In October 1995, Balzac released their first full length album, “Last Men On Earth” through Alchemy Records and due to their similarity to the Misfits – with their unique pop sound, horror movie image concept and so-called “Devil Lock” hairstyle – they garnered attention not only in Japan, but also overseas.
In 1997 they signed to Phalanx Records and released their second album, “Deep”. Shortly after the release of “Deep,” Balzac was chosen to open for the Misfits first tour of Japan, as well as two nationwide tours of Japan with the Mad Capsule Markets. On Halloween 1998, Balzac released their third album, “13 Stairway,” followed by their first sold-out tour of Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. The following Halloween, Balzac released a four-song Maxi Single, “Into the Light of the 13 Dark Night,” which was followed by their first headlining national tour.
Balzac embarked on their second Japanese tour as the Misfits’ opening act in January 2000, and toured nationwide as the Mad Capsule Markets’ opening act over the next two months. The “Taste of Fear” video – limited edition 6,666 copies – was released in April and followed by another top to bottom tour of Japan.
Wrapping up the year 2000 was the release of their long awaited fourth album, “Zennou Naru Musuu No ME ha Shi Wo Yubi Sasu.” To support the release, Balzac staged a 28-venue, nationwide tour of Japan from January to April 2001. Throughout the tour, Balzac issued several collectible, limited edition CDs available only at their shows and to their fan club members. That same year, Balzac re-entered the studio and re-recorded their long out-of-print first studio album, “The Last Men on Earth” with an updated edge. Balzac also released a live video to commemorate the entire Zennou-naru tour entitled “20010112,” as well as a CD single for “The Silence of Crows.” “Terrifying! The Art of Dying-The Last Men on Earth II,” their fifth album and first with new drummer Takayuki – whose hard style rejuvenated the band, giving the new songs a more chaotic, yet melodic, hardcore direction – followed, with six new songs and a re-recorded song from their back catalog. The companion disc in the set featured the complete reworking of the original “Last Men on Earth” album.
In 2002, producer John Cafiero orchestrated collaboration between the Misfits and Balzac serving as the building block to Balzac’s inevitable launch beyond their Japanese audience into global recognition. The project was a split CD with each band covering a song from the other’s catalog. The result was “Day the Earth Caught Fire”, the first release from the new label imprint Misfits Records. The same Misfits-Balzac split CD was released in Japan via Balzac’s parent label DIW/Disk Union, under the title “Don’t Open till Doomsday.” The split CD ranked at number 21 in New York City megastore J&R’s Top 50 CDs immediately following its release.
When Balzac returned home to Japan, they put the finishing touches on their VHS/DVD release “The Legacy of Terrifying” filmed during the summer 2002 Terrifying Tour. They also issued a CD single, entitled “Beware of Darkness,” in January of 2003. The material recorded for that CD single was combined with newly recorded versions of greatest hits from Balzac’s Japanese back catalog, as well as live bonus tracks for a total of 22 new recordings that were compiled to create Balzac’s first North American release. Issued by Misfits Records under the title “Beyond the Darkness,” The CD included a bonus DVD with four music videos and a “making of” the album featurette. To coincide with the release of Balzac?s “Beyond the Darkness” and the Misfits’ “Misfits Project 1950”, Misfits Records arranged Fiend Fest, a special month-long summer festival tour. Fiend Fest was Balzac’s first North American tour, alongside the Misfits, punk staples DI, Agnostic Front, the Dickies, and the Damned.
In 2004, Balzac issued a lo-fi DVD documenting their experience and performances on the Fiend Fest tour and followed up with the full length CD “Came out of the Grave,” as well as two limited edition CD singles available only at venues on tour in Japan.
In the summer of 2007 Misfits Records released Balzac’s third US studio album “Deep Blue: Chaos from Dark-ism” featuring over 60 minutes of new material. In typical fashion, the label maximized the release adding an additional 20 minutes of rare Balzac bonus tracks (many of which are exclusive to the North American pressing) as well as a special limited edition Bonus DVD containing over 2-hours of material including a full-length, professionally shot Balzac concert from Japan, 2 US Tour Documentaries, 5 music videos, additional rare live footage and more. The first pressing of the disc was issued in a special limited edition 32-page hardcover book; perfect bound and topped off with red
Balzac’s music was featured in “Jackass: The Game” (Red Mile Entertainment/MTV Games) for PSP, PS2, and Nintendo DS. The track “Wall,” from the band’s full-length debut on Misfits Records “Beyond the Darkness,” is included alongside punk greats the Misfits and the Circle Jerks, as well as up-and-comers CKY and Turbonegro. Summer 2010 brings a Ltd. Ed. 3-disc set featuring Balzac’s latest, full-length album of all-new material “Hatred” (Disc 1) plus exclusive bonus tracks. Disc 2, (“The Birth of Evil”) is a comprehensive collection of their rarest & earliest demo songs; re-recorded with the band’s current precision and ferocity. The double album includes 42 tracks, over two-hours of music plus a bonus DVD with 15 music videos from “Hatred” and more. 3 full-length discs (for the price of one!) packaged in a glossy, collectible, 6-panel digi-pak. The release is a must have for Balzac’s legion of
Look for several new releases from Balzac coming to North America on Misfits Records in 2010.