Released: 1999, Mercury Records / King Recordings
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
I've said before that industrial music sucks (ed. note: amen). Now I will say this: hardcore sucks! (ed. note: amen again). I don't know what I'd consider Biohazard. They definitely have some hardcore in them, but it's so much more metallic than the usual Victory Records bullshit. Besides, Biohazard has way more talent than your standard hardcore crap. I bought this CD months ago, and it sat on my shelf forever before I listened to it. Why? I've been buying too many other CDs that demanded my attention more. And after being mega-disappointed with "Mata Laeo", I wasn't expecting much from "New World Disorder."
After the 'hazard masterpiece "State of the World Address", lead guitarist Bobby Hambel departed and the Bio boys went down the toilet. Bobby was a phenomenal lead guitarist, and the songs were structured to let his lead sections breathe with some nice backing riffs. This is what helped create variety and made the songs interesting…just the fact that there's more going on. But after he left, the three remaining musicians tried to create an album by themselves and ultimately failed. Mata Laeo was rather one-dimensional; songs were short and not much variation was present.
So naturally, "New World Disorder" didn't cause that much excitement when it came out. But being a fan and a collector, I had to get it and find out how bad or good. Well it's better than "Mata Laeo" for sure, although still not up to par with their first three albums. The music resembles a combination of Urban Discipline and State of the World Address. So expect more variety than their last album, but not as much as on previous ones. Biohazard differs from the usual hardcore junk by being bold enough to write good songs. They're not afraid to slow things down or vary the tempo. In fact, expect more "doom riffs" on this one, as the material is much slower than "Mata Laeo". A great example is the gloomy and depressing "End of My Rope". To further distance themselves from the term "hardcore", Biohazard aren't afraid to use acoustic guitar or piano to add spice. And Evan's not afraid of actually signing. Expect a little of all three on the album. And you have to admit Biohazard's gang vocals are the best! Sounds like they get all of Brooklyn to do them! New lead guitarist Rob Echeverria brings back the solos, but of course doesn't come close to Bobby (Rob was in Helmet…what more can you expect?). But his leads do add to the songs and it's great to hear that element return. And the production this time is back to being heavy ("Mata Laeo" sounded a little thin to me). The title track on this CD is basically a rap song which is pretty dark, but I just don't like drum machines.
"New World Disorder" won't win Biohazard any new fans, but they will steal back those that abandoned them with "Mata Laeo". They seem to be back on the right track, and it's great to see!
Oh yeah…this is an enhanced CD, which contains a pretty cool video that starts off like a normal music video, but changes into a more interview-type video, with the band explaining what Biohazard's all about. Fans should also know that a CD single for the track "Switchback" was released featuring two versions of the song plus two unreleased cover tracks "Power" and "Not Worth Shit". The two covers are under a minute in length, and are not that great to begin with (more standard hardcore style). You can check out Biohazard's web site at: http://www.biohazard.com