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The oddly-named 'Deep Blue: Chaos from Darkism II' (nevertheless, still one of the Japanese band's more decipherable titles) is another solid horror punk release from Balzac, but suffers the same problem of repetition that affected its predecessor 'Dark-Ism.' At sixty minutes in length it's by far the most generous release the band has put out so far, over twice the length of its immediate predecessor, and even including a couple of re-recordings of earlier material in the form of 'D.A.R.K.' and 'XXXxxx,' it's a fairly satisfying album on the whole - just not one to get too excited about listening to all in one sitting.
The more standard fare like 'Godless,' 'Horrorock' and 'Deep Blue' is starting to get a little old now despite being highly enjoyable, and is still better than many Misfits imitators like AFI, but it's the tracks that attempt something more distinctive that prove the most interesting, whether they succeed or (more consistently) fail. 'The Gaze' is heavier with a riff borrowed from the world of thrash metal, the customary intro is stranger than ever, and '(#2)' is just plain odd. 'Japanese Chaos' is really short, fast and aggressive as is the tendency for Balzac's shorter offerings, and by contrast, songs towards the end such as '(#1)' and 'I Can't Stand It Anymore' are slower and softer, but only comparatively speaking; this never deviates from its core punk sound.
The best song here is 'The Scare,' which stands as one of the best songs Balzac has recorded and a defining example of their horror punk style, but the majority of the album fails to stand out in the same way. Even their cover of David Bowie's classic 'Ziggy Stardust' is disappointingly similar to the original in the inferior way that would be expected from a punk band, Hirosuke Nishiyama's vocals sounding rather strange and distracting and not really satisfying. You have to wonder why they covered this song when they weren't planning on bringing anything new to it, or even living up to its spirit, but I suppose a punk cover would have been too obvious; this band has always been about keeping fans guessing, mostly through bizarre song titles, and I wouldn't expect anything so predictable of them.
1. I Bring Death and Confrontation
3. The Scare
4. In Those Days
7. Ziggy Stardust
8. The Gaze
10. Deep Blue
11. Japanese Chaos
14. Japanese Trash
15. I Can't Stand It Anymore
16. I'm Alone
1. Death And Confrontation / 2. Godless / 3. Scare / 4. In Those Days / 5. D.A.R.K. / 6. Horrorock / 7. Ziggy Stardust / 8. Gaze / 9. Deep Blue / 10. Japanese Chaos / 11. Xxxxxx / 12. Japanese Trash / 13. I Can't Stand It Anymore / 14. Alone