DIR EN GREY Announces the Release of Dum Spiro Spero

DIR EN GREY will release their 8th studio album Dum Spiro Spero on August 2 on The End Records. Dum Spiro Spero is the follow up to Uroboros (check our review). A special edition of the album featuring a CD, digipak with bonus tracks and double vinyl will be available as well. Details to be announced shortly.

Dum Spiro Spero will contain 14 tracks including “Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami” (featured on Saw 3D soundtrack), “Lotus”, and “Different Sense.” Full track listing to be announced in the near future.

DIR EN GREY and APOCALYPTICA Team Up for Co-Headlining Tour

Japan’s DIR EN GREY and Finland’s APOCALYPTICA will be teaming up for a co-headlining tour that kicks off August 23rd in Toronto. Pre-order tickets and VIP packages go on sale this Friday, July 16th (via DIR EN GREY‘s Internet Fan Community), and the public on-sale begins a week later on Friday, July 23rd.

Tour dates:
08/23 – Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy
08/24 – New York, NY @ Nokia Theatre
08/26 – Boston, MA @ Royale
08/27 – Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live
08/28 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
08/30 – Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage
08/31 – St. Louis, [email protected] Pageant
09/01 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
09/02 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave.
09/04 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
09/05 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theatre
09/07 – Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
09/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia Live
09/10 – San Francisco, CA @ Grand Ballroom at Regency
09/11 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo

DIR EN GREY pre-sale tickets: http://tixx1.artistarena.com/direngrey/

DIR EN GREY @ House of Blues, Hollywood (11/22/09)

[slidepress gallery=’dir-en-grey-091122′]

DIR EN GREY rocked the house on the second of a two-night stint at the House of Blues in Hollywood. As expected, zealous fans lined up along the venue all day in order to reserve their much coveted spots close to the stage. Once the intro hardcore song was played, the crowd quickly sang along, screaming “Kill, kill, kill!” After much wait, DIR EN GREY took the stage and the crowd went absolutely apeshit. In all my years photographing bands at the House of Blues, I’ve never seen a crowd push forward so hard that the barriers in front of the stage were forced up against the stage.

With fans coming from all over the country and even from Mexico, DIR EN GREY did not disappoint their fans. The band played a longer set than in any previous U.S. tours and reached back into their back catalogue to play songs that have never been performed before in the States. The only noticeable omission from the show was singer Kyo cutting himself open as was part of his past live performances. All in all the band delivered the type of powerhouse show that their rabid fans have become accustomed to.

DIR EN GREY: November Tour and First Show in South America

DIR EN GREY will be returning to North America for a short tour in November that includes two very special residencies; One 3-night stand in New York City, NY and one 2-night takeover of the House of Blues in West Hollywood, CA.

The band will also be making a brief excursion out of North America to play Chácara do Jockey in Sao Paulo, Brazil (alongside EVANESCENCE, Duff McKagen‘s LOADED, PANIC AT THE DISCO).  That show will mark their first ever show in South America.

Tour dates are as follows:
11.02.09 Warehouse Live, Houston, TX
11.03.09 Trees, Dallas, TX
11.08.09 Chácara do Jockey
11.11.09 The Blender Theatre at Gramercy [NIGHT 1] New York, NY
11.13.09 The Blender Theatre at Gramercy [NIGHT 2] New York, NY
11.14.09 The Blender Theatre at Gramercy [NIGHT 3] New York, NY
11.16.09 The Metro, Chicago, IL
11.18.09 The Gothic Theatre, Englewood, Co
11.20.09 House of Blues (Sunset Strip) [NIGHT 1] West Hollywood, CA
11.22.09 House of Blues (Sunset Strip) [NIGHT 2] West Hollywood, CA
11.23.09 The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA

Tickets can be purchased through this link: http://www.bratmarketing.com/deg/degtour/

DIR EN GREY to Release New DVD, entitled Average Blasphemy, on October 27th

On October 27th, 2009, The End Records will release a brand new DVD from Japanese rockers DIR EN GREY. The DVD, entitled Average Blasphemy, is the first comprehensive collection of DIR EN GREY‘s amazing music videos released in the United States. This disc includes the ten minute epic “Vinuska” and the MTV Headbanger’s Ball award winner “Dozing Green.” Also gathered here for the first time is extensive ‘making of’ footage of the band’s videos, along with never seen before director’s cuts and alternate edits. For DIR EN GREY fans worldwide this is truly a must have collection showcasing one of Japan’s most aesthetically progressive bands.

Tracklisting:

Vinushka
Dozing Green
Glass Skin
Reiketsu Nariseba
Agitated Screams of Maggots” (restricted ver.)
Grief
Ryoujoku No Ame
Clever Sleazoid
Red Soil
Vinushka” (promotion edit ver.)
Clever Sleazoid” (despair in the womb ver.)
Agitated Screams of Maggots” (despair in the womb ver.)
Conceived Sorrow” (in weal or woe ver.)

DIR EN GREY to Release Another DVD, Shinkiba

Japan’s DIR EN GREY are on schedule to release a new DVD, entitled Shinkiba, on April 28th in North America as a Japanese import only and in two versions–a standard edition and a limited edition with an alternate cover and two bonus discs.  The band just released another DVD this week called, A Knot Of, which chronicles their touring activities between 2005 and 2007.  Shinkiba features live footage from the band’s 2008 “The Rose Trims Again” tour.

DIR EN GREY guitarist Kaoru comments: “Through this DVD, you will see that DIR EN GREY is having a pretty solid run with things now. In the concert featured here, we only played a few songs from Uroboros, but the band already has a firm grasp on the world of Uroboros. It’ll be an interesting watch.

“It’s different from our last DVD, A Knot Of, so check it out!

“We’re working on our next North American tour now so until then, soak up the DVD and wait patiently for our return! Thank you guys, always!”

Here’s the DVD tracklisting:

Disc 1:
SA BIR
OBSCURE
GRIEF
AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS
DISABLED COMPLEXES
Merciless Cult
TOGURO
NAMAMEKASHIKI ANSOKU, TAMERAI NI HOHOEMI
AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS -UNPLUGGED-
CONCEIVED SORROW
RYOUJOKU NO AME
DOZING GREEN
audience KILLER LOOP
LIE BURIED WITH A VENGEANCE
THE DEEPER VILENESS
CLEVER SLEAZOID
REPETITION OF HATRED
undecided
HIGEKI HA MABUTA WO OROSHITA YASASHIKI UTSU
GLASS SKIN
HYDRA –666-
GAIKA, CHINMOKU GA NEMURU KORO
SAKU
THE IIID EMPIRE
RASETSUKOKU

Disc 2 (limited edition version only)
BONUS FOOTAGE

Disc 3 (limited edition version only)
“TOUR08 THE ROSE TRIMS AGAIN”
2008.10.18 SHINKIBA STUDIO COAST
“UROBOROS –breathing-“
2008.12.29 OSAKA-JO HALL
**** will include 12-15 tracks from both shows

Pre-order Shinkiba here: standard edition or limited edition

DIR EN GREY DVD Delayed Due to “Manufacturing Error”

The North American release of DIR EN GREY‘s DVD, A Knot Of, has been delayed due to a “manufacturing error.”  The DVD has a new street date of February 24th via The End Records.

A Knot Of chronicles three years of the Japanese band’s touring adventures with a bevy of live peformances.  More info on the DVD here: http://www.apeshit.org/news/dir-en-grey-to-release-a-knot-of-their-first-ever-north-american-dvd-release/

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2008

We finally got off our asses and did it.  It’s already the year 2009, but we’ve complied a list of our top albums of 2008.  Compiling such a list is never easy, and 2008 was no exception.  Maybe it was a lack of albums that really stood out, or maybe we just weren’t paying enough attention.  Regardless, we took a quick look back on the metal albums we felt were notable in 2008.
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DIR EN GREY – Uroboros

While they may be seven albums into their career, DIR EN GREY only show signs of growth and evolution for the better with their latest, Uroboros. As a whole, Uroboros is easily recognizable as being “DIR EN GREY.” However, the band has expanded upon building emotional atmospheres via writing longer, more intricate songs; upping the musicianship displayed; and just writing better riffs. Those dark and twisted tones are ever present, led by the powerful and soulful yet schizophrenic vocals of Kyo. Mixed amongst all of the Japanese hard/heavy rock and nu-metal stylings are numerous “true” metal riffs. This signals the bands ever increasing direction into incorporating more brutal metallic influences.

Just as intro, “Sa Bir,” builds up to a crescendo with its ominous beat and sitar, “Vinushka,” comes in as anticlimactic as possible with an acoustic guitar beginning. This actually produces a better result as “Vinushka” proceeds to gradually build up its own emotional journey during its 9:37 duration. The building of tension and explosion into, perhaps DIR EN GREY‘s heaviest moment, is truly a perfect example of the band’s growth as songwriters and artists. “Red Soil” sounds best with the mandolin-like clean electric guitars and when the thrash riff kicks in with double bass drums as opposed to the nu-metal riff in the song. After the heaviness of Uroboros‘ three heavy songs, one of the album’s gems can be found in “Toguro.” The song is a great mix of TOOL and DIR EN GREY‘s atmospherics meeting head on. “Glass Skin” is a quality somber and light song and another example of DIR EN GREY‘s ability to write soulful Japanese-style rock songs. “Stuck Man” shows the band’s twisted side with its funk guitar riffs, nu-metal/math metal grooves, jazzy interludes, and Kyo’s free form vocal lines in the verses. Things get blacker and more violent with “Reiketsu Nariseba” that eventually builds momentum like a runaway train on fire. One thing that becomes evident at this point in Uroboros is that DIR EN GREY are fully intent on creating a roller coaster, bipolar experience as the song order never allows complacency nor predictability to take hold in the listener’s ears, mind, and emotions. After the savageness of the aforementioned track, they unleash one of their best melancholic Japanese rock-style ballads in “Ware, Yami Tote…” “Bugaboo” is briefly lifted out of total nu-metal redundancy and simplicity with a raging “real” metal song section complete with thrash beats.

The fourteen total tracks on Uroboros should provide more than enough quality content to satiate any fan. As a bonus for American fans, the album includes the Japanese versions of “Dozing Green” and “Glass Skin.” The best aspect of the album aside from the fact that there are virtually zero duds on it is the fact that band have improved as songwriters and have expanded the boundaries of their famous sound. While a sudden shift in style in unlikely in the future, the evolution on display here is what signals yet another triumph for DIR EN GREY. (The End Records)