Local Wire

Dir En Grey

This Japanese rock band is huge in its home country, and it's starting to make waves here in the States, despite being way too cool for us. Dir En Grey is seriously the hippest hard metal band to hit the Western world in a long time. Originally part of Japan's flamboyant Visual Kei movement (which often includes crazy hairstyles and extreme makeup), the five-piece band has opted for a more conventional, brooding goth-metal look in recent years, an aesthetic that also oozes and rages from their six studio album, The Marrow of a Bone. Songs like "Lie Buried with a Vengeance" and "Clever Schizoid" lurch and screech along a barrage of hammering drums and reverberating power chords, while others, like "The Pledge," swoon through their misery with dark, dramatic guitars and singer Kyo's incredibly compelling wail, which sometimes resembles that of a higher-range Japanese Morrissey. But the best track is "The Fatal Believer," a brutal metal onslaught in which Kyo combines his low-range croon with throaty screeches and guttural growls. The band tries on several styles throughout the album, without sacrificing its intensity or heaviness, and it pays off sublimely. Domo arigato, Dir En Grey.
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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea