Balzac is a Japanese rock band formed in 1992 in Osaka. The band was founded by singer and songwriter Hirosuke Nishiyama.
From the beginning, Balzac was highly influenced by the sound and image of the famous horror punk band The Misfits and, especially during the very early years, Glenn Danzig's Samhain, adopting and combining the musical and visual style of both bands to create their own. To this day, they are considered by many to be the Japanese counterpart to The Misfits. Recently the band has put on a work consisting on a new sound created by them along Takeshi Ueda of The Mad Capsule Markets fame. This new sound was called "new digital horrorpunk sound" or just "digital horrorpunk" for short. It used elements of Balzac's classic sound plus an strong influence of digital hardcore, already found on a lesser degree on previous works.
The band often stays away from the "campy" horror lyrics and image found in most horror punk bands, as the lyrics by Hirosuke tend to be more like dark poetry and, though not always serious, deal with themes of darkness, loneliness and fear.
The band has gained a certain amount of recognition and exposure outside of their native country, where they are well known. Currently they have five official clothing brands (Shocker!!!, Dementia 13, Culture, XXXxxx and Balzac) with one store in Japan and one in Germany. They also have their own official record label called Evilegend 13 Records on which they have released EPs, singles and videos. Balzac is also well known for its toy releases, some created by the companies T.W.I.M. and SECRET BASE, its extensive discography with multiple singles, compilations, albums, EPs and musical side-projects such as Zodiac and The Deranged Mad Zombies.
The current lineup of the band consists of Hirosuke Nishiyama (vocals), Atsushi Nakagawa (guitar/chorus), Akio Imai (bass/chorus), and Takayuki Manabe (drums/digital effects/chorus). Musically the band has drawn from punk, pop and digital hardcore across their various releases.
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