Single Status Update
I showed Dir's "Cage" to a friend to isn't remotely aware of VK or even J-rock, and he said "Wow, this sounds like Iron Maiden".
VK always sounded very unique to my ear. But in the last year, since
I was not very fond of the (Western) classics of punk, grunge, gothic, metal, and their respective subgenres and "post" scenes, although I always knew that theorically VK made itself over Western artist, the gap between VK and Western artists came up as much shorter than I tought, with only few elements of it (musical, visual, lyrical, performatic) keeping actually "unique".
In the case of "Cage", since I haven't heard much from Iron Maiden, what can you say about what my friend said? Are you agree with him?
Most of Iron Maiden's stuff is Metal, so maybe Cage sounds like some of their softer stuff?
Even then, Dir en Grey's early heavy stuff sound less like Iron Maiden, and more like Metallica or Megadeth (and even then, still sound more like Kuroyume, Luna Sea and all the other early 90's bands they took inspiration from).
And their later heavy stuff more resembles Korn.
I think something like Vasalla more resembles Iron Maiden.
In my opinion, while a lot of Visual Kei does resemble western bands, there is so much common threads of influence in Visual Kei that some how, some way, Vkei still sounds different than the rest of mainstream J-Rock.
I'm pretty sure your friend is deaf.