Band: Dir En Grey
Dir En Grey’s Arche is a return to their roots. If you do not know the band they never stick to a genre. Every song of theirs is different. They’ve had a death metal album, a metalcore album, a rock album, a more pop rock or pop punk phase, and most recently, this album. The band started out as a typical visual kei band, but soon took off that mold and became a truly unique band. The lead singer, Kyo, was a roadie with famous bands such as X Japan. He has also written 2 or more poetry books, one of which I believe was included for a time with one of their albums.
Every song is unique. Each song keeps the same style but they are all unique in their own right. This makes the album fun to listen to multiple times. Every song can also stand on its own. You will not tire out of this album. There are slower and lighter songs, and there are crushing and mind blowing songs. Each song is fluid and they change. One song that starts out slow may speed up and vice versa. They are all enjoyable on their own as well. Each song carries a separate story. Though none of them are happy, no matter how upbeat a few of these songs sound.
The vocalist is absolutely mind blowing. His range is so expansive it still sends shivers up my spine. He can go from a deep, rumbling, yet smooth voice to a pitch rivaling Bruce Dickenson. His growls are menacing, sounding exactly like what a demon would sound like. His screams are terrifying. They sound like the screeches of an otherworldly being. I have never heard anything like it. A deathcore or death metal vocalist may have raw power, but Kyo has more than that. He has this terrifying atmosphere to his screams and growls, its very hard to describe. As if a demon was screaming right at you, as if you had unleashed the fury of the dark pits of hell.
The atmosphere of this album is near indescribable, but I will do my best. Each song changes the atmosphere, but it does so fluidly. The songs just make the atmosphere darker and more menacing. As mentioned earlier, the vocalist sounds like you unleashed the chasms of hell. The whole album is as if you are witnessing the end of the world. It has that sorrow and feeling of finality. It also perfectly captures that feeling of ferociousness. That feeling of chaos that everything that is known is coming to an end.
Each song also gets more intense. Not just in terms of screams or brutality, but feeling. The last song, Revelation of Mankind, is the most intense, dramatic song I’ve ever heard. Yes, more intense than bands like Infant Annihilator and Devourment. The atmosphere very much helps with this. Even the parts where it is just the singer, they carry the atmosphere and add to it.
This album has feeling. It feels alive and real. The instrumentation is fantastic. Every hit of the drums or strum of the guitars adds to the feel and awe of each song. No instrument is let out. From the bass to the singer, each instrument plays an integral part in this album. Nothing is overlooked, helping the fullness and vitality of this album.
It can be too polished. As much as I’ve drooled over the feeling of this album, I know it can have even more. Their live performances show this. You can see it on near countless youtube videos. There is clearly something missing. Something about the vocals, something about the instruments is off. This album has soul, a deep, dark, evil soul, but it doesn’t have the same soul they put on stage.
This album is an absolute work of art. I spent ten minutes trying to find something wrong with it. I’ve had this album in my car stereo for at least two years, and I still love it to death. The atmosphere, the way the songs stick in your soul, just makes me love it. The vocalist is one of the best of all time. It always leaves me craving more. Even though I don’t speak Japanese, I can still feel the raw emotion. As I said there could be more but it was lost in polishing. Though that still doesn’t take anything away from this album. I would frame it and hang it up in my room if I didn’t leave it in my car. If you are looking to be thrown into an emotional masterpiece this will be your favorite album.