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on 29 July 2010
I've just discovered Dir en grey, as they are not really the style of music that I normally listen to. That said, they are a pretty unique band, and I couldn't resist buying this album, mainly based on the tracks Merciless Cult, Saku and Kodou (which are probably the best songs on the album, and I would recommend downloading "Kodou" for an idea of what Diru sound like).

Dir en grey seem to swing between quite middle of the road "J rock", which is listenable, but not that fantastic, and some songs and sections which are truly out of this world. Their vocalist is capable of some pretty incredible vocal feats, and some of the music is really very unique. There are elements of heaviness, but also more mellow moments, creating a pretty good mix of moods and atmospheres. If you're not already a fan, I can't really say who else they sound like, since this isn't a type of music I often listen to, but I would definitely recommend listening to one or two songs to get an idea, and I would recommend this album to fans of rock and metal, as it would appeal to quite a wide range of fans of heavier music.

I would also recommend Uroboros as another great album by Diru, if you enjoyed this one.
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on 8 March 2006
Withering to Death is the fifth major album by Dir en grey after Gauze, Macabre, Kisou and Vulgar. Deg's fans are usually pretty divided when it comes to the preferred Dir en grey sound. Some prefer their earlier Visual Kei stylings of Gauze and Macabre (with Gauze being produced by X JAPAN superstar YOSHIKI) whilst others prefer their new hard rock sound.
Withering to Death quite simply has something to please everyone and is possibly the best album for them to release internationally. Its mix of hard and soft rock has endeared it to many Deg fans. It contains hard and heavy tracks like "Saku" and "Merciless Cult", trademark Deg tracks like "C", cheerier attidude-driven numbers like "Jesus Christ Rn'R" and even some touching ballads such as "Higeki ha Mabuta wo Oroshita Yasashiki Utsu". Its a truly standout album and better than previous release Vulgar which, despite some memorable tracks, was perhaps their least accessible album. Withering to Death has a considerable number of great tracks but if pressed to pick my favourite I would probably pick the last track, Kodou. It is a hard rock track with a subdued vocal performance from the usually psychotic vocalist Kyo and its melody is emotinally gripping. The video that accompanies the track is another reason why this song resonates.
For those who are unacquainted with Dir en grey, they consist of Kyo (vocals), Kaoru (guitar), Die (guitar), Toshiya (bass) and Shinya (drums). They are quite a visually shocking band albeit less so than when they started out. In their beginnings it was not unusual for them to be dressed in PVC, leather, metal and heels with gravity defying neon hair and gothic face paint.
Today, Dir en grey retain a subdued visual look. Dyed hair still prevails, as does the odd eye-liner but they are easier on the eye and probably easier for Western audiences to accept.
In conclusion, this is an excellent release for Dir en grey and hopefully it will help them garner the international success they deserve. Parents may worry about their rather extreme lyrics and themes but they are still musically challenging and refreshing.
Also of note are their previous albums (see above) and a few other j-rock bands such as X JAPAN (who inspired Deg and helped them get started0 and Malice Mizer (who are similar in theme).
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on 27 May 2005
In my opinion, this is one of Diru's finest albums. While the sound is different to older works such as Gauze and Macabre, it still carries that edge that is unmistakably Dir en grey. Die and Kaoru's guitar is immaculate, Toshiya's bass is again flawless, Shinya's drumming awesome, and of course, Kyo's vocals remain as amazing as ever, able to go from soft and quiet to screaming his head off in a split second - a talent that is most easily seen in "dead tree".
The album jumps right in from the first track, "Merciless Cult", and doesn't stop rocking right up until final track, "Kodou". The album also contains a couple of softer tracks, such as "Itoshisa ha fuhai nitsuki", which has amazing, interweaving guitar parts, and "Higeki ha mabuta wo oroshita yasashiki utsu", easily the softest track on the album, which features some wonderful drumming and some acoustic guitar. Both songs, of course, have perfect vocals from our little Kyo. The album also features some of Diru's recent singles: "THE FINAL", and "-saku-", alongside "Machiavellism".
All in all, this is a wonderful CD, and Dir en grey have really outdone themselves this time. If you buy "Withering to death.", you will not be disappointed.
Kaoru, Kyo, Die, Shinya, and Toshiya... we salute you.
1. Merciless Cult
2. C
3. -saku-
4. Kodoku ni Shisu, Yueni Kodoku
5. Itoshisa ha fuhai nitsuki
6. Jesus Christ R'n R
8. Machiavellism
9. dead tree
11. Beautiful Dirt
12. Spilled Milk
13. Higeki ha mabuta wo oroshita yasashiki utsu
14. Kodou
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on 3 September 2011
this is probably my favourite dir en grey album. its probably not everyone's cup of tea but it's certainly mine.
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on 12 June 2006
This album is deinetly up there with dir en greys best work the track listing features some of their fantastic heavy rock tracks like saku and beautiful dirt.

But also some of their powerful music such as the final and kodou which really keep the cd alive so that you can listen to it over and over again

this cd is definetly one of my favourites and will remain so i advise any new dir en grey fan to purchase the cd if they want to here some of dir en greys best tracks
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on 11 September 2006
Dir en Grey became my favourite band earlier this year. This album is brilliant you'll find yourself singing along whether you speak japanese or not!!!!

A must for anyone who likes rock music
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on 26 April 2006
Dir En Grey are the lastest westurn alternative fad to come out of Japan. Speaking Japanese myself and being fimiliar with the countries way of life, i know first hand who Dir En Grey are and what they are about. The album itself is devised of very modern brain dead guitar riffs with lyrics to cause shock value, with no real meaning or poise for themselves it is very hard for a speaker of Japanese, who is very much into Japanese music, such as Malice Mizer, SID, MUCC, Shiina Ringo etc, to digest this. I beleive that the album is depressive, unnececerraly and filthy, in a sadistic and brutal way. To get away with such sadistic lyrics in music, especially in music that teens may want to listen to, a band needs an excuse, or a cirtain pride in what and why they are doing it, not admittedly to shock there fans and cause disgust. they also need image to fall back on, so they can say "hey it was just a thing you know?", although Dir En Grey lack this. In many interviews i translated, Kyo has said things like "I love to shock people, and see the look on there faces", and this is just not what music is about, especially when in Japan there are many artists working hard to make music to cheer the over worked youth of Japan up. Each track is layed out like a disturbing poem, as if every track is another go at forcing the listener to take his/her earphones out and throw them to the floor. Dir En Grey have an image, they have a sound. But there image is cirtainly mockable and un origonal, as the girls of Harajuku point out quite easily and there sound requires no taste or emotion.
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