Formed in l997, Dir en grey has become one of Japan's most popular hard rock groups. With their unique grotesque style, perverse expressions of passion and intense live show, the band has established a rabid following not only in their home country but also around the world among fans of this style of extreme music. Depth, sorrow, pain and undoubtedly anger are the emotional qualities which form the musical core of the Dir en grey experience. Over the past few years the band has focused on growing their audience outside of the huge home base they have in Japan. Starting first in Asia and most recently in Europe, Dir en grey is now poised to introduce America to the same musical tour de force that has conquered Asia and much of the rest of the world.
Dir en Grey are very much like their Japanese horror movie counterparts for English speaking audiences. They may not be the goriest, but there is something creepy and sinister in the underlying disjointed quality of everything involved. Take this statement from their website: "Formed in 1997, with the sole purpose to spread the feeling of hurt and sorrow caused by weakness, shallowness and egoism of humanity." Are they combating these characteristics of humanity, or furthering them because they are in the middle of it? Withering to Death
fits this contradiction perfectly. Straddling the line between Marilyn Manson, Coal Chamber, and something similar to Katatonia, everything about this band points toward something coming apart at the seams. The music moves from poppy guitar rock to more furious metal. The vocals go from beautiful drones to high pitched cackle to outright wail. The Japanese singing is much more dramatic than the English translation of the lyrics inside the booklet. Songs like "Saku," "Dead Tree," and "Kodou" don't really need translation, and in fact may work better without. So ignore the booklet lyrics and just enjoy the disorienting quality of the music itself. --Robert Arambel