When most people in NA think of visual-kei 2 bands will most likely come to mind. The first being of course X-Japan. The seconed is modern long standing j-rockers Dir en Grey. this was the last album so far where Extreme visuals were used in the videos. The newest single Kodou features Kyo with no makeup and natural black hair.
Kyo although little packs a big punch.On stage he's not only a vocalist, but a performer: often slashing away at his wrists, beating himself with his microphone, or pleasuring himself right in front of the fans, but i think i should get on with the review.
Dir en Grey is:
Kaoru-Lead guitar and leader-sama of the group(he has to keep the little demon under control sometimes>.>)
Shinya-Drums(yes it is a man)
1)Audience killer loop
This is a good start to the album. It has an electronic intro but you can hear an almost classical japanese sound in it.The silence is suddenly and violently broken as kyo rips out with a tortured sounding scream. The guitars put a very nice heavy fill before a softer quieter verse with drums and bass taking the main stage.Whispers are heard before the guitars come back and kyo sings a little harder before it all lapses into another verse.this happens again before this leading into a nice guitar part. chords are used well as another verse happens with different guitars in the backround. kyo uses a couple nice aspects of his voice. he uses the screams at the beggining and nice cleans for the verses. you think the song is over but kyo rips through with another scream before screaming "red em" until the songs cuts out
2) THE IIID EMPIRE
This starts with a fast solo style riff before all hell breaks loose. Kyo starts singing fast before ripping out a scream as the guitars continue switching from tremlo'd riffs and destructive distortion. kyo ses mostly hars singing in this song. There is a nice bass riff and spoken part in the middle before that tremlo'd riff comes back in. The chorus comes in with a haunting vocal line(def an effect used here) and then the verses come out again. the song ends on a scream and held guitar note.
This is distorted from the beggining. The drums do very nicelty in this song.kyo uses a bit more of his natural dramatic sounding voice here. Quick verses are sung along with distorted guitars. I really like kyos voice in this song. there is a part in the middle where kyos voice is roboticized and tuned up a way high. nice little addition before the fast verses and sometimes echoed voice continues until kyo screams abit and the song ends on the guitars.
An almost numetal riff starts out this song before the guitars fdo a chugging riff. It all falls quiet as kyo cleanly sings the first verse. this is def a numetalish song but it is soo much better than all the numetal out there. its like they took a bad thing and made it better. Kyo uses mostly both screams and cleans to effectivly build a mood. in the middle a nice scream-clean-scream-clean part goes into a whispered quiet part with a feeling of impending doom. this is a good song.
5)sajou no uta
This starts with a clean chord part and clean soft vocals by kyo. this is a sort of fast song. kyo shows some of what his cleans can do and the guitars add nicely with the nice clean tone. once in a while a distorted chord will ring out but it adds very nicely.i really like the midle when kyo is singing and kaoru pulls out this beuatiful solo. good job by all on this song
Remember the screamed words at the end of track one? well heres the song name he was screaming.starts with a very quiet drum thing that sounds watered down and in the distance as kaoru comes in until kyo builds up in voice untill the songs hits the rest of the verse. kyo continues with an emotional voice. In between verses kaoru continues the clean part while drums bass and die do a bit of a heavyer thing. the chorus on this song is catchy. after the chorus a new and different clean soloistic riff is used this is used through a speaking part before a full solo breaks out. Very nice solo by kaoru. a couple different clean riffs are used during the verses. but at another speaking part the origional is used before the chorus breaks in again. after the chorus the insturments take over until the end.very nice guitar work in this song
7)asunaki koufuku, koenaki asu
Fast ripping guitars break in immediatly as kyo burst through the verses. using almost a trotting speaking voice. kyo uses a nice vocal tone fo rthis song. the song pretty much continues like this until an almost breakdown part with kyo screaming in the middle. this leads into more frantic verses with growls in the backround near the beggining.
wierd name. anyways, this starts out almost like an 80s metal song before that DeG style heavyness comes in. kyo makes odd noises before the verse. another interesting tone used here. there is some harshness at the end of the verses. he does a little high part in the backround before breaking into another verse. he uses both screams, reg voice and highs in this song. a solo in the middle makes a nice addition. then a wierd kyo noise section happens before a high vocal part as the guitars do a high on the fretboard chord before another verse. This is an overall good song. kyo shows off alittle of his high end and his crazy noises.
This was a video single. i like the video but not as much as their other ones.this is a softer song with less distortion. in the beggining kaoru does a tremlo'd part before the first verse. light chugging in the back round but after a small heavy part the verse continues with kaorus riff. this repeats with the seconed verse. This has a nice, light catchy chorus. this kinda shows off the softer side of dir en grey. the tremelo'd part in the middle almost seems like a solo so i treat it as such. nice light effect is used. a different riff and effect is used in the next verses. a heavier part is used in the seconed part of the verse before the chorus breaks out again. a new verse with the same music backing as the chorus comes through. the insturments take over until another chorus happens and the song ends on a note
10)R to the core
Shrieking feedback and distorted guitars meet you as you enter R to the core. fast vocals laden with effect(but not too heavy) accompany the guitars nicely through the verses. a harsher voice is used with a lighter chord part to make the chorus. short song
a nice little drum solo starts off the song before the light chords and kyo-ish vocals come in to complete the formula. a small light screaming part ends the verse before the insturments take over until the next verse. I really like the guitar in this song. it sounds really nice. the drumming is also very good. shinya really is good at what he does. a nice light chug part with kyos vocals carrying them to the next verse in the middle adds a nice little supprise to the song.
12)new age culture
almost done now.lol a sound clip is used in the beggining as broken up guitar parts and kyos vocals enter suddenly. kyo uses a bit of harshness in this song to pair up with the guitars distortion. the chorus has some really nice growls and cleans in it. this is a nice heavy song. kyo even uses that creepy high about 3/4 of the way through before a harsh-clean part. the insturments take over for a sec before kyo does the screm-clean thing before leading into a harsher part. he uses his creepy voice and low screams to carry the song till the end
Now herw is my territory of the album.hehe. a creepy electronic part greets your before almost MUCC heavy guitars kick in with an extremely high contrasting riff accompanies kyos vocals until the inhuman screams break out with all guitars heavy. then a nice verse with that high guitar andlight chug in the backround leads to another heavy guitar part. kyos highs can be heard in the backround before another verse. after this verse kyos sound making ability really comes into play. this leads into the chorus. god i love his voice he uses. its dramatic and leads to a creepy high before insturment take over to another vers. now after this verse there is a breakdown of sorts. the soundmaking ability really comes in. with"blood baby and sacrifice" said quite a few times this just makes the video seem sicker(as in kinda gross) the chorus breaks out again and the song ends afer kyo does the high at the end of the chorus. by far one of my FAVORITE DeG songs. i only wish it was easier to get the uncensored video. in one part of the vid kyo stars spitting up a clear thick ooze and in another part die stabs a chunk of metal through the bottom of his head and up as it switches to his face splitting open as a long worm like tounge comes out. i sooo wanna see the uncensored
CHILD PREY CHILD PREY OOOO CHILD PREY! this song has a punky feel to it. its fast has the "oooOOooOOooo" backup vocals and some good blastbeats by shinya. kyo screams quite a bit and the guitars are quite heavy. the vidoe involves space hamsters and fighter battles>.> ya. anyways kyo uses his unique tone during one part. the chorus is heavy with all memebers screaming as kyo harshly sings the words. the other part of the chorus has the "OOoooOOOooOOOooo" part with kyo singing"kiss me kill me love me" until an extended clean part. you think the song is over but you are wrong.screaming by all comes in before another chorus which continues until the heavy comes back with the song ending on kyo screaming"CHILD PREY" in the way he screams. this was the first Dir en Grey song i evcer heard. i heard it when i watche the vid. ya space hamsters. i dunno
a nice distorted chord -part plays in the backround as a clean chiming riff breaks through with the drums. kyo comes in the same. clean and smooth. kyo uses a very soft voice compared to the rest of the album. he uses non creepy highs and soft lowends to create a nice calm mood. a nice mini solo happens before kaoru just rips it out. kyo continues with the nice soft verses and chorus. this is a very nice closer with kyo showing what he can do.
This overall is a very good album. kyo uses many aspects of his voice from aminalistic screams, gutteral growls, inhuman noises and soft cleans. and even changing from high to low. the guys did an awesome job with this album and i have 4 or 5 more of them to review. so until tommorow..
4 out of 5