DIR EN GREY‘s new EP “The Unraveling” follows their latest full-length album ‘Dum Spiro Spero’ which was released in 2011. The Unraveling has a new track, ‘Unraveling’, and 6 ’re-recorded’ tracks, but they’re much more than just re recordings. These are some of Diru’s older tracks completely re-imagined in the style of progressive metal that they now play, which has a lot more in common with deathcore in places, minus the breakdowns. But to fully understand “The Unraveling” requires placing it in the context of the incredible musical journey Japanese metal band DIR EN GREY have been on since their inception.
Their early years were characterised by a fairly conventional Visual Kei aesthetic with pop-centric songs, but also a surprisingly dark atmosphere. Since then, the band has grown and evolved on every release. Their second and third albums ‘Macabre’ and ‘鬼葬 (Kisou)’ witnessed the band beginning to delve into a definitely more metal-centric sound, as well as the avant-garde. Their fourth album ‘Vulgar’ is where they really made their mark, unleashing a very heavy, dark, grotesque album that began to move more towards a more American metalcore sound. This evolution became way more apparent on the subsequent albums ‘Withering to death.’ and ‘Marrow of the Bone’. Their two latest albums, ‘UROBOROS’ and ‘Dum Spiro Spero’ are where they really came into their own, however, and are now firmly a progressive metal band. The closest artist I could compare them to would be Opeth, but a significantly more twisted, heavier version with more Eastern influences. Continue reading “Review: DIR EN GREY – “THE UNRAVELING””