DIR EN GREY
The Marrow of a Bone


4.0
excellent

Review

by crystalinedemise USER (5 Reviews)
February 14th, 2007 | 47 replies | 10,355 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dir En Grey has released a solid album that is accessible to a wider audience than ever before all while staying true to the sound they've developed over the last 10 years.

Dir En Grey is a band that's been around the block about 80 times in Japan, but until recently hasn't gotten much mainstream attention in the states. This is a fact that gets met with mixed enthusiasm. On the one hand, there are those that are uber excited: finally, there will be people other than 15 year old white girls and other people that wish oh so desperately that they could be japanese with whom they can discuss Dir En Grey and share the fine musical stylings thereof. On the other hand, there are those that seem to feel that in order to penetrate the American market, the band has sacrificed too much of what makes them unique, reducing their tone to resemble more of a metalcore/hardcore sound. While toning down or reducing may not be the greatest verbs to use, there can be no argument that Dir En Grey is trying to appeal to a broader audience

I am by no means a hardcore fan of many of the things the US does, but one thing that is pretty standard in the music industry is this: If you haven't made it in the American market, you haven't made it. Dir En Grey is notorious in Japan, and can sell out stadiums in the blink of an eye, but once you've gotten that big on your home turf, it's about time to start taking that game on the road. There were hints of this in their previous full length (and virtually the only one you can find in stores stateside unless you make some serious effort) Withering To Death and particularly with the single, Clever Sleazoid. Hints, however, were all the naysayers needed to start moaning about how much better "old" DEG was and that they're selling out and all of the whiny crap you hear from the fans of any lesser known band when it looks like other people might *gasp* actually hear about them!

Anyway, this is a review, not a dissertation on the history of the band. The Marrow Of A Bone represents the next step in the Dir En Grey evolution. That direction, however, is not at all (at least in my opinion) in the direction of the overused and generic genre of metalcore. The band has sacrificed very little of their sound to make this album, and even though it is an obvious appeal to American Audiences, it is a Dir En Grey album through and through. Conceived Sorrow is the opener track on the album and it is absolutely beautiful. The beginning has a very minor and almost foreboding tone to it, as if something bad is going to happen. What actually happens is Kyo's entrance to the song, which adds a soothing element to it. Say what you will about him, he can get an incredibly calming tone when he wants to. The song has a fantastic crescendo throughout and segues beautifully into the next track. Lie Buried With A Vengeance is just the kind of song that older Dir En Grey fans are terrified of. This song is two and a half minutes of kick you in the face riffing and brutal (although mildly nonsensical) lyrics being screeched and growled by Kyo. The Fatal Believer brings the album back down a bit, and should also quell the fears of the fanboys/girls terrified of change. The song is still relatively heavy, but there is more overtly complex work from Karou and Die on guitar, and the chorus takes the listener right back to the days of Vulgar or perhaps even Gauze

The next track, even though it feels like a random mish-mash of words taken from a spooky dictionary (Agitated Screams Of Maggots) is incredibly solid. All of the instrumental parts are frantic as hell and Kyo's lyrical prowess shows through with one of my favorite Dir En Grey song lines ever: "I'll rape your daughter on your grave." Grief is a song that is definitely written for Guitarists. The riffs are ever changing, complex, and Die and Karou really work off of each other for the duration of the song. Ryoujoku No Ame is the first real break that the listener gets from the energy that the band has built up to this point. Kyo decides to play it relatively smooth on this song, even though the instruments are on much more of a hard rock kick, which creates one of those nice little dichotomies that make Dir En Grey who they are. Disabled Complexes starts off with kind of a Jazzy riff, but soon turns into a track much akin to The Fatal Believer. Not that that's a bad thing, though as it is a great song and making it halfway through the album before anything sounds even vaguely like a repeat is something that can be difficult to accomplish in the metal world these days.

Rotting Root could have a special place in my esteem as best song on the album were it not for the fact that it builds up momentum but then levels off rather than go anywhere with it. The riffs are strong and super catchy, but when they simply choose to vamp back and forth on them for 4 and a half minutes, it can become somewhat tiresome. Namamekashiki Ansoku, Tamerai Ni Hohoemi (try saying THAT 10 times fast) is probably the most laid back song on the album. The classical style guitar work at the beginning is a good chill part, and the song is just generally aurally pleasing. This also, sadly marks the point where the album falls somewhat short. The next three tracks (The Pledge, Repetition of Hatred, and The Deeper Vileness) all seem to bleed together for me, and try as I might, it is difficult to find a distinguishing point to separate them. They are all very good songs, offering a nice blend of hardcore DEG and classic DEG sounds, but they simply don't distinguish themselves as much as other tracks on the album. The redone studio cut of Clever Sleazoid finishes the album off rather nicely, providing a generally crisper sound than the single version (particularly on the guitars and bass, which sounded muddy and less impressive on the previous version).

All in all, this is an album that will most likely appeal to the American Market and make this band much more of a household name. Did they lose what made them Dir En Grey on this album so that they could accomplish that? Absolutely not. What they did was incorporate the style of the market they are penetrating into their own to give themselves a fighting chance, and to that end they have succeeded marvelously.


user ratings (221)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
RJayZ (3)
Somewhat of a dissapointment, The Marrow of a Bone still has some killer tracks, they're just surrou...

Rabio (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2007


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I remember I discovered Dir En Grey in like 99 or '00 because some dude wrote into EGM and complained about pointless shit and EGM's response included a picture of them. It was over; I was entranced immediately.
I haven't gotten this, but I'll do so in a matter of hours.

Pluh
February 14th 2007


579 Comments


I'm not gonna rate the album, as i've never listened to a full album of Dir en Grey... The songs i heard on their sites n such weren't so hot, but i did see them live and they impressed me a lot.

samthebassman
February 14th 2007


2164 Comments


Sounds very interesting, good review.

TojesDolan
February 15th 2007


271 Comments


http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000LP4PT6.01._AA400_SCLZZZZZZZ_V46935965_.jpg

Add the picture. =)

I was never attracted to Japanese music other than corrupted, not to mention my relationship with gothic music isn't that good.


Also the track list needs less emphasys, don't abour the caps lock, heh.

Other than that interesting review. I may check them out after years of not caring about them.

beau99
February 20th 2007


60 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Really good review, though there is a "fact" in your intro that isn't quite true.

While they play big arenas like Osaka-jo Hall and Budoukan on occasion (and sell them out quickly), they normally play small clubs and large music halls (which don't sell out quite as fast). They're not THAT popular in Japan.

Tacos
February 21st 2007


125 Comments


great review, you pretty much said everything that i would have if i reviewed this. great album, the only thing i dont like about it is that the font used in the lyrics booklet is about one slight shade brighter than the background. i cant read a damn thing in it, no matter how much light i have on it or what. the music more than makes up for it, though.

Manji Karame
February 28th 2007


9 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

beau99 is right. They can only fill arenas when people from all over Japan can go, like the Budoukan shows. And they are not Glay or B'z, they can't sell out tours within minutes.

Now, as an old fan or "older" as you called us, and you used the term 'scared', I'm not scared of these songs, because they suck, Deg is trying too hard to shock me and failing miserably trying to impress me with good songs. Worst Deg album so far.

LaVozDormida
March 18th 2007


75 Comments


Shit, Conceived Sorrow is fuckin brilliant.

Ichigo900
May 29th 2008


67 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I liked the album, and I liked their try and being heavy almost all the way through, but...just let up on the english screaming, okay kyo? I mean, it's cute at first, but I like it better when it's in a language I'm not SUPPOSED to understand. My favorite song is Namamekashiki Ansoku, Tamerai ni Hohoemi, it's amazing.

Nitroadict
November 14th 2008


133 Comments


I do not like this album very much at all. There are good amount of good songs,but the album itself is just poorly executed. 2 tracks that qualify as filler suffer from poorly generic riffs (REPITION OF HATRED & the Deeper Vileness).

They re-recorded the singles for no real apparent reason in the process & made Ryojume No Ame not really that different (minus the very fitting high part towards the end; nope, instead you get a horrid Manson-wannabe growl that makes the song anti-climatic for no real reason), & made Clever Sleazoid sound like it was recorded in a freaking garbage can, with Kyo just phoning it in with pointless, sludgy screaming that feels way too forced, even for the album's own sound (yes, it goes beyond Agitated Screams of Maggot's ridiculous but good hardcore).

The single version sounded excellent, with each instrument clearly being heard, & Kyo offering a more dynamic performance & more artistic (i.e. controlled) screaming.

The bonus disc of a few acoustic tracks feels more like an apology for screwing up this album, but are good nonetheless.

Overall, this album makes Six Ugly looks like a masterpiece. I recommend replacing the album versions of the singles with the single versions, & cutting out at least 3 tracks that aren't terribly great, & make this a mini album, because early reviews (more favorable than marrow) suggest UROBORUS will have the band's full attention & talent at work.

Mostly a scathing review, I realize, but I'm tired of idiot fangirls & fanbois name dropping this album when I pass by (not at all by choice, mind you) the local Hot Topic on the odd time that I actually buy a video game at the mall, whose employees then proceed to throw a fit when I tell them to "screw off" after they try to lure me into their store with their 10% off sales on crappy CD's & terrible sales pitches.

It's not that insane of an album (Withering was, however), get over being new to dir en grey, stop ruining it for the rest of us who were there back when they first downloaded GAUZE on soulseek & fell in love with an unusual band no one heard of outside of the japanese music room.

I'm normally not so elitist, but the well known pretentiousness of American Dir en grey fans (well known to those online, at least) is a cancer that must be addressed before Dir en grey ends up on TRL in America (thankfully, TRL was canceled before this could occur).

I'll be glad when Green Day makes a new album so they stop paying attention to Dir en grey for a while.

Sory for the semi-rant; to make up, I might delete this whenever I get to writing a more objective review here or on my blog.This Message Edited On 11.14.08This Message Edited On 11.14.08

crystalinedemise
March 19th 2009


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, expressing my opinion about an album I liked "ruins it for the real fans". Never mind that I didn't even have high speed internet until I went to college, I should be shamed for getting into a band more recently than you. This is what I hate about you j-sluts: you just can't stand it when anyone else likes something for different reasons than you. You're not more cultured just because you like japan you pretentious jackass.

Nitroadict
March 22nd 2009


133 Comments


"Yes, expressing my opinion about an album I liked "ruins it for the real fans". Never mind that I didn't even have high speed internet until I went to college, I should be shamed for getting into a band more recently than you. This is what I hate about you j-sluts: you just can't stand it when anyone else likes something for different reasons than you. You're not more cultured just because you like japan you pretentious jackass."

And this is why I hate those who do not realize the futility of arguing subjective arguments: when someone else posts their opinion up to "even" out consensus, you throw a hissy fit, especially, apparently, if its your own review.

Did I call accuse you of being those that I despised for becoming aware of DEG's music? Nope.

I think any rational human being would read my idiotic rant and be aware that it was a rant with maybe a few valid observations (NOT facts, but observations). Apparently, you do not sound like one of them, for you felt the need to use the term j-slut.

Nope, my rant isn't different or new or hip or any such nonsense: it could've been applied to a lot of other bands in other genres.

For what it's worth, I think dir en grey actually cares about what their albums sound like; I can't say the same for some other bands, but minus a rant or two along the way, people move on to other bands to fill the void.

Btw, I never said I was more cultured than anyone because I like Japan; I implied I was more of an individual because I wasn't some idiot raping the latest junk from Hot Topic or off their friends for the mere reason of doing so.

Did I say you are one of these people? Nope.

Looks like you need to need to go find another person to play Internet Argument with, because there is really none here.

I find it amusing & sad that you feel threatened by my words. I hope you continue to enjoy Dir En Grey, & do not change because of what the mean person on the internets. Hopefully, said to you.

Arked
June 28th 2011


117 Comments


"Generic genre"? Really?

Cosmiche
December 29th 2011


330 Comments


""Yes, expressing my opinion about an album I liked "ruins it for the real fans". Never mind that I didn't even have high speed internet until I went to college, I should be shamed for getting into a band more recently than you. This is what I hate about you j-sluts: you just can't stand it when anyone else likes something for different reasons than you. You're not more cultured just because you like japan you pretentious jackass."

And this is why I hate those who do not realize the futility of arguing subjective arguments: when someone else posts their opinion up to "even" out consensus, you throw a hissy fit, especially, apparently, if its your own review.

Did I call accuse you of being those that I despised for becoming aware of DEG's music? Nope.

I think any rational human being would read my idiotic rant and be aware that it was a rant with maybe a few valid observations (NOT facts, but observations). Apparently, you do not sound like one of them, for you felt the need to use the term j-slut.

Nope, my rant isn't different or new or hip or any such nonsense: it could've been applied to a lot of other bands in other genres.

For what it's worth, I think dir en grey actually cares about what their albums sound like; I can't say the same for some other bands, but minus a rant or two along the way, people move on to other bands to fill the void.

Btw, I never said I was more cultured than anyone because I like Japan; I implied I was more of an individual because I wasn't some idiot raping the latest junk from Hot Topic or off their friends for the mere reason of doing so.

Did I say you are one of these people? Nope.

Looks like you need to need to go find another person to play Internet Argument with, because there is really none here.

I find it amusing & sad that you feel threatened by my words. I hope you continue to enjoy Dir En Grey, & do not change because of what the mean person on the internets. Hopefully, said to you. "

this is far and away one of the stupidest and most elitist comments i've read on this site. well done my man

Graveyard
April 20th 2012


5729 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Watching the video to clever sleazoid right now

creepy

Digging: Sugary Sweet Machines - Controlled Breathing

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2012


50341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I used to watch that a lot back in the day

Digging: The Brave Little Abacus - Masked Dancers

Graveyard
April 20th 2012


5729 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah from what i remember Uroboros was my favorite by them

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2012


50341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

mos def

nocturne3
June 25th 2012


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I made an account just to say this but, ROTTING ROOT is one of the best songs of this album, aside from THE PLEDGE, Namamekashiki, and Conceived Sorrow of course. but the guitar's are so addicting in it *o* and the chorus part + the guitars is so good too. i suck with words so i probably didn't convey my point well enough but at least i got it out there.

Acanthus
October 29th 2012


9542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really enjoying the aggression here, it merge's well with the remnants of their earlier days.



Digging: Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood



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