Sound — 9
Dir En Grey's eighth studio album is now avalible, after 2008's massively successful, "Uroboros". I've been listening intently to this album solid from its release, with my first listen to it I was left with a scrambled brain and left exausted by how chaotic and messey it was - it's no easy listen by any means, it takes a solid few listens for you to digest it all. In my eye's a hard-to-listen-to album is money well spent, it's probably taken me about 8 listens to get to the stage I am now where I can write a review and say that it is a very good album, indeed. If you were to be harsh on this album - or only listened to it a couple of times - you could just call it a one trick pony - this would be wrong though, because even though, yes, it does keep to the same evil grunting metal pace almost all the way threw the album, it still brings a little bit of the variation "Uroboros" brought you. It's one of them albums that starts off with you cussing the band for burning you with such a mess, let it sink in a few times and you'll relise there is alot more to the album than first thought. You'll notice little bits here and there that make you relise just how great the songs are. The singles pretty much sum up what the album will sound like: "Different Sense" being a balls-to-the-wall metal track, where it leads to a great melodic chorus and a bitchin' solo; "Lotus" is one of the few mellow tracks, and is easily the one you'll attach yourself to at first, for being easily accessible and "Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No" - being my favourite single out of the bunch - being just as heavy and fast as Different Sense, only it's fast and heavy threw-out. Basically, to summize the singles, you get two heavy and one fast, that's basically what you get with the album, with ever easy accessible song there is 3 others that are heavy as sin and hard to get into. The rewards for sticking with the album though, are well worth it though and it's definitely a strong sounding album.
Lyrics — 8
As with every Diru review I do, there isn't alot I can say about the lyrics. The lyric booklet translations leave much to be desired. However, what people can relate to is Kyo's amazing voice. A personnal opinion here is that I felt Kyo didn't use his voice to quite the epicness he has done in the past. That's not to say his voice isn't amazing on this album, but there are less tracks where you go, "wow, Kyo just blew my mind with that bit" partly down to the album going deeper into the darker side of music, so for the most part Kyo screams, grunts, whales, etc, which isn't a bad thing, and it is pretty impressive, but his vocals don't have the same value "Uroboros" had.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, on first listen I was disappointed, now I can say it's an amazing album, that while not their best work to-date, still provides an amazing ride from start to finish. I'm not massively into heavy, heavy music, which this very much is, but this still didn't stop me from loving it. If your a long time Diru fan that prefers the old stuff, I'm sure they'll have a thing or two to grumble about, but confident the majority of fans will end up loving it anyway. If your a newcomer, I recommend trying their other work first before venturing into this dark beast. Either way it's probably an album-of-the-year contender for me. Standout tracks: - "Different Sense" - "Amon" - "Shitataru Mourou" - "Diabolos" - "Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No" - "Ruten No Tou"