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Withering to Death

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Album Review

Japanese goth metal outfit Dir en Grey returns with 2006's Withering to Death, continuing their curious mixture of the apocalyptic themes of Scandinavian death metal, noisy industrial dance-rock à la Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson, and the gleeful over-the-top theatrical qualities of '70s glam, particularly singer Kyo's falsetto shrieks, which put the guy from the Darkness to shame. By this point in their nearly decade-long career, the band has their shtick down and they're working it for all it's worth; Withering to Death brings nothing new to the party either, musically or lyrically, although the single "Clever Sleazoid" is a fair encapsulation of the group's unique sound. Bottom line: for those who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they'll like, but no one who has so far resisted Dir en Grey's charms will be swayed.


Formed: 1997 in Japan

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Dir en Grey have become the top band of the post-visual kei era, especially for the Western audience -- in the 2000s they were arguably the most successful metal act without English lyrics since Rammstein (though they never rivaled the popularity of the Germans). The band began as a visual kei collective, too, but gradually moved to more reserved and darker attire and a separate sound that leaned on gothic rock, death metal, and the likes of Korn and Slipknot. Dir en Grey was formed in early 1997,...
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Withering to Death, DIR EN GREY
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