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Dir En Grey - Kai CD (album) cover


Dir En Grey


Prog Related

3.92 | 3 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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.

rushfan6588 | 4/5 |


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