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Dir En Grey - Withering To Death

=Staff's pick

Merciless Cult
Kodoku Ni Shisu, Yueni Kodoku
Itoshisa Ha Fuhai Nitsuki*
Jesus Christ R 'n R
Dead Tree
Beautiful Dirt
Spilled Milk
Higeki Ha Mabuto Wo Oroshita Vasashiki Utsu

Genre Visual Kei
Nishimura Tooru
Tracks 14
Niikura Kaoru
Runningtime 51 Min.
Daisuke Andou
Label Firewall Div
Hara Toshimasa
Release 09 March 2005
Shinya Terachi
Country Japan
Similar artists MUCC, X-Japan

Us westerners rarely come into contact with Eastern music and all the alien culture that comes with it. But put one's back to it and you will discover a whole new world of music that pulsates with inventive thinking. That's why one needs to exert oneself to find the way in this jungle of music. Search for 'hard rock' or 'heavy metal' and there is a chance that you might come across this particular Japanese band, even though they don't even sound remotely like our rock bands.

Dir En Grey is your archetypical Visual Kei-band, which means that the band members all look something like Marilyn Manson's Asian cousins, although with a more feminine touch to their make-up. As diverse as the music is, the core always leans towards the dark side, making the songs feel uninviting at times. For example, the opener "Merciless Cult" has clear shades of nu-metal to it, while the track "-saku-" contains several grind core-elements. All while the charismatic vocalist Kyo hisses, growls and also sings very beautiful on the ballads.

On their fifth album, Dir En Grey offers something to every taste. The best tracks are without a doubt "C" and "THE FINAL", which combine rough verses with typical Japanese choruses with strong and catchy melodies. The more soothing tracks also holds many fine qualities, with gothic guitar-melodies and nice keyboard-layers. Unfortunately there are some misfires as well. "GARBAGE" is just what it sounds, and there are a few other tracks that perhaps could have been dropped so that the rather long running time could be trimmed with ten minutes or maybe more.

Withering To Death has a fascinating wall of sound which might not rub the Western market the right way to have a shot at glory outside of Japan, but that doesn't make the music any less interesting. Quite the opposite, actually, so do yourself a favour and seek them out.






7 chalices of 10 - Niklas

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