David Browne
May 27, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

State of the World Address

Current Status
In Season

We gave it a B+

Biohazard, the Brooklyn-based thrash band, calls its second album State of the World Address (Warner Bros.), and the United Nations Security Council will need hearing aids after a listen. When the group isn’t ranting in general against class hatred, nuclear war, and ”the man” (as in the Establishment, man), they’re vividly describing carjackings and crack addicts. In ”Five Blocks to the Subway,” the narrator wonders if he’ll make it alive to work. If all this sounds fairly intelligent for a metal band, you’ve got the picture. Along with the sludgier Pantera, Biohazard is redefining metal not only by writing what amount to modern-day protest songs, but also by creating thrash that grooves rather than lumbers. They demonstrated that knack on ”Slam,” their hip-hopping, spit-spewing Judgment Night collaboration with rappers Onyx. On the new album, singer-guitarist Billy Graziadei’s voice takes on almost rap-like cadences, which helps kick the music into first gear. At times, Biohazard’s rage-filled roar sounds like cut-rate Metallica, and a salute to Vietnam vets seems a little late (the Gulf War would have made for a sharper topic, guys). But metal rarely gets as fierce or as forward-thinking as it does here. B+

You May Like