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DIR EN GREY

Prog Related • Japan


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Dir En Grey biography
In January 1997, five young men meet in Osaka to form one of the most successful alternative bands in Japan. Kyo on vocals, Kaoru on guitar, Die on guitar, Toshiya on bass and Shinya on drums. Those are the members of the revolutionary Dir en grey. They came from the Japanese original style 'Visual Kei' (meaning 'Visual Type' or 'Visual Group'), a.k.a 'Visual Rock', where the members have a very strong and androgynous visual expression, plus a very unique sound. Influenced by historical Japanese bands like KUROYUME, LUNA SEA and X JAPAN, Dir en grey makes music full of different and strong feelings and sonorities. Their theme is the pain and suffering, caused by the selfishness of the human being. They signed a major contract in early 1999 and released three singles at the same time, all in the top of Japanese rankings.
"GAUZE", the first full album, was a great exploration of the music of Visual Kei. But it was in "MACABRE" where they started to go more Prog. Heavier that the previous album, 2000's "MACABRE" had also long, dark 'ballads' like "Zakuro", "Hotarubi" and "MACABRE -Sanagi no Yume wa Ageha no Hane-". Although this album and the following works be considered major releases, Dir en grey has started their own label at that time, FIREWALL DIV., producing their music themselves and having their CD distributed by Sony. The maximum of their experiences would come in 2002 with the album "Kisou". Even heavier than the previous ones, it brings total dark insanity in tracks like "FILTH" and "ZOMBOID" or melancholic melody and arrangement in tracks like "mushi", "undecided" and "embryo". In the next years, Dir en grey would assume a aggressive Metal-ish and more stable style on albums like "VULGAR" (2003) and "Withering to death." (2005, one of fans's favorite because of the mix of Dir en grey's new and old styles), however still with a good variation between the songs. At that time they dropped out of the Visual Kei moviment.
Dir en grey is not only successful in Japan, but the whole world has fans of the band. The first Asian tour, in 2002, made fans go so crazy that official security had to be called in China. In 2005 they went to their first European tour, playing in festivals like MTV's Rock am Ring/Rock im Park (Germany) and Octopus Rock (Belgium), also making one-man concerts in Berlin and Paris. The first Western live was at Berlin's Columbiahalle. They sold out the place to 3500 fans.



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MacabreMacabre
Import
Imports 2000
Audio CD$37.75
$8.00 (used)
UroborosUroboros
The End Records 2008
Audio CD$7.98
$3.38 (used)
The Marrow of a BoneThe Marrow of a Bone
Warcon 2007
Audio CD$40.65
$6.24 (used)
Dum Spiro SperoDum Spiro Spero
The End Records 2011
Audio CD$6.49
$5.09 (used)
Dir En Grey - Sustain The Untruth (CD+DVD) [Japan LTD CD] SFCD-130Dir En Grey - Sustain The Untruth (CD+DVD) [Japan LTD CD] SFCD-130
Sony Japan
Audio CD$21.82
$17.36 (used)
Withering to DeathWithering to Death
CD+DVD
Freewill America 2006
Audio CD$48.88
$4.00 (used)
Uroboros: With the Proof in the Name of Living - at Nippon BudokanUroboros: With the Proof in the Name of Living - at Nippon Budokan
CD+DVD
The End Records 2010
Audio CD$13.18
$5.96 (used)
VulgarVulgar
Import
Sony Japan 2003
Audio CD$117.53
$29.56 (used)
Dir En GreyDir En Grey
Import
Sony Japan
Audio CD$23.73
$18.76 (used)
UnravelingUnraveling
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$22.98
$21.00 (used)
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DIR EN GREY shows & tickets


  • TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of "GAUZE"?- on 5 Aug 2014
  • TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of "GAUZE"?- on 6 Aug 2014
  • TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of "GAUZE"?- on 13 Aug 2014
  • TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of "GAUZE"?- on 15 Aug 2014
  • TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of "GAUZE"?- on 15 Aug 2014
  • TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of "GAUZE"?- on 16 Aug 2014
  • TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of "GAUZE"?- on 20 Aug 2014
  • TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of "GAUZE"?- on 21 Aug 2014
  • TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of "GAUZE"?- on 24 Aug 2014
  • TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of "GAUZE"?- on 27 Aug 2014
  • TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of "GAUZE"?- on 28 Aug 2014
  • TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of "GAUZE"?- (????) on 30 Aug 2014

DIR EN GREY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DIR EN GREY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.58 | 6 ratings
Gauze
1999
4.23 | 4 ratings
Macabre
2000
4.64 | 5 ratings
Kisou
2002
4.47 | 6 ratings
Vulgar
2003
4.14 | 12 ratings
Withering To Death.
2005
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Marrow Of a Bone
2007
4.50 | 9 ratings
Uroboros
2008
4.69 | 4 ratings
Dum Spiro Spero
2011

DIR EN GREY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DIR EN GREY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DIR EN GREY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 3 ratings
Kai
2001

DIR EN GREY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 3 ratings
Missa
1997
4.00 | 2 ratings
Jealous
1998
5.00 | 1 ratings
-I'll-
1998
4.69 | 6 ratings
Ain't Afraid To Die
2001
3.00 | 3 ratings
six Ugly
2002

DIR EN GREY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dum Spiro Spero by DIR EN GREY album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.69 | 4 ratings

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Dum Spiro Spero
Dir En Grey Prog Related

Review by WindKun

5 stars --Dir En Grey-- DUM SPIRO SPERO (translation: "While I breathe, I hope")

Introduction to the bands sound, my over-all history and opinion while entering Dum Spiro Spero ("While I breathe, I hope")'s listening experience.

Part 1: What to expect by now from Dir En Grey

Imagine a young (Elf / Rainbow) era RONNIE JAMES DIO, or a young IAN GILLIAN. Imagine the soothing voice these vocalists bring in the higher pitch range (Imagine Dio's singing for "Happy" off of the Elf Album Carolina County Ball, or his Roger Glover and friends project "Butterfly Ball" -songs like Homeward and Sitting in a Dream-. twist those two legends together; throw in the high pitch avant-garde wailing of DIAMANDA GALAS (perfect comparison, just imagine the voice from a tiny, thin, young Japanese man). Already we have a vocal pallette that most people dream of having, and we the comparisons are not finished. In the heavier moments we are Reminded of singers like Mikael Akerfeldt (Often Kyo's Death Metal low Growl seems even more brutal and haunting), With High Pitched Death Metal Screams as well, on the vein of Devin Townsend to the extremes of Varg of Burzum. Screaming to beautiful operatic singing in the vein of Hansi Kursch change all within one sentence of words; while changing to almost a completely different singing style or genre every 2 or 3 words sometimes.

100% of "Kyo"s vocals are MIKE PATTON smothered; you can tell Kyo is a large PATTON fan, and while I love the both of them as musicians, songwriters and singers equally I have to agree with All Music's Review of "Uroboros" where the reviewer states " this is a step onto the plank hanging over the abyss, but with Kyo's wildly varying vocal styles (Mike Patton has nothing on him)" - All Music Review

Dum Spiro Spero is the least straight-forward of any Dir En Grey recording, in 2008 they graced us with an Opeth obliterating masterpiece "Uroboros", and after being a fan since 2001 when the beautiful ballad "Aint Afraid to Die" was released and then the experimental album "Kisou" sealed the deal with Withering To Death being the "This is one of my the most brilliant and original bands of modern Metal" release of the bands Career - Afterwards the next two albums climbed up in Ambition wether it was to be as Brutal and Unique as possible with "Marrow of a Bone" or to set a sonic landscape in the first mentioned "Uroboros" taking the best of Mr. Bungle, Opeth, Katatonia, Porcupine Tree, Rush, The Gathering, along with the progressive virtiouso performances of Dream Theater but to a different degree (Instead of showing it off in unison solo's it is the structure and small portions and solo's that show the band's amazing Progressive talents.)

Part 2: The Talent, The Band, The Masters, The Pioneers.

Kyo ? lead vocals, lyricist, (some) Rythem Guitar and Piano / Synthesizers (age 36)

Kyo's singing is considered a pivotal aspect of the band, and he has gained recognition for his distinctive vocal work and for his large range and versatility, being able to "howl, croon, emote cleanly, scream, shriek, growl, bellow, and make nearly inhuman sounds", and he has been compared favorably to singer and avant garde metal musician Mike Patton In their review of Uroboros, Sputnik Music says only of Kyo's singing, "I challenge you to find one singer in any genre with more range than this guy." Kyo really makes Dir En Grey blow us away with the direction of the sound, the delivery and the powerful dark lyrics based off (For Dum Spiro Spero) the growing disgust of Japan's Government and the general consensus of Japan / Pop-Culture along with as usual underlying personal themes.

Kyo is well known in the heavy metal scene as one of the most versatile vocalists currently active. His singing alone is impressive however this is not where his strength as a metal vocalist lies. He has throughout his career as Dir En Grey's vocalist displayed some of the most goose bump inducing screamed vocals, Deep Gutteral death growls,dblack metal-like "shrieks" to a Faith No More style "Bepop / Rythem Lyrical Delivery".

Kaoru ? guitar, backing vocals (age 38) Kaoru is responsible for 90% of the actual instrumentation writing of the songwriting process, while the other guitarist "Die" has collaberated on a more equal level the past 2 albums the band has always been lead by Kaoru's unique blend of styles and riffing with perfect tone. He is backed by ESP guitars and plays endless models along with having over 5 handcrafted customized ESP Guitars that ESP provided to him for Specific Songs / Albums - One of the ESP guitars is purchasible by consumers in the vein of the "Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass" or "Kurt Cobain Fender Jagstang" He performs the Majority of Guitar Solos for the band (Although Die often Follows in Unison), which vary strongly in feeling and tempo, similar to his compositions. Kaoru uses guitar amplifiers by Diezel and cabinets by VHT.

Die ? guitar, backing vocals (age 38) the second most credited composer within Dir en grey (atleast until the album Vulgar, afterwards the band stopped using Individual Credits per song) He writes in a more up-beat or guitar groove oriented fashion compared to Kaoru. Tracks for previous albums such as "Mr. Newsman" had been written by Die. Endorsed by ESP same as Kaoru, he is also Endorsed by ESP with two signature guitars on sale for consumers. His contribution to the band is equally as important as Kaoru's just in different musical spectrums. Extremely Talented just like every member of this band. It is a super group for sure.

Toshiya ? bass, backing vocals (age 35) Dir En Grey's Bass Tone always stood out for me as Bass is one of my favorite instruments; The mix of the bass in the music is never lost (Think Dream Theater's Music Engineer jobs on 90% of the bands material... barely hear the bass!!) Toshiya is an exceptionally skilled bassist in many genre's and displays fusion of Jazz "Walk Bass Lines, Funk, Power Metal (5 finger gallops or tri finger triplet gallops), and often plays 4-5 fingered chords on bass during songs and lets the resonance ring out. Emdorsed by ESP, Rickenbacker, Killer and also often uses Gibson and Fender P-Bass's during the recoridng phase and touring phase.

Shinya ? drums, percussion (age 34) In my opinion the second most important and mind blowing member of Dir En Grey. Shinya's Drumming can easily be compared to many talented metal drummers or more in the right direction Progressive Metal Drummers; he has all the skill tool-sets to blow your mind with his chops while keeping a groove that is mesmerizing - never enters the "Drummer Prog Jizzle" territory that Prog bands often over-endorse in the drumming of too much technical hi-hat trickery or fills that are not difficult from a Music Theory aspect but seem impressive listening (think Mike Portnoy, Impressive playing but far too much.... BS that isn't a drum groove for the song to rest on) - Shinya is always drumming with an edge creating some of the most interesting drum grooves, most complex (Math Metal style) Drum Fills and Blast Beats - The most UNDER-RATED Drummer in the Prog / Art Metal Genre.

Part 3: --REVIEW-- "While I Breath, I Hope" Dir En Grey - Dum Spiro Spero Before entering into the sonic landscape that is Dum Spiro Spero (While I Breath, I Hope) take in account that this album is unlike any other Dir En Grey album but contains all of the elements that you are familiar with, and expands upon the previous ideas along with stretching into new territory. If you are not familiar with the band this may be a perfect place to dive into the band and see if you dig them; this is if you are looking for more Atmospheric sounding albums, if not I suggest you start with Uroboros. - if you are just looking for a straight "Death Metal" type album then go one more back in the discography to "Marrow of A Bone". With that cleared up lets hit back on how I started this review comparing Kyo to a young RONNIE JAMES DIO or IAN GILLIAN!

The intro song starts with gorgeous piano played in fast haunting arpeggio's and evolves into an odd bubble of despair via sound - Screams with no lyrical meaning but artistic / emotional meaning are layered upon eachother in a rather hauntingly chaotic intro that goes right into The Blossoming Beezlebub which is an excellent longer track at 7:35 displaying the range of Kyo's singing and the band's range of endless Genres'. While after the song is over you may think you have an idea of what the album has in store for you - you would be mistaken as this album is song is a first taste into what is about to explode into so much more. This is artistic metal at it's absolute finest. Different Sense one of the Singles displays a shorter more radio sized song with brutality and beauty and still hasn't given a picture of what the album is although begins to set the tone a bit more.

The fourth track Amon is equally impressive but by the time you hit into the 5th and 6th track of the album is when it really all begins to come together. the 6th track Juuyoku is the perfect placement as the "just before the middle of the album" track that finally gets the albums sound into full perspective which then escalates during the near 10 minute (9:52) sonic adventure that is the Pinnacle of the album (But only if the entire album has been experienced up until this point; I promise without this experience of listening the song may seem just too far-out to get a grasp of for newcomers.

The album finishes near-flawless in terms of the strength with all remaining tracks (no track on the album is filler, boring or not in perfect flowing taste). I promise that Kyo's high pitched Reverberated "GALAS" style Wailing that is almost in every track to keep them linked together in that "Conceptual" album style; it keeps it all cohesive as the songs change or flow into each-other. The album is deeply poetic but filled with disgust for the current situation in Japan / Japan's Culture, Government, Crime, as an example On August 1, Dir en Grey released an open letter on their official Facebook that accuses the Japanese government of lying to its people and hiding the true danger of the radiation levels after the nuclear accidents caused by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. In October the band launched a campaign called Scream for the Truth, complete with a website and billboards hanging in Times Square in New York City, in hopes of stopping the lies and getting correct information. That alone shows the bands passion about the subject; and due to the dis-heartened feeling about all of this the album is exceptionally dark and not afraid to let you know it.

97 / 100 overall. Would receive a perfect 100 but I reserved that for Uroboros; and its not that this album is in anyway inferior, I actually find it to be Superior - but from a "Average Listener" perspective I can understand how Uroboros would be preferred as a newcomer to listen to first or even as an album that you end up giving more spin time to even if Dum Spiro Spero captivates you far more.

Give Kyo and Dir En Grey your time, and you will come back full handed, with thoughts of how you used to be empty handed. This is is perfection of a sonic style, not of one Genre but as a whole Dir En Grey has perfected a Genre of they're own (As also cited on All Music.com and many other Reviews - Dir En Grey is no longer a band categorized in a Genre; Dir En Grey is a Genre of their own.

- WindKun *Kenneth Joseph Spaziani*

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 Uroboros by DIR EN GREY album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.50 | 9 ratings

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Uroboros
Dir En Grey Prog Related

Review by DisgruntledPorcupine

5 stars I got this album as a recommendation from a friend. I always trusted his recommendations as he's never let me down in the past, and I do have an open mind, so I thought I'd give this a go. I was blown away by the second track. Really great stuff.

This album excels for many reasons. First of all, it has a very unique sound I've never heard in a band. Then again, I'm not too familiar with Japanese metal so it could be that, but for me it's new. Another thing, something that really gives this album it's edge, is our vocalist, Kyo. Don't let his sort of cliche-sounding Japanese clean vocals fool you. Once he hits harsh, he is one of the absolute most versatile vocalists I have ever heard in my life. He delivers screams, growls, and shrieking vocals so flawlessly and differently it's jaw-dropping. I don't think anyone would be able to tell it's just one guy doing all this without knowing in advance. The musicianship is also solid and the composition for every song is perfect, showing that they put much care into their music, unlike many of these sorts of metal bands.

The only real flaw I can think of is flow. The album doesn't really have much flow to it and I find works much better as a collection of songs than as a whole, but it's really nothing to make a big deal out of.

So really, this is just an amazing metal album, and one of the best recommendations I've gotten. All of the songs are great, "Vinushka", "Reiketsu Nariseba", and "Stuck Man" probably being the highlights. I give this 5 stars without hesitation.

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 Uroboros by DIR EN GREY album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.50 | 9 ratings

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Uroboros
Dir En Grey Prog Related

Review by JLocke
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A gem among mere rocks.

I had never listened to Dir En Grey prior to this album, although I had heard the name a few times, but never was I all that interested in checking them out. Metal bands that claim to be original are so common now, I can't waste time wading through all the duds such claims end up roping me into. In this album and band's case, however, everything positive you may have heard is true.

The most stand-out feature is of course Kyo, the lead singer/growler/screecher/voice actor of the piece. He instantly put me in mind of Mike Patton during his Mr. Bungle days, although both singers are quite distinct, the only real similarity being in their attitudes and avant-garde approach to the role of vocals. Not only can Kyo sing and growl as good as the next metal guy, he seems capable of doing pretty much anything with his voice if challenged to do so. A real master. He also plays guitars on the album, and provides just as much flare, although not quite as much originality. The two main guitarists of the band most likely pull of the more complex stuff.

The music itself is enjoyable all throughout the album's length. Instrumentation is simpler and more basic in some spots, but for the most part I found myself being surprised more times than other, more generic heavy works would have provided. In fact, I'll get to the comment I made earlier about the guitar playing. It isn't that the playing itself is completely unoriginal, it's just that when compared to his vocals, Kyo seems to take a much more traditional approach to how he approaches the instrument. That being said, I still find his riffs to be intriguing and memorable more often than not. How much of the riffs are actually played by him, however, I am not entirely sure.

Sometimes the album veers in a more J-Pop direction, but never loses the edge or originality despite this. I quite like the stark contrast between the happy, upbeat melody of the pop against the grimy, surrealistic heaviness. While not every song produces this unusual mixture, when it does happen you won't need to hold your ears. These guys knew what they were doing. I found the band's ability to blend traditional rock music with the dark, pumping experimental soundscapes refreshing and worth repeating. This album has already shot up to a frequent listening position on my playlist.

Keep in mind, this is indeed the first and only Dir En Grey album I have yet to experience. I usually try to limit myself in rating single albums in larger discographies under this circumstance, but I felt the need to give my thoughts on this release right now because nobody has really said much about them on here, and I think that's a shame. This band deserves to be listened to and reviewed by members of the site, because I do think there is a lot to love here. Granted, due to my lack of experience with previous Dir En Grey releases, I can only really recommend this single album until I lay ears on the rest.

Apparently, the group hasn't always sounded like and came out of the Visual Kei scene. How what started out as a Glam band has been able to evolve to this point, I can only speculate. But, there it is. The music contained in this release really is fantastic and really is worth your time. Sure, sometimes it can sound like something more familiar to you from the Japanese pop scene, but the next moment the experience will drag into new depths of dark experimentation. You'll find pieces in here that will remind you of the best moments of Opeth right next to other elements that might make you think more about Mr. Bungle or even Henry Cow. Yet at the same time, this album sounds nothing like any of these individually. It's a seamless melting pot of all those experimental ideas meets more traditional pop and metal. All the while being led full charge by Kyo and his amazing, ever-changing voice. A true roller-coaster ride.

As soon as I finished listening to Uroboros for the first time, I felt immediately compelled to listen to it all over again. It really is something I cannot fully describe and give justice to. You just have to hear it for yourself. Please take note, however: not everybody is going to like this. A lot of factors are against it already because of how heavy it is, and how unlike traditional Prog Rock it sounds. But for the more adventurous listener, you should have no problem embracing the music for what it is on its own merits. The softer, melodic moments feel just as valid and frequent as the psychedelic moments or heavy, experimental moments. Just because it's more Metal-oriented in general doesn't make it an album strictly for metal fans. Just try it out. I certainly consider it to be a shining gem hidden among a vast pool of dry, uninteresting rocks in the experimental Metal scene.

Brutal. Eclectic. Beautiful. 4 Stars.

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 Missa by DIR EN GREY album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1997
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Missa
Dir En Grey Prog Related

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Missa is as far as Ive been able to read the debut EP from Japanese act Dir En Grey. Im totally new to the band and this is the first songs Ive heard from them. As I understand from the reviews Ive read they have become more influenced by modern heavy metal on their later releases but Missa is not in that vein.

The music is pretty simple in structure with pretty fast rock ( almost punk) beats and some really sharp guitar riffs. Actually I was reminded of The Smiths more than once. There is also a lighter heavy metal feel to the music but Missa is not a very heavy EP. The music is very melodic and I have no trouble singing along after very few listens. The lyrics are in Japanese though so I have no clue whatsoever as to what they are about. The vocals from lead singer/ Guitarist Tooru Nishimura remind me of David Sylvian from the UK band Japan. Very emotional ( some might say pathetic) and expressive vocals. Personally I think Tooru Nishimura is a great singer with a really personal approach. Note how the two guitars compliment each other. One distorted and one without distortion. Sounds great IMO.

The musicianship is excellent. A bit surprising if you remember that this is their debut EP. Im sure there are great things in wait on later releases.

The production is good. Clean and enjoyable.

Missa is a good release from Dir En Grey and it gives promises of greater things to come. 3 stars is well deserved. Remember the music is very simple so dont expect long progressive structures and instrumental interplays.

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 Uroboros by DIR EN GREY album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.50 | 9 ratings

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Uroboros
Dir En Grey Prog Related

Review by WindKun

5 stars Withering to death got endless spins on my CD player as it was a progression from the old Dir En Grey into the new Dir En Grey, more growling and screaming, heavier riffs but still not as heavy and dynamic as I would have liked.

When The Marrow of A Bone Came out in 2007 It had more spin time than any other CD that year for me, it was one of the heaviest brutal and insane albums with Kyo constantly either growling and screaming in high pitches and in crazy rythmatic gibberish.

Now Uroboros is released, my highest anticipated album of the year. I was worried when Kyo and Die said that the album would be a more like the post Withering To Death Material, I am not sure what they ment by that because this album is by far the biggest push forward they have ever taken. Kyo has finally perfected an extremely low brutal growl in the style of Opeth for example. The riffs are relentless and the production is perfect. The album is progressive in every term of the word, one minute the riffs are from the depths of hell with death metal vocals, and instantly changes into a soft mandolin lead with harmonic vocal layers by Kyo.

The album is a perfect blend of clean singing vocals and some of the most genuine aggression filled vocals I have ever heard.

album highlights for me are the near ten minute 'Vinushka', 'Doukoku to Sarinu'. 'Glass Skin', ' Dozing Green', 'Bugaboo' (cheezy name brutal song) and the seven minute song 'Ware, Yam Tote'.

while I'm listing favorite tracks let me just let it be known that not one track on this album is below excellent. it flows like a perfect conceptual piece, every song flowing into each other perfectly.

Dir En Grey has continued to impress me every album getting more mature and taking Metal into a new direction. The middle eastern style chant kyo lets off during Toguro gives me goosebumps.

If your a new fan, pick up 'The Marrow of a Bone' along with 'UROBOROS' for the ultimate progressive metal experience.

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 Kai by DIR EN GREY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
3.92 | 3 ratings

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Kai
Dir En Grey Prog Related

Review by rushfan6588

4 stars DIR EN GREY's KAI is a wonderful example of the up and coming Japanese Rock genre that is doing so many unique and interesting things. Bands like DIR EN GREY are fusing rock, techno, and traditional Japanese music to create a strangely textured sound, as well as wonderfully unique sonic experience.

KAI is a peculiar album that takes the listener through many different musical styles, textures, and rhythms while still feeling coherent and related. The sound engineer deserves praise for his work here because even with all of these switches, the recording is beautiful crisp and dynamic throughout the entirety of the album. The spot on production allows this album to explore all the sonic landscapes it does without leaving the listener confused or annoyed.

The heavy passages find most of their grounding grounding in distinctive keyboards, with powerful and odd tempo bass lines and chunking guitar riffs in the foreground. Vocals are dark and add another unique, yet well placed texture to the music. Much of the music on the heavier side is quite accessible and works to create a heightened emotion, yet it still displays a level of complexity that is foreign to most music. Time signatures change often yet seamlessly and naturally. Nothing feels horribly forced, instead much of it feels like a natural progression and creates an uncertainty, without leaving the listener confused or disrupting the flow.

The softer passages are also quite unique as they often possess a hitch of sorts in them that maintains a more tranquil attitude, yet are diverse enough to keep them from being purely commonplace. In these passages acoustic instruments provide the backing and the vocals are softer and smoothly delivered. Also, often times these softer passages will build into heavier bridges and codas that make for some unique transitions.

In conclusion KAI is a cohesive effort by DIR EN GREY that contains many different textures and emotions while not feeling like a collection of singles and unrelated fragments. This album is without a pop album in the Japanese rock mold, but to my American ears this is anything but pop, it is a unique album that contains passages that are wonderfully and beautifully complex and other passages that are simplistic yet still possessing a unique feel. Nice album that I will give a 4 star rating and praise this band for truly trying to progress music in some interesting directions, although the directions are most certainly not for everyone.

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 Ain't Afraid To Die by DIR EN GREY album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2001
4.69 | 6 ratings

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Ain't Afraid To Die
Dir En Grey Prog Related

Review by WindKun

5 stars Ain't Afraid to Die was the second Dir En Grey song I ever heard, and shortly after I watched the absolutley beautiful music video to go along with it. I was addicted to the song and soon after the band.

Although the newer materail / most of their stuff is heavy and fast metal, this is probrably their most beautiful ballad and song in general. It absolutley screams for attention and all fans of music in general should hear it and understand why it is so great.

During the near end of the song when the fading in and out of the seeming childrens choir is echoing the lyrics of Kyo, it is just stunning and left me totally engrossed.

Cannot reccomend enough!!

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 Withering To Death. by DIR EN GREY album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.14 | 12 ratings

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Withering To Death.
Dir En Grey Prog Related

Review by enginesofhate

2 stars While their earlier albums were a great listen and were original in style, this band has gone downhill. If Korn, Slipknot and various other drop-D nu-metal bands are your thing, Dir en grey's releases since Six Ugly are probably right up your alley. They're about as original as System Of A Down or Mudvayne's "I.D. 50", but at least I.D. 50 has wicked basslines, something Toshiya has stopped doing.

This album is better though. Tracks 5, 9, 10, 13, and 14 are up to par with their earlier material, but the rest of the album is not worth your time.

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 Withering To Death. by DIR EN GREY album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.14 | 12 ratings

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Withering To Death.
Dir En Grey Prog Related

Review by scatteredpapers

4 stars It always breaks my heart when I hear all these fans saying they hate diru because their music and their visual Kei changed. I'm not going to lie, I'm more of a fan of their older music, but I love their new music even more, because it shows their independent and are not afraid to step outside the box. Their new music just shows how they want to test a new tatse of what is going to hapen if their music changed. sorry if that didn't make any sense. What I'm trying to say is that you know how every album or single or whatever their music changes, well maybe their next album will be even better. Besides we can't always get what we want. Dir en Grey is not losing me ever as a fan no matter how many times their going to change their music. I'm going to be their for them through the good and not so good of their times in music history. Because like Shinya said they plan on being around for a long time. Withering to Death is an album you should listen to carefully and try to understand what Dir en Grey is going through right now with their music. Ecspecially my true love, Kyo, with his lyrics of despair.

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 Ain't Afraid To Die by DIR EN GREY album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2001
4.69 | 6 ratings

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Ain't Afraid To Die
Dir En Grey Prog Related

Review by cain66naive

5 stars the first time when I listened it, I cried. The melody and lyric is so sad. It likes when people are hopeless and ready to die, they are not fear of death. this song make the image of death like the beautiful think, as the light in the end of dark hole as in the MV. In this music video; all of them have scars on their necks means they are all die. Anyway, if you listen this song, please see the music video at the same time. It's so melancholy and beautiful.

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Thanks to ioriarai for the artist addition.

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