Reviewed: July 2010
Released: 2010, Independent
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
On January 9th and 10th, 2010, Dir En Grey took flight into the Nippon Budokan and played to thousands of fans from all over the world. Capturing every angle from this sold out, two day event. \’UROBOROS\’, which was released May 24th 2010. Highly-charged visuals packed back to back bring Dir En Grey shows to a new height, making this experience the band’s most legendary performance to date.
Fans of the Japanese metal would most certainly be missing out if the name Dir En Grey was not part of their hard hitting metal discography.
With this album not only being the seventh following the somewhat poorly received ‘The Marrow of a Bone’ the quintet have led by vocalist Kyo have clearly returned with a vengeance with the successive release of Uroboros in 2008.
Plunging back into the darker and heavier tonality of previous releases it would seem that these guys have revived and refined themselves with a band as the elements of: death metal, experimental and progressive rock are thrown into a blender as Dir En Grey converge genres of music in way like no other.
The deluxe edition of Dir En Grey’s magnum opus opens up with errie guitar effects followed by live crowds chanting in applause. This serves, as a perfect opener as the cheering gets louder the destructive force of ‘Vinushka’ is enough to show newbies like myself why these guys are masters of their craft, fusing together ambient passages with a death metal edge.
The versatility Kyo’s vocals become notable in this track as indecipherable growling goes head to head with high-pitched banshee like shrieks. An interesting blend that is also resonates in many fond moments of Uroboros, notability ‘Toguro’. A personal favourite that stood amidst the album was ‘Glass Skin’ which opened with a slow yet soulful delicacy, showcasing just how diverse these guys can be and how singing in a foreign language can still project meaning even if my understanding of their lyrical content remains absent.
These guys know how to go out in style with the nine-minute closure of ‘Dozing Green’ with solid drumming, crunching riffs and enough vocal ranges to shun aside any impersonators out there. The acoustic breakdown followed by a steady dream build up elevate us into the final pages of Uroboros and like any great book with twists, turns, drama, build up, suspense, climax and passion.
These guys have all that and more as this album has the same replay value as any great work of literature that demands a second read through.
Dir En Grey DVD.
The DVD that came intact with the deluxe edition of Uroboros formed a semblance of live songs from the bands career.
What I enjoyed about the live footage was being able to align faces to the music. Seeing these guys onstage playing several songs, most of which were not on the Uroboros album, give me a better understanding upon Dir En Grey’s discography thus far.
The production and live performance were flawless as camera angle’s shift and slide between the music giving the performance a visual grandeur in which each member of the Japanese quintet keeps the spotlight without being focused primarily on Kyo.
The stage performance was also what made Dir En Grey’s performance counts as smoke and flame throwers add provide a theatrical depth into the hearts and soul’s of the live set in the adrenaline fuelled ‘Hydra’. A personal moment in which each member shined was in ‘The Final’. From Shinya’s tribal drumming to Kyo’s more sombre vocals this song gripped me in a similar way that ‘Glass Skin’ did upon first listen to the Uroboros album.
Overall I found the DVD quite enlightening as these guys fill the gap between studio album band to live perfectionists within a small selection of songs.
The only downfall of the DVD is the lack of special features. It would definitely be a bonus if there were some form of back-story in a documentary form about ‘who these guys are’ and ‘how they came to be’.
These guys have a ‘took my breath away’ factor, which should entice any fan of progressive/ tech metal into this whirlwind of music. Indeed their performance leaves a bittersweet taste, the demand for a UK tour should become stronger than ever with these underground Japanese metal Titans.
(Written by Ben Spencer)
No Videos Available
1. Sa Bir
2. Gaika, Chinmoku Ga Nemuru Koro
4. Inward Scream
5. Hydra -666-
6. Inconvenient Ideal
7. Conceived Sorrow
9. Ware, Yami Tote…
14.Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami
DVD Track Listing:
1. Ware, Yami Tote…
4. Red Soil
5. Stuck Man
6. Doukoku To Sarinu
9. Glass Skin
15.Gaika, Chinmoku Ga Nemuru Koro
17.Agitated Screams Of Maggots
20.Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami