Review: Urban Discipline

Barely two years had passed since Biohazard eponymous debut album and 1992’s follow-up, Urban Discipline. Carrying the weight of a bigger record label, Roadrunner Records brought the band and Urban Discipline to a wider and more international audience.

Rather fittingly, the bump in promotion coincided with a step up in musicianship and songwriting. Biohazard haven’t changed all that much from their debut album but Urban Discipline sounds a much more rounded album. The hooks are catchier and the riffs are bolder and overall the music is simply more solid. Punishment, Black and White and Red All Over and We’re Only Gonna Die (From Our Own Arrogance) are three quite different examples of Biohazard thrashing it out with excellence.

The rest of Urban Discipline is equally adept at delivering a no compromising collection of hard hitting thrash metal. If one criticism could be levelled at Biohazard here is that they hit a good thing a little too often. Whilst the album moves through the varying levels of thrash metal from the grinding to the ground, to mid-tempo head-banging inducing riff-fests to the all out speed at all costs, it can feel as though very little ground is being covered. But if you have a thrash metal craving and just want to slam it out then look no further than Urban Discipline; it will deliver and satisfy in equal measure.

Urban Discipline is also one of the more pioneering efforts to blend rap and metal, here specifically it was thrash metal. It is subtle balance to bring two such divergent genres together, well at least in 1992 when it was not commonplace. It is more than thrash metal to satisfy the metal audience but the rapping here is complimentary to the aggression here and doesn’t sound completely out of place.

Biohazard and Urban Discipline would become one of the formulating albums of nu-metal several years after it’s release. It’s place in the burgeoning scene and it’s place in the development on the genre may on occasions be understated or overlooked; namely because the same week another band explored the fusion of rap and metal much more fervently. But there is no doubt they brought the more extreme side of metal to be fused with wrap.

Rating : 7 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. Chamber Spins Three
  2. Punishment
  3. Shades of Grey
  4. Business
  5. Black and White and Red All Over
  6. Man With a Promise
  7. Disease
  8. Urban Discipline
  9. Loss
  10. Wrong Side of the Tracks
  11. Mistaken Identity
  12. We're Only Gonna Die (From Our Own Arrogance)
  13. Tears of Blood
  14. Hold My Own