Dir En Grey
Uroboros (Remastered & Expanded)


5.0
classic

Review

by Simon Killip USER (102 Reviews)
November 29th, 2012 | 167 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A little spit polish.

It has been 4 years since the release of Uroboros in its original entity. As pretentious as the concept maybe, the band consider this album to be their finest work to date, but felt that the final product of the 2008 version needed some tweaking to reach the band's complete satisfaction. Uroboros is one of my favourite albums of all-time and being that Uroboros was the album that introduced me to DIR EN GREY I was a little apprehensive about this re-release. These types of releases tend to have minimal effort or work put into them, and by design are created to squeeze a quick buck out of the fan. This one however is a rare exception, with enough additions and work put into it to justify giving it another spin.

The most noticable change on the R&E is its overhauled production; despite the 2008 versions flawless songwriting -- which masterfully blended doom, metal, funk and progressive styles together -- Uroboros' handicap was the poor, muddy sound that left certain things out of earshot, with the styles mentioned never really blossoming because of it. The band have clearly seen this as the album's biggest drawback and have given the production a complete rework: from the moment "Vinushka" kicks in you'll notice a drastic improvement in clarity and how much more tracks benifit from this sort of production. Make no mistake, everything sounds crystal clear, the drums in particular are crisp and vibrant, but every instrument is well balanced and listening to it, headphones or not, you can hear the countless layers the band have created; layers that will take several listens to uncover for yourself.

Aside from the fantastic new clarity, the band have also added a couple of tracks, as well as extending a couple of them too. "Sa Bir", the opening track to this epic album, has been expanded by an extra 1:52. The track begins with mumbling chants and electronic ambient swishing noises that stir until the sound of a clock begins to tick and chime before going into its orginal composition; the additional time paints an even darker, more disturbing picture and sets the tone perfectly before "VINUSHKA" kicks in. "Hydra-666" is a remake, or "reimagining", of what was originally on their sophomore LP, Macebre. The song has all the modern day traits you've come to expect from the band and is a great addition to the band's canon. I really like this track but, to give criticism, this track breaks up the cohesive atmosphere and sound the band create so well here. It's more akin to Dum Spiro Spero than Uroboros, and stands out a little red from the rest of the album. "BUGABOO RESPIRA" is the least interesting of the new tweaks here: a very intimate, claustrophobic track that has just Kyo singing; it's a very raw and honest track, you can here all the sounds in the booth as he's singing. The problem is it literally feels like an extention of "Bugaboo" than its own stand alone song. It does, however, line-up Bugaboo really well.

All-in-all, the fine tweaking has paid off in spades. Obviously the biggest praise goes to the great new sound, that really lets the songs shine, but the extra little eggs they've throw in certainly make this the definitive version. Credit is also due for picking the Japanese versions of "Glass Skin" and "Dozing Green" over the English versions (which also left the original feeling a little up and down when crossing the language barrier) as it just makes the album flow that little bit better.
It's well recommend you check out this version. If you enjoyed the 2008 version, but felt the same about the flaws highlighted in this review, you'll definitely want to check this out -- you won't be disappointed. If you've never checked out the band or this album, there is no better place to look than here. Uroboros [Remastered & Expanded] really is the band's magnum opus, and even though they've gone on to make superb albums since, this is the band at their finest.

Essential.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2012


53968 Comments


Damn I need to get this because the production on the original sucks

Digging: Old Gray - Slow Burn

DrGonzo1937
November 29th 2012


12067 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, I agree, it wasn't a great sound. Listening to this one blew my mind though.

Digging: Queen - A Night at the Opera

FadedSun
November 29th 2012


1592 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, I'm glad they put this out. Sounds so much better.

VermicideReloadead
November 29th 2012


1432 Comments


Vinushka blews my mind, that track is epicness and destruction in its purest form.

Inferis
November 29th 2012


456 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This fuckin' album is so goddamn good.

Sublime92
November 29th 2012


92 Comments


why would they remaster this

Tyrael
November 29th 2012


21007 Comments


rules

Graveyard
November 29th 2012


6316 Comments


lol

KILL
November 29th 2012


78775 Comments


lame band

Digging: Metallica - Hardwired... to Self-Destruct

ViperAces
November 29th 2012


12561 Comments


dir en ghey

heyadam
November 29th 2012


1869 Comments


I love this album. I haven't heard this re-mastered version yet, so I'll have to get on that!

Digging: Zao - The Well-Intentioned Virus

heyadam
November 29th 2012


1869 Comments


I love this album. I haven't heard this re-mastered version yet, so I'll have to get on that!

foxblood
November 29th 2012


6822 Comments


damn need to get this

DirEnRefused
November 29th 2012


3266 Comments


So fucking amazing.

Almost forgot about my partial namesake's amazingness.

DirEnRefused
November 29th 2012


3266 Comments


What's the general consensus on the additions?

JizzInMyPants
November 29th 2012


2735 Comments


bugaboo respira is an awesome addition, i actually combined that song and blut aus nord's Epitome IX in audacity and it contributes to the atmosphere.

hydra 666 is awesome

I prefer the originally production, from listening to this, everything seems up in your face, i love the some instruments in the foreground, some instruments in the background feel the original had, made it sound 3d.

DrGonzo1937
November 30th 2012


12067 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

'What's the general consensus on the additions?'



Most say Sa Bir extended is abit unnecessary, but for the most part the additions really work in this albums favour.



I don't really get the complaint on Sa Bir extended, I love the build up to that fucking massive bass sound. haha

DrGonzo1937
November 30th 2012


12067 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

'why would they remaster this'



Basically the band thought the production on the original sucked. And while I'm not really that fussed on sound quality, if you compare the two albums, the difference is staggering.

DrGonzo1937
November 30th 2012


12067 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

'I prefer the originally production, from listening to this, everything seems up in your face, i love the some instruments in the foreground, some instruments in the background feel the original had, made it sound 3d.'



One track in particular I thought didn't have the same punch the original mix had was Red Soil. The double bass pedal bit in the chorus was a knock out. lol The new mix sounds very free to me and doesn't have the same impact.

sunsleeps
February 19th 2013


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

For the most part I agree that this version as a whole sounds a lot more dynamic than its counterpart. However, some of the drum/bass work is more clear on the original. "Toguro" is a prime example of such. The snare on the original is really tight and sounds great with the guitar duo but sounds much less powerful with the remastering. In addition, the bass guitar gets drowned out a bit with the more prominent toms/kick on the kit. Tue Madsen did a great job despite some shortcomings.



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