It's not often that you are treated to something completely original that it can't be categorized to a tee. Enter DIR EN GREY. They have been around since 1997 and now things are just beginning to blow up for them in my opinion. I have never heard a record that was so diverse, dynamic and hypnotic as this. "Merciless Cult" adds plenty of aggressive and angry guitar work, yet there is a melody in there somewhere and it's sort of catchy. The vocals are entrancing because they are slightly high, but not annoying. There are growls in there that are evil as fuck as well, but only help compliment the song. Some electronic atmosphere is tossed in for good measure and in the end, you have something that you haven't heard before.
The tempo is faster paced for "C" and even catchier than the opener. This one has more of a Metallic vibe in here as well and you just help but root for these guys. Hot damn! The aggressive factor is turned way up as 'Saku" has dirtier and meaner vocals while the drums are pounding away as if tomorrow doesn't exist. It sounds like Metal-Scream-O-Emocore, but there is so much more to it than that. "Itoshisa Ha" threw me for a major loop as it goes for a more commercial sound that would succeed on an alternative radio station. This one has a really smooth beat with a catchy bass line and the rhythm is just cool as hell. The vocals hit the high and whiney side, but all is forgiven because I am just so entranced by this number. These sons of bitches will have you hooked on their disc from beginning to end because there is just so much material to soak in and the number of twists and turns it takes.
You know, while they may be gothic looking, they are anything, but that. I think they are part MARILYN MANSON meet NIN and all you have to do is add Metal, Pop, rhythm and growly vocals to the mix and you have what I believe is the most original thing to come out on the scene in a long while. I must admit that when I first heard this, it was not bad. The second time around, I wasn't that into it, but I guess that the third time is the charm. (Online June 6, 2006)