They dress up like MARILYN MANSON rejects and sing in Japanese. Ya gotta hand it to anyone crazy enough to take a chance on this band, supposedly one of the biggest in the Land of the Rising Sun — I can't picture hordes of English-speaking kids flocking to this scattershot mixed bag of twisted, melodic metal, but stranger things have happened.DIR EN GREY like to mix things up — take the third track, which sports a melodic chorus that would sound great on the radio, bookended by filthy distorted thrash parts and bellowed death metal vocals. Or track five — which comes up as a bunch of Japanese characters on my iPod — a syrupy AOR song with vocals smooth enough to bring FALCO back from the grave. There's jagged bits of punk, SLIPKNOT moments, silly chipmunk vocal parts, death metal bellows, and chunky riffs all thrown into a blender and set on "anime." The whole thing just sounds a little too intentionally goofy and disjointed to these ears. The singer usually has a great, bombastic chorus to throw in, although he could well be using the same one for every song, but the rest of this is like some kind of neon snow globe. It's all flashy and distracting, but there's very little of substance behind it. It's their fifth album, and they've obviously got fans, no doubt attracted to the manic energy they admittedly exude. But after all the brash hoopla contained here, almost nothing sticks in your memory, and DIR EN GREY is consigned to novelty status. Download "Dead Tree", and if you like it, imagine it doused in sugar and festooned with marshmallow bits. That's the rest of the songs. I freely admit that I may just not get it, but "Withering to Death" does absolutely nothing for me.
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appears next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).