DIR EN GREY are a band whose past seems to haunt them. They formed in 1997 in Osaka, Japan as a visual kei band playing a sort of gothic-themed type of rock music. Visual Kei is “a movement among Japanese musicians, that is characterized by the use of varying levels of make-up, elaborate hair styles and flamboyant costumes, often coupled with androgynous aesthetics.” Their image from their early years has done them no favours with much of the western metal community, which in my view is an absolute tragedy. DEG have been on a continuous evolution as a band, moving from alternative rock to a unique style of metalcore. In 2008, with Uroboros, they continued their evolution by exploring elements of death metal, progressive metal, and avant-garde music. These elements were explored and deepened in 2011’s Dum Spiro Spero producing their most accomplished album yet with long, haunting, pieces, significant orchestration, and a level of unprecedented unpredictability. On ARCHE DEG continues that natural evolution.