Dir en Grey - Withering to Death (Cover Artwork)

Dir en Grey

Dir en Grey: Withering to DeathWithering to Death (2006)
Warcon Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: SirensSirens
(others by this writer | submit your own)

One thing I've noticed on this site was the lack of overseas reviews by the staff. The International Spotlight does a great job introducing new bands from around the world, and sure, there's a few of those Europe bands everyone loves here and there. But there are a lot of styles going unnoticed by t.
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One thing I've noticed on this site was the lack of overseas reviews by the staff. The International Spotlight does a great job introducing new bands from around the world, and sure, there's a few of those Europe bands everyone loves here and there. But there are a lot of styles going unnoticed by the readers. One being J-rock (Japanese rock), or Visual Kei, have you.

A few years after we bombed Japan (circa 1992), they started to show the effects in their music. J-rock really took hold in `92-`93, with bands like Larc~en~Ceil and Malice Mizer ruling the airwaves. Dir en Grey (Diru) came along and went against the average J-rock band. Diru is known for the craziness and originality they bring to the J-rock genre. Their style consists of a variety of music from metal to punk to even ballads. The singer (we'll call him Kyo) can impress listeners with his unique voice ranging from growls to falsetto. Maybe the lyrics will give some a rouse...

You walk the mountain road made of corpses smiling. Again you reach out and ants gather under the lily under the sun. People that can't redeem have ash, tears, and tacitunity in both their hands... What's cruel is when the sun and the moon come together. Even tomorrow looks away. On the Red Day you question taciturnity...
It's also the effort Kyo puts into his vocals, live or recorded, that makes him a great frontman. The album explodes with "Merciless Cult," and keeps on at it for the first couple tracks.

The guitar work in Withering to Death is by no means groundbreaking, but it's how Kaoru and Die match up their playingâ?¦they don't, but they blend together fine, and it's what makes Diru, Diru (Saku and Machiavellism are good examples). I couldn't go on without noting Toshiya's bass work on the album; it would be empty without his style (songs like "The Final" and "Kodoku ni Shisu, Yueni Kodoku"). Shinya's percussion also needs some praise (again "The Final," also "C").

Diru is a refreshing band because of their ability to go from brutal metal then burst into catchy melodic choruses making listeners want to sing along... but it's Japanese. The slower songs on this album display Diru's softer side, but at times it just seems like they just threw the song together and it just drags on ("Higeki wa Mabuta o Oroshita Yasashiki Utsu" at 5:08).

Unlike most Diru albums there aren't any guitar solos or bass solos. They approached this album with an attitude toward making music that a listener could feel, without all of the showing off. And it's the sign of progress -- bands do that sometimes. However, in their earlier work they could show a few people who was boss.

After the disc comes to an end, and depressing yet satisfying screams are screamed, older Diru fans are left disappointed as Diru leaves the Visual Kei genre and reach out toward their creative inner-selves. Newer fans of the more aggressive Diru will be pleased and encourage the newer style. Highly recommended for those looking for a new thrill.


People who liked this also liked:
Bullet for My Valentine - The PoisonBright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning / Digital Ash In A Digital UrnMy Chemical Romance - Three Cheers For Sweet RevengeI Am Ghost - Lovers' RequiemThe Used - In Love And DeathRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessNorma Jean - O' God, The AftermathSaviours - CrucifireExplosions in the Sky - All of a Sudden I Miss EveryoneThe Pax Cecilia - Blessed Are the Bonds

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Pretty-n-Punk (March 6, 2008)

lol ppl on here are so critical!!
I think they're pretty good.
especially "The Final" - awesome song!

Anonymous (July 5, 2007)

Diru (i've never heard of this shouryaku, though) sucks.
X Japan were the forerunners in visual kei, by the way, which was in the early/mid 80s.

The best Japanese band around is Go!Go! 7188
Watch their video "Koi No Uta" on youtube and tell me you DONT want to see them when they play the Empty Bottle Chicago in August.

And to the reviewer, those lyrics sound like 15 year old lyrics...go watch your anime, loser.

Anonymous (July 4, 2007)

"comparing dir en grey to envy is like comparing disturbed to isis"

Yes, and much like Disturbed, Dir en Grey suck big donkey balls.

Anonymous (July 1, 2007)

I saw these guys last nite and holy god they were terrible. The lead singer sounds like picachoo. The guys voice is unique but it's also horrible. He kept doing like Tychee then he would bust into some horrible Korn grunting shit.

Anonymous (July 1, 2007)

Dir En Grey had a long-running Visual Kei phase, but this album is their first when they started to "snap out of it" (the singer was still kinda decked out, but that's about it.) Unfortunately after this album they ventured into writing 50 percent nu-metal on their new album...

Oh, and where is the BORIS love? For sure they're one of the better Japanese bands.

CCSummers (June 30, 2007)

best japanese band is envy, hands down. mono in close second.

Anonymous (June 30, 2007)

"Dir en grey is okay.

Envy reigns supreme."

comparing dir en grey to envy is like comparing disturbed to isis.

branden (June 30, 2007)

"polysics is clearly the greatest japanese band (softball was a close second). "

potshot is at number one, but those are two and three, for sure.

this album title is hilarious.

Anonymous (June 30, 2007)

this comment thread needs more Mono

Anonymous (June 29, 2007)

Hey guys. It's cool if you don't like Visual Kei. But don't pretend that you even know what it is. This Dir en grey album isn't even VK.

Anonymous (June 29, 2007)

Dir en Grey are terrible. You guys need to listen to more Melt Banana.

Visual Kei is pretty much the Japanese equivalent of Nu-metal in the states, except a million times worse. This would mean that DeG are the Visual Kei version of Slipknot.

Anonymous (June 29, 2007)

This album is a genuine piece of art. Dir en grey is different from Japanese rock bands because they are capable of showing true musicianship from the beginning to the end of every album. So many Japanese artists focus on their visual style and being popular with teenagers instead of the music they create. Dir en grey sincerely puts emotion into each and every song, especially in live performances. You can tell they have an unending passion for what they do, which is more than anyone could say for most bands hailing from any country these days. ...and I would agree not to place them under the "punk" genre.

skolarx (June 29, 2007)

polysics is clearly the greatest japanese band (softball was a close second).

anyway, dir en grey is horrible recorded but kind of interesting live

Anonymous (June 29, 2007)

Melt bannana blows.

Dir en grey is okay.

Envy reigns supreme.

video_cognito (June 29, 2007)

Fuck this noise. The only Japanese band worth talking about is Melt-Banana.

Anonymous (June 29, 2007)

I heard a few songs by these guys and thought it was fucking terrible. Visual Kei is one of those shitty parts of Japanese culture that American Japanophiles go apeshit for just because it's from Japan. If an American or European band was doing this, it would be written off as the garbage it is. Meanwhile, there are plenty of Japanese bands that are actually good but won't ever get any exposure outside of that country because it doesn't inspire losers to dress up in anime costumes and masturbate to thoughts of having a Japanese girlfriend.

maxethunders (June 29, 2007)

I like this album and the band. Plus, if you ever get the chance to see them live, do it it's definitely worth it. Lots of teenage girls screamin and it's funny when Kyo(singer) cuts himself because they all go quiet. And he does it every time that I've seen Dir En Grey live.

Anonymous (June 29, 2007)

Next time review some good punk please

ElVaquero (June 29, 2007)

I agree with the first post

coldwaffles (June 29, 2007)


coldwaffles (June 29, 2007)

Uhm, I would imagine this genre isn't reviewed because: A: it is no where near DYI from it's origin. B: it sounds nothing like punk.

Anonymous (June 29, 2007)

i just saw these guys open for deftones in st. louis. they are most likely the worst band i have EVER heard. they were so bad they were getting booed by the crowd. this shit was horrible 10 years ago.

sirens (June 29, 2007)

haha i reviewed this about a year and a half ago. i wish i could rereview it a week after hearing it.

Anonymous (June 29, 2007)

This review is so shitty. The writer is attempting to sound like he knows what he's talking about but it comes off like the writing of a high school music nerd...and not in a good way. Also, the band sucks ass.

poonk (June 29, 2007)

This band represents everything that is wrong in Japanese rock music. (the worse being that they will probably get huge stateside...)

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