Sound — 10
Dir En Grey, by far, is indeed a "rocker", as one might say. This isn't the typical J-pop that you'd hear as the theme of your favorite anime show or something of that nature. Dir En Grey gets down and dirty fast and lets people know they're there. Not only do they influence others to endorse in Japanese rock (J-rock), but they bring out a new sound that is individual, and somewhat inspiring. Songs like "Dead Tree", "Higeki Ha Mabuta Wo Oroshita Yasashiki Utsu", "Itoshisa Ha Fuhai Itsuki", and "The Final" are examples of the band's softer, ballad style. Others execute hardcore riffs and heaviness, like "Merciless Cult", "Saku", "Garbage", and "Spilled Milk". The songs are no joke, and can leave you breathtaken.
Lyrics — 10
Kyo is, by far, the best vocalist you could ask for in such a band as this, or in any band for that matter. It's soothing, yet painful at times, but in a good way. He, noticeably, brings out all of his emotion in singing, and it certainly fits with the music. Also in "Withering To Death", the lyrics of Dir En Grey are psychotic and morbid, as you'd be familiar with from past albums. The lyrics seem to be derivited from pain that Kyo, the lyricist, suffers throughout life, and he can describe in excellent (although sometimes morbid) detail. "The Final" is, by far, one of the most emotional pieces of work I've heard of any band. (Luckily translations come with the CD). It deals a lot withb self-torture, meaningless in life, and suicide. It's striking at first, but when you really get into the lyrics you can almost actually feel what he does. "Kodou" is also very emotional and deals a lot with not being able to avoid fate. It's very catchy and easy to listen to. Another catchy song, my personal favorite, is probably "Machiavellism" which is very easy to get into. It's fast, edgy, got a great rock beat, and most of it is sung in English, so you'll be singing along right away! Although, it is also very depressing within the lyrics, despite it's upbeat sound.
Overall Impression — 10
Dir En Grey are, as cliche as it might sound, impossible to describe in one single word. A bunch you could use would be: individual, different, innovative, talented, amazing, unique, twisted, morbid, dark, heavy, soft, sad, persuasive, inflicting, definitive, and very easy to enjoy. They've definitely changed my viewpoint on Japanese music, after listening to few J-pop artists. These guys are like no other band. They know what they're doing. I deeply desire that anyone should also pick up their older albums like "Gauze" and "Vulgar" in some way. Those are also great Dir En Grey one-of-a-kinds and so are the other releases from them. If I had lost this album, I'd most definitely buy it again in any way that I could. This band is amazing and I couldn't be any happier after discovering them.