Since 1997, DIR EN GREY has been a powerful force in the Japanese rock scene. However, such a band cannot be content with domination of their home country alone. At last, DIR EN GREY has ventured to bring their sorrowful musical message to North America. Their fifth album, Withering to Death, will hit store shelves on March 7th, 2006 and is being released by Warcon Enterprises LLC.
DIR EN GREY is made up of vocalist Kyo, guitarists Kaoru and Die, bassist Toshiya and drummer Shinya. Having previously performed in bands together, the members formed a strong musical bond. Quickly catapulting themselves from a local phenomenon to an international presence, DIR EN GREY toured constantly to achieve further recognition.
DIR EN GREY has always been known as a band with an impressive live presence, along with their unique appearance, but there is much more to their dynamic. In regard to the current Japanese music scene, visual elements are very important. A type of performance known as “visual-kei” focuses on the aesthetic aspect of the artists. Drawing influences from classic Japanese rock music, DIR EN GREY have long surpassed the visual-kei scene of which they were once a key facet. “The concept of those who are in the ‘visual kei’ scene today is totally different from what DIR EN GREY is. We can’t really say we know what ‘visual kei’ is today.” DIR EN GREY have matured their sound and added a heavy edge to their music on Withering to Death. “This album is definitely one with a depth so boundless that it only goes deeper and deeper. Musically, we made these songs while searching for aggression and freedom.”
Although sung entirely in Japanese, the lyrical content of Withering to Death. will be printed in English for the U.S. release. With titles like “Jesus Christ R’n R,” “Merciless Cult,” “Machiavellism,” and “Spilled Milk,” coupled with the obvious gamut of emotions conveyed by Kyo‘s alternating screams, wails and crooning, it is obvious that DIR EN GREY have an intense personal investment in their songs. The U.S. release will also feature a bonus DVD containing four videos as well as live concert footage.
In regard to their U.S. debut, DIR EN GREY seems optimistic: “We have no idea how we will be accepted in the U.S., but we are very excited and very much looking forward to this release. We are also very thankful for this chance. No Japanese artist has actually succeeded in penetrating the U.S. market, so we can’t even begin to imagine how it will be for us. However, with faith in ourselves as artists, we will do our best, and hopefully we will achieve things far better than just success.”
Withering to Death tracklisting:
1. “Merciless Cult”
4. “Kodoku Ni Shisu, Yueni Kodoku”
5. “Itoshisa Ha Fuhai Ni Tsuki”
6. “Jesus Christ R’n R”
9. “Dead Tree”
10. “The Final”
11. “Beautiful Dirt”
12. “Spilled Milk”
13. “Higeki Ha Mabuta Wo Oroshita Yasashiki Utsu”
The bonus DVD will contain the following videos:
1. “Merciless Cult”
2. “The Final”
Additionally, the DVD will contain the live performance footage from Live DVD, Tour04 The Code Of Vulgar[Ism]