Japan’s DIR EN GREY, further supplant their god-like status with their best album yet in Marrow of a Bone. With an ever growing rabid fanbase finally built in the last major country to yield to their power, the U.S., the band have certainly delivered the album that will take them even higher. Marrow of a Bone is just as cohesive, if not more so, than their past accomplishment, Withering to Death. It also displays their best musicianship and riff writing to date. Even the production is more balanced and organized. The drums are mixed more evenly and the bass rumbles louder than ever. As the album title implies, Marrow of a Bone is another ride into darkness, exorcising demons, and expressing unabashed, honest emotion.
Opening song, “Conceived Sorrow,” carries all the trademarks of DIR EN GREY’s penchant for writing strong melancholic and soulful, almost-ballad like songs. “Lie Buried with Vengeance” then turns up the intensity and bashes its way forth with heavy, chunky riffs. “The Fatal Believer” continues the heaviness with plenty of brooding, slithering riffs and Kyo’s intense roars and growls. “Agitated Screams of Maggots” transitions back and forth between straight forward bashing metal and sinister, mid tempos. The video for the song is about as sick and twisted as say a NINE INCH NAILS video. “Grief” is a great example of this new modern heavy rock/metal sound that DIR EN GREY have been forging for the past three albums. It’s arguably the heaviest and most violent song on Marrow of a Bone. Vocalist Kyo gives a great aggressive performance which utilizes many of his more brutal vocal stylings. “Ryojuku No Ame” brings the intensity and brutality of the album way down and sees Kyo bringing another soaring and passionate clean vocal performance. “Disabled Complexes” displays a great sense of dynamics with its clean guitar beginning, heavy, bluesy stomping riff, and catchy chorus. “Rotting Root” is an obvious homage to ALICE IN CHAINS and would fit perfectly onto ALICE IN CHAINS’ self-titled album. Jerry Cantrell would be proud. “Namamekashiki Ansoku, Tomadoi Ni Hohoemi” is the most delicate and quiet track on Marrow of a Bone as it retains delicate guitar work until the tension finally bursts open at the end with pure passion and soul. “The Pledge” might be one of the best songs in the DIR EN GREY catalogue as it not only exhibits the band’s maturity as songwriters but it also comes off one of their most emotionally powerful expressions and possesses a strong sense of urgency. “Repetition of Hatred” brings the sinister and dark vibe back to the album. “The Deeper Vileness” is quiet enveloping in its darkness. And “Cleaver Sleazoid” ends things in good fashion with high energy. Marrow of a Bone is a symbol of the band’s maturity as songwriters and musicians as they are more aptly equipped than ever to bring their creativity to fruition. Overall, this is probably their heaviest and most savage album to date. Believe it or not, DIR EN GREY are the next big thing and Marrow of a Bone is the perfect ammunition to conquer the world with. (Warcon Enterprises LLC)