So that’s three of my favorite bands I’ve seen thus far: Dir en grey, BtBaM, and In Flames. We’re rolling along well, kids. All I need to knock out now are Linkin Park and Slipknot, and my life is complete.
So Dir en grey have been around for quite a while, making quite the (un)pleasant racket in their homeland of Jay-Pan before finally getting a little recognition worldwide with VULGAR, an album as screwy and J-Rock as it was Westernized angst in the form of Nu-Metal. Fortunately for them and the homophobic wizards they could’ve potentially lost as a fanbase, they stopped dressing like such
and have opted for a more conservative palette of black.
With less bawdy attire followed less bawdy music. don’t get me wrong, I’m hugely in love with all their material, even when they were one of the many novelty J-Rock/randomly Alt. Metal acts scratching for the surface, since they happened to be the best. Nowadays, they certainly aren’t fuckin’ around, and their last couple of albums will have you know that with a quickness, with Uroboros and Dum Spiro Spero taking them in a direction more Mr. Bungle/Opethean.
So this has been my second time at the Paradise(third technically, since Amon Amarth sold out and I hadn’t bought a ticket beforehand), and once again, was not expecting violence. Though considerably less than Volbeat earlier in the year, it seems a few Diru fans that weren’t in mallgoth/weeaboo attire are fuckin’ pissed and want to punch things. I don’t blame ’em, really, as Dir en grey’s direction has been shifting more towards Death Metal/Deathcore, with Kyo gaining deeper growls, Shinya busting out a few blastbeats, and the guitars being noticably downtuned and playing more rhythms akin to breakdowns and Doomy trudges. It’s gotten heavier than yo mama, and it’s gotten meaner.
It should be noted that there were a few people, some that I knew, some I didn’t, that were certainly under psychedelic influence, which may not be the best idea for your sanity when watching Dir en grey’s frontman Kyo contort and caterwaul eerily for two minutes. It may or may not have helped that once familiar songs Tsumi To Batsu and Obscure have been redefined and warped inside-out to become something entirely unrecognizable, making them more unsettling than they already were, and that was already at a good level of unsettling. Much like the revamp of Hydra from Macabre to -Hydra 666- on the Dozing Green single, it’s an inversion of what you thought Dir en grey were before.
While Diru are still far from a legitimate metal band(one look at their crowd would tell you that), they’re certainly interested in continuing on this new dark direction. Kyo’s gaze seems to sweep like a beam of fire, commanding the audience to see how fucked and insane he is, promising that he’ll drag you down, and that one day, he will fuck your parents. Even not-so-heavy crowd favorites Kasumi and Kodou felt different in the charged atmosphere Diru created with their newer material, including the juggernaut Reiketsu Nareba from Uroboros that seems to be like a schizo running with scissors amped up on coke. Of course, they had to play The Agitated Screams Of Maggots, which has some of the best/worst Engrish ever penned by this quirky quintet, including gems like “It’s black flag motherfucker!” and “I rape your daughter on your grave!”. Not sure if the former is an odd shout-out to Henry Rollins and co. being an inspiration to the band, but stay classy as always boyos.
When the ending kicks in, cover your face and run away.
So that was about how it happened, in the most chronological fashion I could manage, having no care for the chronology. I’m just glad I got to see Diru, and I’m kinda sad that they didn’t play more from Withered To Death, but oh well. Arigatou gozaimasu, and a merry fuck you.