Gives A Different Sense
Few bands defy categorization in the way that Dir En Grey manages to achieve. The Japanese quintet began life as a visual kei band (the equivalent of glam rock), before branching out into heavy metal, nu metal, progressive metal, even death metal, and parts beyond. And, most surprisingly, they perform all of these diverse subgenres with uncanny ease. The group continues to expand their repertoire on eighth full-length, Dum Spiro Spero.
Opener “The Blossoming Beelzebub” is more of a sonic landscape than a conventional song, weaving sharp guitar jabs within plodding drums and high, wailing vocals. The record kicks off in earnest with “Different Sense”, mixing traditional death metal with operatic interludes, and featuring vocalist Kyo’s signature gut-wrenching roars, powerful tenor, and everything in between. “’Yokusou Ni Dreambox’ Aruiwa Seijuku No Rinen To Tsumetai Ame” shows some metalcore and avant-garde influence, almost a Dillinger Escape Plan kind of influence, complete with unexpected thrash breaks and atonal guitar work. “Lotus” is a softer, more progressive track, allowing bassist Toshiya to stretch out, while “Diabolus” recalls the grunge-tinged metal of yesteryear, albeit with a surprise harpsichord breakdown. Finally, the record winds down with the shambling death/prog of “Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakanetsu No Yami,” once again featuring Kyo’s mind-boggling vocal range, before closing the door with “Ruten No Tou” and its almost danceable chorus.
Fans of the band will certainly want to own this. This is one of Dir En Grey’s heavier records, and as such will appeal to fans of the more extreme metals, as well as fans of the progressive and the avant-garde. As long as understanding the lyrics isn’t a stumbling block, give Dum Spiro Spero a spin. You’re sure to find something you love about it.