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Dir En Grey: Marrow Of The Bone

By Mick Stingley, Contributor
Sunday, February 25, 2007 @ 6:02 AM


Warcon Records

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It's practically impossible to categorize this band as they move effortlessly from song to song; changing styles from brooding rock to screaming metal, high-energy punk, industrial, pop and so on (that they don't have a reggae song is almost a letdown.) One thing that is certain about Dir En Grey: it is a Japanese band.

Dir En Grey has been around for ten years and enjoys an incredible cult following: but this crazy five piece hard rock band only played its first show in the United States last year.

When Dir En Grey was booked to play the Roxy in LA, the sold out so fast, the promoter moved it to the Wiltern and that show sold out in twenty minutes. Their NYC show at Avalon sold-out in fifteen minutes. These guys didn't have a record deal or distribution in the US at the time.

In 2006, they toured as part of Korn's Family Values package... and in about a year's time, Dir En Grey has put out one full record and one EP. And now, less than a year after its American debut, Dir En Grey has a new album and has been selling out venues on the "Inward Scream" American club tour. Pretty impressive for a band that doesn't even sing in English.

Dir En Grey is defiantly Japanese and perhaps this strengthens its appeal, they're certainly unlike most bands out there. It can be quite appealing, though equally frustrating for anyone who hasn't been blown away by the Dir En Grey stage show. Singer Kyo howls and bleats and moans and screams, whispers and talks... and as compelling as the music is, there are more than a few times where one might be inclined to shout, "What the hell is he saying?"

But the music is addictive and that's as good a place as any to start with Dir En Grey. Their sound has the density of Slipknot and Hatebreed, but is often layered with guitars and effects which give Dir En Grey a raw, punk/industrial edge. As is their wont, they can't be pigeonholed. (This band is way more than just "the new Loudness.")

Among the highlights on Marrow Of The Bone: "Lie Buried With Vengeance," the second song on "Marrow" is a heavy rocker which clips along like Pantera remixed by Nine Inch Nails; "The Fatal Believer" stands out for its killer guitar riff; the excellent "Agitated Screams of Maggots" could be a Dope song if Dope was trying to be Trivium. "Track 9" (the title is in Japanese) has the band displaying its moodier, slow side, and much of the song is warm and melodic, with jangling acoustic guitars and some jazzy drums; and the album closes with three very heavy metallic rockers: "Repetition of Hatred;" "The Deeper Vileness" and "Clever Sleazoid."

Dir En Grey has come a long way in its short time here in America; they're crazy, but it's a good kind of crazy. Let's see where that takes them in another year or so...

* * * 1/2

http://www.myspace.com/officialdirengrey
www.direngrey.co.jp

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