Warzone

~ Group

Wikipedia

Warzone was a New York hardcore punk band formed on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1983. The band helped develop the New York hardcore sound, the hardcore skinhead style and the youth crew subgenre. During the band's 14 years and many line-up changes, their primarily hardcore sound was flavored by influences ranging from Oi! (they toured several times with The Business and played a cover of their song The Real Enemy), to traditional punk rock, and a heavy metal phase (on their self-titled LP, Warzone). Their fan base was diverse, with their concerts usually attended by skinheads, straight edge teens, metalheads and punks of all ages.

Frontman Raymond "Raybeez" Barbieri was the band's only consistent member through the vast majority of its years. He joined the band in 1983 as the drummer (the same year he played drums on the debut Agnostic Front 7" EP "United Blood") later taking over vocal duties, after Warzone had already been in existence for two years (noting later, "In a band that [had] been running for so long, there has to be something there"). Raybeez remained the singer of Warzone until his death on September 11, 1997 due to pneumonia. A U.S. Navy veteran, he was receiving treatment in a Veterans Health Administration facility when the illness damaged his liver and took his life at the age of 35. For more than a year following his death, every release on the Victory Records label was dedicated to his memory, as well as two independent compilations. These albums — as well as benefit concerts following his death — raised funds for several non-profit groups Ray had worked for which helped at-risk youth.

Barbieri sang lyrics urging unity and spoke out strongly against anything that divided the youth of America against itself. Their song "Under 18" decried the age-based discriminatory practices at many venues that demanded IDs for entry; "War Between Races" demanded an end to racial violence and prejudice within the hardcore scene, and "Brother and Sisterhood" encouraged young women and girls to become active in the traditionally male-dominated hardcore punk scene.

Their concerts were often marred by violence, so Barbieri usually sang out in the crowd, using it as an opportunity to stop fights before security could respond. This tactic often cooled tempers more quickly than stopping the show might have, and prevented fans from being escorted out of the show. His position in the crowd rather than elevated on a stage also endeared him to fans in a way few other performers in the genre have ever achieved. Warzone fans were not simply encouraged to sing along, they often dictated the band's entire set list and even decided how long the group would play, with some sets lasting until Raybeez could barely speak.

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Discography

Album

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1987 Don't Forget the Struggle, Don't Forget the Streets Warzone 2
1988 Open Your Eyes Warzone 1
1989 Warzone Warzone 2
1994 Old School to New School Warzone 4
1996 Lower East Side Warzone 1
1996 The Sound of Revolution Warzone 1
1997 Fight for Justice Warzone 2

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 Don't Forget the Struggle Don't Forget the Streets / Open Your Eyes Warzone 1
1998 The Victory Years Warzone 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1995 Cause for Alarm / Warzone Cause for Alarm / Warzone 1

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