"Uroboros" (The End; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

Japanese band Dir en Grey have been cranking out their bizarre and exciting brand of chaotic metal for over a decade. If I was slowly going insane, then I imagine that this album would be very appropriate soundtrack to that journey.

Dir En Grey manages to tap into normal, even soothing, moments but they quickly break open the shell and various sounds and tones coming spilling out all at once. One of the band's best traits is their ability to keep these odd pieces moving rather than letting take on too much of a life of their own. They manage to build and maintain intensity while interjecting enough melodic moments to keep the mood from becoming too dark.

Unfortunately, they do fall into self-indulgence at times and get further off track than they really need to. There are moments of repetition that don't contribute a great deal to the overall feel of the album. However, they usually manage to rectify those situations rather quickly.

Like blood pumping through your body, Dir En Grey manage to keep producing ideas and then slip them into the system to keep things working. I think they do a fine job of keeping a balance between styles and tones as well. That is something that sets them apart from other artists playing experimental metal these days.

For more information, check out http://www.direngrey.co.jp

"Withering to Death" (Warcon; 2006)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Already an international sensation, the Japanese quintet Dir En Grey have set their sights on America with "Withering to Death," their fifth album. 

The band's stateside debut is laden with darker-edged melodies a la Blindside (“Saku”) and a harsh vocal performance that sounds like a cross between Marilyn Manson, Minus, and Korn on tracks like “Koduku Ni Shisu, Yueni Kodoku.” Oh yeah, they sing for the most part in Japanese, which may throw many people way off, but they do manage to make up for that by creating some interesting soundscapes via keyboards and technological manipulations inside of their dissonant hard rock attack.

Unafraid to bare their teeth and take chances, Dir En Grey’s fearless ferocity breaks through language barriers and musical boundaries alike, giving the listener a beguiling experience. 

For more information, check out http://www.direngrey.co.jp

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2022 15:00:07 -0400.