually, the band gained a cult following and signed a recording deal with Maze Records in 1990.
Biohazard’s Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
After signing a recording deal with Maze Records, the band released its eponymous debut studio album. Biohazard saw the band borrow inspiration from matters pertinent to its hometown, including urban life mishaps. The album was fairly received by the band’s fans selling several thousand copies. “Hold My Own,” “Wrong Side of the Tracks,” and “Retribution” are some of the best Biohazard songs from the album.
The band got its big break after it signed with Roadrunner Records, which had made a couple of successful releases for Annihilator, Sepultura, and Obituary. Biohazard issued its sophomore album, Urban Discipline, in 1992 through Roadrunner Records. The album saw Biohazard maintain its usual heavy guitar riffs, spicing the sound with hip-hop-influenced beats. Urban Discipline went on to rise to number thirty-six on the Billboard Top Heatseekers.
The album also managed to rise to position seventy on the German Albums chart. Urban Discipline saw the band release songs that blended thrash metal, hardcore punk, and rap metal. “Punishment,” “Urban Discipline,” and “Shades of Grey” are some of the fan-favorite songs by Biohazard from the album. Urban Discipline sold slightly over one hundred thousand album copies in the US, catapulting the band to commercial success.
Biohazard’s Album Releases over the Years
After a successful release under Roadrunner Records, the band went on tour, opening for notable acts such as Fishbone, House of Pain, and Kyuss. Biohazard would later be featured on “Slam,” a 1993 hit by Onyx. However, despite the successful release at Roadrunner Records, the band left the record label opting for Warner Bros. Records. Other reputable names to have recorded with Warner Bros. records include Van Morrison, Grateful Dead, My Chemical Romance, Van Halen, and the Sex Pistols.
Biohazard went on to release its third studio album, State of the World Address, in 1994. The album was a success both in the mainstream and commercially. State of the World Address was the band’s first release to make it to the Billboard 200, peaking at number forty-eight. The album also peaked at number seventy-two on the UK Albums chart. Its success went beyond the US and the UK, having it make it on the album charts of several other nations, including Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland.
State of the World Address remains to be the band’s highest-charting album. It is also Biohazard’s best-selling album, having sold almost two hundred thousand copies in the US alone. “Tales from the Hard Side,” “Five Blocks to the Subway,” and “How It Is” are some of the best Biohazard songs from the album.
Two years later, the band went on to release its fourth studio album Mata Leão. Mata Leão performed fairly well but a little poorer than the State of the World Address. The album reached a peak position of number one hundred and seventy on the Billboard 200. Mata Leão sold a quarter as many album copies managed with the previous album. Nevertheless, the album managed to feature some of the biggest songs by Biohazard, including “A Lot to Learn,” “These Eyes (Have Seen),” and “Authority.” Unfortunately, Mata Leão was the band’s final album released through Warner Bros. Records.
In 1999, the band released its fifth studio album, New World Disorder. The album was issued through Mercury Records, current home to AJR, Jerry Butler, Fall Out Boy, The Gaslight Anthem, Thrice, U2, and Metallica. New World Disorder peaked at number one hundred and eighty-seven on the Billboard 200. While the album might not have charted as high as Mata Leão, its commercial rating in the US was almost similar to the band’s fourth LP.
Biohazard would later release two studio albums Uncivilization in 2001 and Kill or Be Killed in 2003. The two albums were released through Sanctuary Records, a label that has released music for Anthrax, Discharge, The Kinks, and Iron Maiden. Uncivilization got a fair reception compared to Kill or Be Billed. Eventually, the band cut ties with Sanctuary Records.
Means to an End, issued in 2005, marked the band’s eighth studio album. While the album was a commercial failure, it features one of the fan-favorite tracks by the band, “My Life, My Way.” After a seven years break from making new music, Biohazard returned with the album, Reborn in Defiance. Reborn in Defiance is home to some of the best Biohazard songs, including “Vengeance is Mine” and “Reborn.”
Biohazard remains one of New York’s most reputable acts to have pioneered the fusion of metal with rap/hip-hop. However, this hasn’t compromised the band’s status in the metal scene, having it retain its heavy/thrash guitar riffs. Over its career, the band has teamed up with other musicians, including Onyx, Sen Dog, DJ Lethal, Sticky Fingaz, Igor Cavalera, Christian Olde Wolbers, Derrick Green of Sepultura, and Phil Anselmo, among others. Here we present the ten best Biohazard songs of all time.
#10 – My Life, My Way
Ushering us to the top 10 Biohazard songs is the grooving hit “My Life, My Way.” The song is featured on the band’s eighth studio album, Means to an End. “My Life, My Way” balances its sound between hardcore punk, groove metal, and rapcore. The song’s brilliance comes from the ferocious guitar riffs and vocal excellence of Billy Graziadei and Evan Seinfeld. Very few songs from Means to an End can achieve the heaviness exhibited in this magical music gem.
#9 – Vengeance Is Mine
Brutal tunes in “Vengeance Is Mine” solidify the hardcore punk sound as one of the band’s mainstays throughout its career. “Vengeance Is Mine” is featured on the band’s most recent studio album, Reborn in Defiance. The song has a special place in the fans of Biohazard, such as Travis Campbell, who was rewarded with a lifetime free pass to all of the band’s shows.
This followed after Travis won the music video contest in which the band had challenged its fans to create and upload videos for a song off Reborn in Defiance. Travis’ video was picked for the official video of “Vengeance Is Mine.” The song’s impact goes beyond being one of the fan-favorite tracks but also serves as a continuation of Biohazard’s impact in the hardcore/metal scene.
#8 – Kill or Be Killed
Coming in at number eight is the ravishing hit “Kill or Be Killed.” The song serves as the album title track to the band’s seventh studio album. “Kill or Be Killed” still aligns with the band’s signature fusion of metal hardcore. The song is among the magical hits to feature guitarist Carmine Vincent for the first time as a member of Biohazard. Carmine had come to fill in the space left by Leo Curley, who had left the band after the release of Uncivilization.
#7 – A Lot to Learn
While Mata Leão was dubbed a commercial disappointment compared to the band’s best-selling third LP, it managed to feature some of the biggest songs by Biohazard. One of the musical gems from the album includes “A Lot to Learn.” The song was released (alongside “Authority”) as a promotional single to the band’s fourth album. Biohazard recorded this song without its fourth member Bobby Hambel who had left in 1995 after the release of State of the World Address.
#6 – Urban Discipline
Number six on our top 10 Biohazard songs list is the captivating hit “Urban Discipline.” The song serves as the album title track to the band’s sophomore LP. “Urban Discipline” is marked the band’s introduction to its signature metal-rap sound. The song finds a perfect balance between rap-influenced vocals rhythms and uncompromising metal riffs. Thanks to songs like “Urban Discipline,” the band’s sophomore album became Biohazard’s most reputable and breakthrough album.
#5 – Five Blocks To The Subway
State of the World Address is the band’s third studio album and home to our number five track on the ten best Biohazard songs, “Five Blocks to the Subway.” The album comes after the band had created a reputation as one of the up-and-coming metal/hardcore punk/rapcore bands of New York. “Five Blocks to the Subway” features the band’s signature rap-metal sound. The song helped State of the World Address become an authentic commercial release.
#4- How It Is ft. Sen Dog
We roll back to the band’s third LP, State of the World Address, where we find our fourth pick of the ten best Biohazard songs, “How It Is.” “How It Is” saw the band collaborate with rap/hip hop-oriented artist Sen Dog, who provide guest vocals on this hit. The song brings Biohazard’s rap-metal sound at its best. DJ Lethal released a remix of “How It Is” the same year it was released. “How It Is” went on to rise to position sixty-two on the UK Singles Chart.
#3- Shades of Grey
Coming in at number three on our top 10 Biohazard songs is the stunning release “Shades of Grey.” The song is featured on the band’s sophomore album, Urban Discipline. “Shades of Grey” has its sound balance between rap metal, hardcore punk, and thrash metal. The song’s brilliance is enshrined in the inspirational instrumentation (especially in the tempo variation) and transcendent vocals delivery by the vocalists.
#2- Tales From The Hard Side
“Tales from the Hard Side” is the band’s most reputable single from the album State of the World Address. The song finds the band taking on themes of crime and suffering inspired by the then-situation in Brooklyn. “Tales from the Hard Side” has its title inspired by an ‘80s horror TV show going by the same name. The song is the band’s highest-charting release, peaking at number forty-seven on the UK Singles Chart.
Number one on our top 10 Biohazard songs list is the alluring hit “Punishment.” The song is featured on the band’s sophomore album, Urban Discipline. “Punishment” is among the few songs by the band that received substantial airplay on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball in the ’90s. In fact, the official video of this song is among the most played music video on the MTV Headbanger’s Ball.
“Alison Hell” by Annihilator, “Welcome Home” by King Diamond, and “Hot Rockin” by Judas Priest are among songs that got almost similar airplay on the Headbanger’s Ball. While the song never made it to the charts, it remains the band’s signature rap-metal release. “Punishment” features hard-hitting guitar riffs that make it quite a reputable metal-influenced release. The song’s intro is reminiscent of the 1989 action film The Punisher.
Top 10 Biohazard Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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