BillyBio – “Feel The Fire” (AFM Records)
Battle Helm Rating
‘…I’ve been around the block if ya do the math…’. Well yeah, ever since he made his name as Biohazard’s guitarist / vocalist for 30 years, Billy Graziadei has always found himself to be in high demand. Following the band’s dormancy in 2017, Graziadei wasted no time in forming Powerflo, a super group made up of Sen Dog from Cyprus Hill on vocals, Downset guitarist Roy Lozano, Fear Factory bassist Christian Olde Wolbers and drummer Fernando Schaefer. Playing rap metal, the collaborations behind Powerflo actually go back much further to the 90s, when Sen Dog guested on Biohazard’s video single ‘How It Is’ off their acclaimed “State Of The World Address” album, while Wolbers and Lozano appeared on Cypress Hill albums. As such, the foundations were long set for BillyBio. Compared to the grooves of Powerflo though, BillyBio is the complete opposite, a totally unleashed hardcore beast straight from the 90s that brings the East and West coast styles together, along with crossover melodies and pure, rock n roll fury! Don’t be expecting anything laid back on the 13 tracks here, this is pure aggression from the street unleashed with the precision of a trained attack dog given the veteran calibre musicians here. More than its title suggests though, “Feel The Fire” goes well beyond a nostalgic trip to bring into modernity the true roots and sounds of classic hardcore, allowing this debut to sit respectably alongside the top releases this year from Madball and Terror. From its slow bass driven intro, ‘No Regrets No Apologies’ a powering wave of double bass drums, angry riffola and massive shout outs meld with the twin vocals from Graziadei and Sen Dog, all to an overpowering rhythm that only seems to get heavier as the Wolbers bass gets deeper and Schaefer pounds even more – very menacing indeed. Anyone missing the roaring heavy back beat of classic Biohazard complete with angst ridden street lyrics will find an immediate connection with ‘Sick And Tired’ as it bitterly calls for ‘…an eye for an eye…I know what its like to want revenge…’, yet in bringing in uplifting positivity, unleashes a catchy guitar melody that heals the hate magnificently. ‘Solidarity’ is straight from “Urban Discipline” as a tale from the hard side with its fast rolling beat, dirty guitars, angry rhyming lyrics, crew shout outs of ‘..all for one and one for all, you’re my brothers till the end…’, but equally flowing guitar work from Lozano along with masterful measures of controlled feedback in places, showing the technical prowess of what more than justifies BillyBio its super group status. More like a dark De Niro movie, this is the album Biohazard shoulda made if they were still around.