Dir En Grey, the multi-talented Japanese rock/metal band, return to action with the frankly insane single ‘different sense’ which combines a love of brutal death metal with soaring melodies and a dodgy obsession with the eighties via Tina Turner, Duran Duran and Genesis. It sounds much as it is: insane, and yet when it works, as it does here, it works damn well and the resulting mix is a prodigiously exciting mix of genres guaranteed to please fans and thrill newcomers with its sheer audacity and verve.
With the title track displaying a dextrous vitality, it jumps cheerily between helium voiced extremity and beautifully melodic eighties pop music. Indeed the mid section wouldn’t sound out of place on a Tears for Fears record if it wasn’t for the mind-bending guitars and occasional yelps underpinning the stunning clean vocals. That is, of course, as naught compared to the genre busting verses which mix brutal death metal, Meshuggah-esque poly-rhythms and unhinged vocals to searing effect. It is, perhaps, a little too genre-hopping for fans who favour a more straight-forward approach, but for those who favour a little sonic experimentation then it will delight the senses.
‘Tsumi to kisei’ moves away from melody into the realms of a Clive Barker with the music every bit as unpleasant and doom laden as inserting rusty hooks into lumps of white flesh to see what squirms out. It’s short, shocking and deeply harrowing and all the better for it, with Dir En grey once again proving that they are the masters of diversity, as comfortable employing excruciating death metal as they are of throwing crazed hair-metal moves and it is a powerful, painful example of the genre.
The final track is a live rendition of crowd favourite ‘red soil’ which receives a pristine production job and showcase the band in full-on ‘death-metal-played-by-refused mode’. Stylistically recalling the aforementioned Swedish maestros crossed with hair metal, the song suffers a massive mood swing that sends the whole thing spiralling off in a considerably heavier, darker direction than you might imagine and the track also demonstrates the sheer vocal power of Kyo and his fellow mentalists. With hints of Mike Patton’s scattershot approach to music making, this is eclectic and exciting and a tantalising taste of forthcoming album ‘Dum Spiro Spero’ which is due out in August.
Exciting, unusual and pretty unique Dir En Grey’s digital single is available now from Gan-Shin records and comes highly recommended.