Sound — 9
Dir en Grey's signature sound of having no real specific sound shines in their first American-released album, Withering to Death. Each of the 14 tracks on the album all have a different stylistic approach. The first song, Merciless Cult, begins with a rather slow, almost spooky intro. After the rather slow guitar intro, the vocal's come in. The song stays at a slow pace until Kyo begins screaming. It picks up a bit until he begins singing again. From there on out it repeats that pattern until the end when the song picks up while Kyo alternates between singing and screaming. The next song couldn't be any more different. It begins immediately with a heavy guitar and drum intro. Kyo begins to sing and the song ensues with him screaming every now and then until the song slows down for the pre-chorus. Then it quickly speeds up when the actual chorus begins. I could sit here all day and list every song, but that would just take too long. The only real problem with Dir en Grey's sound is that would be almost impossible to tell if a song was by Dir en Grey if it weren't for Kyo. Each song is different, so it's almost impossible to pin an exact genre or sound.
Lyrics — 6
It's really hard to talk about the lyrics in this album. It's not because Kyo is hard to understand, it's because almost the entire CD is in Japanese. Whenever there are English words, it's more or less impossible to tell that their singing in English. The chorus for the third song, Saku, is in English, but you wouldn't know that unless you looked up the lyrics. This is probably what would turn most people off from the band.
Overall Impression — 8
This is probably one of my favorite albums ever. I would highly suggest to buy this if you like a mixture of genres, or if you just want something a bit different. The only real problem with the album is the Japanese lyrics and the fact that it's hard to match a song's name to the song it belongs to. I've been listening to this album for almost two months, and I could probably name three or four of the songs just by hearing them. Other than that, it's one of the best album's I've ever heard.