“ Artist: Balzac / Genre: Hard Rock & Metal / Label: Disc Union / Release Date: 2007 „
As well as being a notable early release from Balzac, 'Atom-Age Vampire in 308' is also the band's semi-official subtitle, or at least one that always appears in conjunction with Balzac name on each release. This 7" E.P. contains four original Balzac songs from their early career rooted in the style of a Misfits tribute act, and as it mostly represents the best of their material at that time, it makes for a more pleasantly consistent release than some of their enormously varied early albums. The sound quality is also enjoyably raw and primitive, which aids the atmosphere to a great extent.
'Atom-Age Vampire in 308' begins with a slow, Black Sabbath style doom riff and a spoken word incantation, and this very same section reappears as the finale to 'Eerie Night' in a contrived but successful bid to impose a sense of structure without the flamboyancy found in some of the thematically linked song titles of the full-length releases. There isn't much to this opening song beyond an overly repetitive chorus interspersed with a short guitar solo, but that's good enough for me.
Next is the finest offering of the release and the most popular song of the band's early period, 'Day the Earth Caught Fire,' which features the greatest influence of Japanese rock on the vocal style that would ever be seen in Balzac, and drifts in and out of covering the Misfits' classic 'Where Eagles Dare,' specifically Glenn Danzig's "better think about it baby" refrain. It's a fun song, if a little too indebted to the Misfits style, and this version even features what may be a keyboard piercing the atmosphere that works quite well.
'Fiendish Ghouls' is another song taken from 'The Last Men on Earth' album, but it's by far the less impressive of the two, attempting a heavier style that ultimately fails and being spoiled by too great a reliance on Misfits-style "woah-oah-oahs." 'Eerie Night' is similarly uninspired but makes for a nice, downbeat ending with minimal guitars and an ominous drum before the intro riff returns, and on the whole this is a fun, simple and consistent early release that beats the rest of the early Balzac catalogue by a fair way. I still have no idea what the title thing is all about.
1. Atom-Age Vampire in 308
2. Day the Earth Caught Fire
3. Fiendish Ghouls
4. Eerie Night
1. Thirteen / 2. Out Of The Blue / 3. Soko-De Miteita Yami-No Mukou-No Subete-Wo / 4. In Your Face / 5. The Silence Of Crows / 6. In Bloody Face / 7. A Day In Darkness / 8. Vanishes In Oblivion / 9. Out Of The Blue (Reprise) / 10. Night Of Th Eblood Beast / 11. Diabolos / 12. 13Ghost / 13. Day The Earth Caught Fire / 14. Long Way / 15. God Of Mercy / 16. Fiendish Ghouls /17. Night Tide / 18. Vanishes In Oblivion / 19. From Hell It Came / 20. Psycho In 308 / 21. Monster II / 22. Girl Form Horrorwood