Photo highlights from Dir En Grey's set on the Zippo Encore Stage at Download Festival 2013.
Despite the wealth of talent that exists in the land of the rising sun, J-rock bands still find it impossible to gain...
Despite the wealth of talent that exists in the land of the rising sun, J-rock bands still find it impossible to gain a wider audience. Lucky for Dir en grey that they have a celebri-fans like Korn to support their cause then. Infamous for their obtuse and ambiguous lyrics, their message further complicated by the fact that a lot of their lyrics are in Japanese, overcoming something as fundamental as the language barrier means that Dir en grey need to bond with the listener on a largely primal basis, letting the music, literally, do all their talking. The hypnotic tribal rhythm of Sa Bir sets the tone before the band's more Prog-ish tendencies emerge on the ten minute Vinushka, featuring acoustic meanderings, spacious keyboard washes and an explosion of thrashing six-strings. Subscribing to the Mike Patton school of schizophrenia, vocalist Kyo certainly makes the most of his vocal athletics on the Mr Bungle jazz funk of Reiketsu Nariseba. Elsewhere they mix and match styles from the operatic grandeur of Nightwish to the rock sheen of Queensryche whilst sharing a similar dedication to complex musical form as Dragonforce, but minus the shredding. Welcome Dir en grey, we are Japan, you are Godzilla.
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Dir en grey are still way ahead of the game...
We don't mind though, because it's awesome.