DIR EN GREY
The Unraveling


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Amanse USER (12 Reviews)
July 31st, 2013 | 14 replies | 910 views


Release Date: 04/03/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unraveling in order to move forward.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

As an artist, it can be difficult to really set oneself apart and be “truly original.” It’s all been done before. The riffs written, melodies sung, and rhythms played, will often be described as sounding like something pre-existing. It’s often hard to break from this bubble, but Japanese experimental giants Dir En Grey seems to have provided a sound over the years that is constantly changing and expanding, and is something that they can call their own. So why shouldn’t they release a “mini-album” of them reinventing themselves?

The Unraveling is an album of just that: self-reinvention. With one new track and seven re-recorded tracks taken from their earlier discography, Dir En Grey have set out to reconcile songs from the past with their fairly newly shaped sound.

Bassist Toshiya shines throughout the album, providing powerful and hard-hitting grooves that accentuate drummer Shinya perfectly. Guitarists Die and Kaoru blaze through the re-imagining of old songs, as new life is breathed into the various verses and choruses because of new solos and weaving melodies. But the most versatile member of the band, the one constantly brought to the forefront, is vocalist Kyo.

The dynamic and flowing instrumentation provides a wide canvas for Kyo to paint a plethora of emotions on; with the use of soaring melodies and guttural bellows, to tormented crooning and frantic shrieks, Kyo is the centerpiece to this formidable lineup of talented musicians. About half way through the second track and first re-recording of the album, “Karma,” Kyo belts out a bloodcurdling shriek that rivals the intensity of his shriek in the track “Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Nake De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami” off of the band’s previous full-length Dum Spiro Spero. His range in both his screams/growls and clean vocals makes him one of the most unique and versatile vocalists in the music industry today.

Now the hard thing about re-recording songs that have appeared on a previous album is the potential creation of a dichotomy within the songs themselves. These are the same songs fundamentally, but two different versions recorded at two drastically different periods in the band’s life. One of the biggest complaints from some fans was that Kyo’s vocals in “The Final” re-recording sounded not as emotionally charged, and therefore took away from the experience of the song. While understandable, this is also to be expected. Fans looking for the same feeling in these new recordings as they were in the older versions needs to understand that this album is a band reaching back into their past and breathing newer life into some songs that they love. The old versions will never be re-created as exactly as they were because Dir En Grey is no longer that band, nor should they be.

Dir En Grey has used this mini-album to bring nostalgia on a trip to where the band is in their current state. They are looking behind one last time before blazing a trail into the exciting and unknown sonic realm once again.



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user ratings (91)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
KMHouldey (4.5)
A pleasing compromise between the old and the new...

JizzInMyPants (4)
While Dir En Grey ultimately didn’t change up their sound, they refined it, making it seem familia...


Comments:Add a Comment 
heyadam
July 31st 2013



1703 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorry if this reads more like a 4.5. I've been listening to this a lot lately so I've been diggin' pretty hard, but I think that 4 is definitely the right rating to give. It's my first review in a long time, so any feedback is definitely appreciated!

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

SCREAMorphine
July 31st 2013



1751 Comments


I enjoyed the review dude, pos.

EvoHavok
July 31st 2013



1336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review, awesome record!

Digging: Ningen-Isu - Burai Houjou

BigPleb
July 31st 2013



33874 Comments


Amazing stuff as usual, band has come so far.

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

DrGonzo1937
July 31st 2013



5184 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Great review. Early day fans need to get the rod out their arse and realise this shit is something special.

Acanthus
July 31st 2013



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wonderful EP, love both the original tracks as well as the remakes featured here.

Digging: Die Sektor - Applied Structure In A Void

heyadam
July 31st 2013



1703 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys! Yeah, I love this album. I'm really stoked to see where they go from here

heyadam
July 31st 2013



1703 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also, is anybody going to see them when they tour the States this fall? I'm buying my ticket for the Hollywood show tomorrow.

DrGonzo1937
August 1st 2013



5184 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Would be there.... if I didn't live in the UK....

heyadam
August 1st 2013



1703 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

was the Age Quod Agis tour their last trip to the UK recently?

DrGonzo1937
August 1st 2013



5184 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

They played Download this year, but I'd rather see an intimate show rather than an open ended field gig.

heyadam
August 3rd 2013



1703 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude I feel ya. This show is about to be so good! I hope Kyo's voice is nice and healed for this tour. Dude puts 110% into every show and performance

DrGonzo1937
August 4th 2013



5184 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Let me know how it goes, man.

heyadam
August 6th 2013



1703 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Totally. It should be a killer time!



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