Balzac - _Out of the Grave and Into the Dark_
(Misfits Records, 2005)
by: Aaron McKay (9 out of 10)
To lead you have to faithlessly follow. For reasons mentioned below, Balzac are indeed leaders. That being the case, who do they follow? Here is a clue, it is spelled capital M-I-S-F-I-T-S. These four Japanese punks wrap themselves in an embolden cloak of horror-drenched escapades and offer for your exploration and enjoyment an incredible package of twenty-two tracks totaling nearly eighty minutes of music to make Jerry Only proud. This effort combines the full-length releases _Came Out of the Grave_ and _Dark-ism_ complete with three music videos, five live concert videos, five bonus audio tracks, and a short horror film by Balzac. Phenomenal! Extraordinarily professional packaging, _Out of the Grave and Into the Dark_ has it all. Having formed in 1992, this band has more than perfected their style and extreme image; their disc cover will provide all you need to know if you are questioning what I mean by "extreme image". The material content is a revved-up later styled Misfits with a harsher styled metal accent. "d.a.r.k.", track sixteen, is a great example of Balzac's driven intensity with a highly utilized, stripped bass sound. The song has been a personal favorite since its initial spin in my JVC player. Misfits clones these guys are not, but their cue is undeniably embedded in the legendary punk outfit's quality. If the blind lead the blind, Balzac has never been anywhere near the dark despite their admission of coming _Out of the Grave_. A good leader knows who to follow, and judging from this remarkable offering, Balzac picked the right teacher.


(article published 12/8/2005)

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