Just when I thought Balzac's career may be on the rise as a serious punk outfit, they release the disappointing 'Terrifying! Art of Dying,' coupled up with their debut album as an excuse to avoid writing much new material. While the first album has an excuse to be lacklustre due to the band's age at that point, 'Terrifying!' comes in the wake of several experimental releases that saw Balzac trying various punk styles and evidently failing to come up with any definitive conclusions. After two wasted minutes of an introduction, 'Out of the Blue' comes out of the blue with a classic punk guitar sound and the resurgence of Misfits-style backing vocals to reveal a Balzac more in touch with its disappointing roots, having abandoned the harder direction altogether.
There are a couple of obvious attempts to prove that the band's hardcore style remains intact, and these invariably make for the least satisfying parts of the album. Track three features a brash and irritating drum sound similar to the one Lars Ulrich used on Metallica's 'St. Anger,' in the delusion that making the drums sound like bins somehow equates to heaviness, and the guitars correspondingly squeal out of tune for similar reasons. Most of these songs end up being too long and running out of steam before their five minutes are up, especially the latter two, and by contrast the only song that really succeeds is the forty-four-second fourth track appropriately titled 'In Your Face,' which is the only one to really demonstrate any true punk energy.
Tagging the debut album onto the end was an odd move, presumably to make that release more readily available to new fans, but at least it doesn't upstage the new material by being significantly better and hinting that the band is in a state of decline. It has more or less always been this shoddy.
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. A Day in the Darkness
7. Vanishes in Oblivion / Out of the Blue (Reprise)