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Balzac's third album is disappointing for two major reasons: firstly, the band opts for an irritating, overly happy direction confined to this particular album that makes it less effective as a horror punk release, and secondly because there's not a lot to it. Seriously, eight songs and only twenty-three minutes for a full-length release? That's just plain lazy.
The good news is that Balzac is continuing to move its sound forwards, even when the direction doesn't end up working that well, and as well as being their overly jovial album, this is also their most industrial, thanks to the distorted riffs of opener 'Atomic-Age' and particularly 'Legacy II' with its programmed techno drums and overall headache-inducing fuzz. This will likely make the album more accessible to the Japanese mainstream, as will Hirosuke Nishiyama's piercing singing, but anyone who approaches this band as the self-proclaimed "Japanese Misfits" (a term even endorsed by the Misfits themselves, who inexplicably selected Balzac as their opening act at one point) would be best investigating elsewhere.
The band still plays fast and energetic punk, but in an even lighter and more melodic manner than AFI around this period, the comparison coming to a head in track three, and the final song 'The Bleeding Light' gives a hint that Balzac have heard, enjoyed and studied the new album released by the Misfits themselves around this point, implying an even greater similarity in the future.
2. Nowhere # 13
3. Sad Nos. 99
4. Legacy II
6. The Slaughter House
7. Destruction Another Wall
8. The Bleeding Light
1. Deep / 2. 13 Stairway / 3. [Japanese Title] / 4. Last Men on Earth II / 5. Terrifying! Art of Dying / 6. Came out of the Grave / 7. Club Quattro / 8. Club Quattro