Sound — 10
Dir en grey is one of the most unique bands I have ever touched at. Their sound is not alike any others. Since their first album, their growth as a band and their sound was stable. From single to single, their growth was stable. Until Vulgar. Vulgar, DEG's 4th album was much different from their other albums. This album included all kinds of genres including heavy, speed metal, hardcore, alternative rock, funk, and behop. Listening to it was like traveling in their world of Vulgar. Vulgar's message is about the dying world as people and society decays. There are hardly any skippable tracks for me. A must have for a music listener.
Lyrics — 10
Before I start, I realize that many people ignore Japanese music because the lyrics! I ensure you, when you listen to Dir En Grey, Kyo's (vocal) voice hit you hard at the heart. Deeply, the meaning and the lyrics burn slowly at your mind. When you come to realize it, you're already singing along! By the way, DEG always includes english translations to their later releases. The lyrics are a perfect reflection of the image that the other instruments are drawing. Dir En Grey's music are "to spread the feeling of hurt and sorrow caused by weakness, shallowness and egoism of humanity" - Dir En Grey official site. Kyo would never write a good ending to a song. A sense of sadness or anger could be heard with every word. Kyo could scream like a blood thirsty madman and the next second his voice could hypnotize every listener with his keen, smooth and sad voice. No word can describe his skills, you have to hear him for yourself.
Overall Impression — 10
Vulgar is not as catching as their other albums. But as you listen to it more and more, you hear more detail that you overlooked the last time you listen to it. In the end, every song in this ablum is superb. Every hidden detail are discovered by keen listeners. Give Vulgar time and you will discover the greatness of this album. Every song is strong in emotion and meaning. The album starts off with a haunting sound then is silenced by Kyo's bloodcurling scream and heavy guitars, audience Killer Loop is my favourite song and is a perfect opening for Vulgar. As the album moves along, feelings of hate, sadness, anger, and pity spin around your head (especially when listening with head phones). Every song was brilliant, both when listened alone and when listened as an album. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th tracks: The Iiid Empire, Increase Blue and Shokubeni could not have been so close to the word perfect if it wasn't for Kyo's voice. I had to admit that despite my personal preference in the guitar line. After the first part of the album was over, the main course was next which it surprised me with its soft and catching melody of Saijo No Uta. The funky guitar and the upbeat drums kept listeners dazed as Kyo sang up and down. During the guitar solo, the tempo slowed down to emphasize the simple, but beautiful guitar solo. As this beautiful funky ballad song ended with Kyo's breath for air, the intro of another slow song began. Red... (em) sounded much like Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" but as you listened on, you realize that it is incomparable (neither in a good or bad way). You must listen for yourself, I can't explain this flood of emotions I experienced during this song. All I can say is that listen carfully when the bass-line builds up the emotion before "breaking" during the guitar solo and next on to the hate-filled and sad bridge. Then Vulgar makes its way back upon its heavy sounded songs. Each song peaked at its meaning and made the way to the next song. The 13th track, Obscure had both a destructive feeling and beautiful melody at the same time. The album ended with Amber. As I listened to it I felt a sense of kindness (very rare for a DeG song). The bass line was cool and the pre-solo part was very cool. The song ended but Kyo whispered "bye bye" silently on and on. At first I did not like this album at all, but in the end I understood Vulgar. This is DeG's best album yet. I would definitly purchase another copy of this CD if it was lost. I really recommend any people who have interest to and heavy bands or people who are looking for something new. However, despite the category that I mentioned above, I really recommend Dir en grey to anyone who are suffering from sadness or hatred. Despite Vulgar's destructive image, it washes away those feelings especially Amber (the last track). You can visit their official site at www.direngrey.co.jp they have an english page and translated lyrics for most of their songs.