So it’s 1993 and I’m watching Headbanger’s Ball when the riff that would become a personal, life-long favourite comes blasting out of my TV. The guy playing it has short hair and a tooth missing and is surrounded by some of the hardest looking dudes ever. The band is Biohazard, the track is Shades Of Grey and the guitarist is Billy Graziadei . And that moment, that riff and that song changed my life forever.
A full twenty five years later and the man whose career I’ve followed since that day, is about to release his first solo album; and it’s everything I wanted it to be. For a man whose main band has transcended multiple genres, I was concerned that it might incorporate all these influences, but may not excel at any of them. But I needn’t have worried as Feed the Fire is a straight up hardcore punk album. Freedom’s Never Free and No Apologies, No Regrets are out and out fast old school hardcore anthems with breakdowns akin to early Agnostic Front. Generation Z has a sing along chorus to die for and is autobiographical in its approach while taking a positive looking at the future. Sick And Tired has all the groove that you would expect from a member of Biohazard as does Sodality which sounds like something from Urban Discipline. It does slow down momentarily for the piano/sample heavy Trepidation and just as you think it can get any better, Billy drops Untruth on us, a song with so much groove in it that James Brown is probably busting off a shuffle in his grave as we speak. Rounded out by the epic metal meets hardcore stylings of Disaffected World, Billy has produced one of the albums of the year. Sticking to what he knows best and fine tuning it, this album is superior in every way to later Biohazard albums and even his other band Powerflo. A superb album by one of the all-time Hardcore greats… Chris Andrews
Feed the Fire is released on November 30th. Order it here