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Worst To First: Dir en grey

WORST TO FIRST ~ Dir en grey ~  

97 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think is their worst album to date?

  2. 2. What do you think is their best album to date? (does not have to be your favorite!)

  3. 3. Which is your favorite album? (favorite album does not have to be the best!)



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Love them or hate them, almost everyone's got an opinion about Dir en grey. The scene stops to listen whenever Dir en grey announce a new single or album. As a long time fan of the band, I think it's the perfect time to express how I feel about all of their albums. My feelings will differ from album to album. Some albums have had the benefit of twenty years and others only a few months, so that's always going to be a factor in how I rank things. I will cover this from my least favorite album to my most favorite album, but by no means take this as a definitive list for Dir en grey. Everyone will have their own rankings and their own suggestions for where to start. I happen to think that this also a great order to introduce someone to this band.

 

This is a perfect topic for those that don't listen to Dir en grey or don't know where to start, current fans looking for spicy opinions and a pot to stir, or even old fans looking for a reintroduction into their new era. Not only have I included a PV for each album as a sampler, but I also put together suggested playlists for each album. The playlists are the order that I would have arranged the band if I were them. The songs are the songs that I believe are the best from each period. Some will require more effort than others to construct. To make it simpler, I have included my favorite three tracks and one music video from each album.


I will not consider the mini albums MISSA and six Ugly in this analysis, but some of those tracks will appear in the playlists I create.

 

DUM SPIRO SPERO

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Album No: 8

Released: August 2, 2011

Length: 67:31

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Many Dir en grey albums needed some more refinement, but that does not apply to DUM SPIRO SPERO. DUM SPIRO SPERO was too polished, a result created by a group of musicians who kept tweaking their compositions until it was perfect. I get this feeling because it took them three years to conceive this album at a time when fans were accustomed to waiting half that time. This album is obnoxious in its approach to both extreme metal and progressive metal. The band avoids repetition, choruses, and conventional song structures whenever possible. Songs dirge into one another and there are very few melodic hooks to bite into. If the goal was to make a bigger, badder version of UROBOROS, then they succeeded. If the goal was to make an enjoyable experience, then they missed the mark. A lot of the more experimental choices don't pan out as expected and the mastering and production is just plain weird (and yes, I'm talking about the bass). There are good points to the album, but the sum of the whole is less than the parts. DUM SPIRO SPERO is exhausting and any fan telling you otherwise is lying. There are others which could contest for the worst Dir en grey album to date, but DUM SPIRO SPERO is the most difficult and taxing album of them all. Now, after dragging the album through the mud I want to note that I appreciate what this album has done for Dir en grey. They grew as musicians. This era began their gradual return to visuals in their promos and performances too. There are other albums in their discography that try their hand at this sound and are more accessible. There are some songs I like here. This is the last album of theirs that I recommend anyone try.

The Top 3 Tracks from DUM SPIRO SPERO:

  1. "流転の塔" (Ruten no Tou)
  2. "「欲巣にDREAMBOX」あるいは成熟の理念と冷たい雨" ('Yokusou ni Dreambox' Aruiwa Seijuku no Rinen to Tsumetai Ame)
  3. "滴る朦朧" (Shitataru Mourou)


The Worst 3 Tracks from DUM SPIRO SPERO:

  1. "DECAYED CROW"
  2. "獣慾" (Juuyoku)
  3. "Amon"


The Optimal Tracklist for DUM SPIRO SPERO [as curated by Zeus]:

  1. "THE BLOSSOMING BEELZEBUB"
  2. "DIFFERENT SENSE"

  3. "「欲巣にDREAMBOX」あるいは成熟の理念と冷たい雨" ('Yokusou ni Dreambox' Aruiwa Seijuku no Rinen to Tsumetai Ame)

  4. "滴る朦朧" (Shitataru Mourou)

  5. "LOTUS"

  6. "Unraveling"

  7. "暁"

  8. "激しさと、この胸の中で絡み付いた灼熱の闇" (single version) (Hageshisa, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami)

  9. "VANITAS"

  10. "流転の塔" (Ruten no Tou)
     

     

 

 

鬼葬 (kisou)

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Album No: 3

Released: January 30, 2002

Length: 69:57

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鬼葬 (kisou) is a strange, unsettling, and consistently vulgar album which is ironic because their next album, VULGAR, is nowhere near as vulgar. 鬼葬 is brimming with songs about sexual deviancy, murder, pedophilia, masturbation, incest, and rape. The lyrics to "embryo" are so extreme that their record label, FREE-WILL, persuaded Kyo to alter the lyrics for the single release (the album version has the original lyrics), and that's just scratching the surface. 鬼葬 catapulted them to the top of the visual kei scene, is still their highest charting album, was their most highly regarded album at one point, and was the album that kicked off their infamous "Capsize the Islands" Asian tour. Unfortunately, 鬼葬 did not stand the test of time. It's not as compelling once the shock factor wears off. It's the most inconsistent album in their catalog; when it's good, it's really good and when it's bad, it's really bad. 鬼葬 is their most poorly organized album in my humble opinion. It sounds like they had songs lying around and threw them together for the album, and most of the good songs were also used as B-sides from the singles. Almost every track after  "JESSICA" can go;  "鴉 -karasu-" is a three minute song stretched to almost six, all three "Shinsou" instrumentals (深葬, 芯葬, and 神葬) are filler, and "The Domestic Fucker Family", and "Pink Killer" are the most embarrassing tracks they've ever released. The production is also sketchy, paper thin, and anemic in the mid range. A lot of surgery is required to bring out the best of this era. There are a few cuts I'd recommend such as "鬼眼 -kigan-", "蟲 -mushi-", "FILTH", "逆上堪能ケロイドミルク", "24個シリンダー", and "Bottom of the death valley". What I really suggest you do is take six Ugly (a boss EP) and sprinkle those tracks here to pad out what is essentially a mini album. Beyond that, there's nothing to hear.


The Top 3 Tracks from 鬼葬 (kisou):

  1. "蟲 -mushi-"
  2. "24個シリンダー"
  3. "Bottom of the death valley"


The Worst 3 Tracks from 鬼葬 (kisou):

  1. "The Domestic Fucker Family"
  2. "ピンクキラー" (Pink Killer)
  3. 「深葬」/「芯葬」/「神葬」(all 3 Shinsou tracks)


The Optimal Tracklist For 鬼葬 (kisou) [as curated by Zeus]:

  1. "鬼眼 -kigan-"
  2. "umbrella"
  3. "24個シリンダー" (Twenty-four Cylinders)
  4. "FILTH"
  5. "Hades"
  6. "Bottom of the death valley"
  7. "undecided"
  8. "逆上堪能ケロイドミルク" (Gyakujou Tannou Keloid Milk)
  9. "MR.NEWSMAN"

  10. "蟲 -mushi-"
  11. "JESSICA"
  12. "children" (six Ugly version)
  13. "秒「」深" (Byou "" Shin) (six Ugly version)

 

 

 

THE MARROW OF A BONE

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Album No: 6

Released: February 7, 2007

Length: 50:05

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"THE MARROW OF A BONE is from Dir en grey's rebellious phase when they cut their ties to the visual kei scene and went head first into more metal sounds. The band members noted that touring in the United States heavily influenced their creative process, producing songs such as "LIE BURIED WITH A VENGEANCE", "AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS", and "THE PLEDGE". MARROW was both the natural evolution from and a departure from 2005's Withering to death., which featured more of a death metal sound and more experimentation in contrast to MARROW's focused, almost linear metalcore sound. This is both the metaphorical and literal black sheep of Dir en grey's discography. It was not immediately well received upon release by a large amount of fans, who frowned at the similarities to western metal and the abandonment of visuals, but the Western press loved it. Kyo's harsh vocals at this period are very immature, especially considering what he's capable of now, and they have not aged very well. A very curious note I have made thus far in my journey with this band is that retakes of songs from this era often end up better than the original (see: undecided and THE DEEPER VILENESS). I also happen to think the track list is very awkward, starting with a power ballad in "CONCEIVED SORROW" before jumping into four straight bangers, and then ending the whole shebang with a mangled rendition of "CLEVER SLEAZOID" (that the band members pretend doesn't exist if Vestige of Sorrows is a clue). Opinions on this album thawed out over time, but similar themes were explored on 2008's UROBOROS, which blows MARROW out of the water on technical and emotional levels. There are some goodies here, but this ain't it, chief!

 

The Top 3 Tracks from THE MARROW OF A BONE :

  1. "艶かしき安息、躊躇いに微笑" (Namekashiki Ansoku, Tamerai ni Hohoemi)
  2. "凌辱の雨" (Ryoujoku no Ame)
  3. "THE PLEDGE"


The Worst 3 Tracks from THE MARROW OF A BONE :

  1. "CLEVER SLEAZOID" (album vers.)
  2. "LIE BURIED WITH A VENGEANCE"
  3. "DISABLED COMPLEXES"


The Optimal Tracklist for THE MARROW OF A BONE [as curated by Zeus]

  1. "THE PLEDGE"
  2. "AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS"
  3. "GRIEF"
  4. "凌辱の雨" (Ryoujoku no Ame) (single version)
  5. "CLEVER SLEAZOID" (single version)
  6. "ROTTING ROOT"
  7. "艶かしき安息、躊躇いに微笑" (Namekashiki Ansoku, Tamerai ni Hohoemi)
  8. "CONCEIVED SORROW"
     

 

ARCHE

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Album No: 9

Released: December 10, 2014

Length: 68:01

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Dir en grey's ninth studio album falls somewhere in the middle of the pack. Blending progressive metal elements on top of some influences drawn from sukekiyo gave a very strong first impression, but lost its luster after a few months of listening. Now I rarely revisit more than a track or two at a time. ARCHE is not a bad album but requires a particular mindset to max enjoyment, so in my opinion, it does not present the strongest possible image of Dir en grey's essence. The album lacks a killer track and some songs could have been cut or used as coupling tracks for the album's singles. One of the best tracks is only on the second disc of the deluxe limited edition (てふてふ), and for its experimentation the result feels muted. To describe it as "another Dir en grey album" is not off the mark, but it sells the highlights of ARCHE short.  There's a sense of flow here only achievable by seasoned musicians and the single "輪郭" (Rinkaku) is one of their top five songs post-VULGAR. I still believe that it could have been a legendary release with more time and care.

 

The Top 3 Tracks from ARCHE :

  1. "輪郭" (Rinkaku)
  2. "てふてふ" (Tefutefu)
  3. "Revelation of mankind"


The Worst 3 Tracks from ARCHE :

  1. "The inferno"
  2. "Cause of fickleness"
  3. "Midwife"


The Optimal Tracklist For ARCHE [as curated by Zeus]:

  1. "un deux"
  2. "てふてふ" (Tefutefu)
  3. "Phenomenon"
  4. "濤声" (Tousei)
  5. "輪郭" (Rinkaku)
  6. "禍夜想" (Magayasou)
  7. "懐春" (Kaishun)
  8. "Behind a vacant image"
  9. "Revelation of mankind"
     

 

🎖️The Insulated World🎖️

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Album No: 10

Released: September 26, 2018

Length: 50:27

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As of the time that I penned this, The Insulated World is the latest full-length release by Dir en grey. This has several implications for its middling placement on my list. I have spent the least amount of time with this album - even less than ARCHE - and while my initial impressions were mixed to positive, I have had little desire to return to the album. This is the same reaction that I had to ARCHE, and even now those feelings for that album hasn't dissipated. I have a hunch that The Insulated World will follow a similar fate. I am willing to put more time and patience into the listening experience, since my first impressions also left me feeling that there was more to discover. I'm unsure if it's a concept album, but it feels like one. I also think this has the strongest arrangement of tracks to date. I put it ahead of ARCHE because The Insulated World still maintains some character. I must disclose that I'm listening to a modified version that (in my opinion) colors the tracks much more favorably. It still sounds like they're chasing the same sound since DUM SPIRO SPERO, and although this is the most convincing iteration thus far, I'm ready to move on. I'd love a mini-album of tracks styled like the unplugged version of "undecided" or "赫" (Aka), because I think Dir en grey has always been at their strongest with their ballads and mid-tempo rock tracks.

 

The Top 3 Tracks from The Insulated World :

  1. "赫" (Aka)
  2. "Downfall"
  3. "谿壑の欲" (Keigaku no Yoku)


The Worst 3 Tracks from The Insulated World :

  1. "Devote my Life"
  2. "Rubbish Heap"
  3. "絶縁体" (Zetsuentai)

 

The Optimal Tracklist For The Insulated World [as curated by Zeus]:

  1. "赫" (Aka)
  2. "軽蔑と始まり" (Keibutsu no Hajimari)
  3. "人間を被る" (Ningen wo Kaburu)
  4. "Celebrate Empty Howls"
  5. "詩踏み" (Utafumi)
  6. "Values of Madness"
  7. "Downfall"
  8. "Followers"
  9. "谿壑の欲" (Keigaku no Yoku)
  10. "Raununclus"
     


🏅Withering to death.🏅

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Album No: 5

Released: March 9, 2005

Length: 51:14

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As the album that eased me into the more Western style that Dir en grey were adopting around 2005, Withering to death. holds a special spot in my musical rotation. It's a more than worthy follow up to VULGAR, and this is what started the embers of their overseas presence. Promotional materials for this release were very misleading; singles like "朔-saku-" prepped fans for THE MARROW OF A BONE a few years earlier while "THE FINAL" hinted at some vestiges of VULGAR resurfacing, reformed, and ready to rock. I had no idea what to expect. What we got is an album that starts strong and ends strong, but has an inconsistent middle section. What I like most about this album is that it blends a lot of the visual kei sensibilities of their earlier period with their new influences (they wouldn't renounce their visual kei ties until their next album) and this can be seen and heard in their promotional pictures and their music videos. There's the perfect blend of singing and screaming, hard driving tracks and proper ballads, to keep my attention the whole way. There's a good reason why this is considered one of their great albums, and if you're well acquainted with Western metal this is an easy one to recommend.

 

The Top 3 Tracks from Withering to death.:

  1. "悲劇は目蓋を下ろした優しき鬱" (Higeki wa Mabuta o Oroshita Yasashiki Utsu)
  2. "鼓動" (Kodou)
  3. "THE FINAL"


The Worst 3 Tracks from Withering to death.:

  1. "Jesus Christ R' n R"
  2. "GARBAGE"
  3. "朔-saku-"


The Optimal Tracklist for Withering to death. [as curated by Zeus]:

  1. "Merciless Cult"
  2. "C"
  3. "孤独に死す、故に孤独。" (Kodoku ni Shisu, Yue ni Kodoku)
  4. "愛しさは腐敗につき" (Itoshisa wa Fuhai ni Tsuki)
  5. "Machiavellism"
  6. "dead tree"
  7. "THE FINAL"
  8. "Spilled Milk"
  9. "悲劇は目蓋を下ろした優しき鬱" (Higeki wa Mabuta o Oroshita Yasashiki Utsu)
  10. "鼓動" (Kodou)

 

 


🥉MACABRE🥉

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Album No: 2

Released: September 20, 2000

Length: 72:57

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I'm going to be controversial and state that MACABRE is not as legendary as I once thought. It's a great album, and one of my favorites for sure, but I only listen to half of it. I've come to the conclusion that this period is amazing and full of some of my favorite songs, but it's spread out over several releases. Dir en grey's sophomoric effort is a mysterious and diverse progressive visual kei record with subtle religious and oriental vibes, which was a huge sonic departure from their previous album GAUZE. It set a bar that many of their other albums are measured against and which only a select few beat. This is where I suggest a new person starts. There's some absolutely killer tracks here such as "理由", "羅刹国", and of course the titular "MACABRE ー揚羽ノ羽ノ夢ハ蛹ー". On the other hand, the track list once again feels like an afterthought (although not as bad as 鬼葬) and the end of the album loses steam. I personally skip the last two tracks each time, and I still don't know why they omitted "ain't afraid to die", which is one of their best ballads ever. Since I had to modify so much, it implies that MACABRE as-is requires a lot of tweaking and thus ranks lower than other, more conceptually complete albums. You'll have to do some work from singles to source the more exotic tracks, but I believe this track list exemplifies the reasons why so many other fans praise this album.
 

The Top 3 Tracks from MACABRE :

  1. "MACABRE ー揚羽ノ羽ノ夢ハ蛹ー" (MACABRE - Sanagi no Yume wa Ageha no Hane)
  2. "【KR】cube"
  3. "egnirys cimredopyh +) an injection"


The Worst 3 Tracks from MACABRE :

  1. "太陽の碧" (Taiyou no Ao)
  2. "Hydra"
  3. "ザクロ" (Zakuro)


The Optimal Tracklist for MACABRE [as curated by Zeus]:

  1. "Deity"
  2. "脈" (Myaku) (single version)
  3. "Ash" (single version)
  4. "理由" (Wake)
  5. "egnirys cimredopyh +) an injection"
  6. "【KR】cube"
  7. "children"
  8. "audrey"
  9. "羅刹国" (Rasetsukoku)
  10. "MACABRE ー揚羽ノ羽ノ夢ハ蛹ー" (MACABRE - Sanagi no Yume wa Ageha no Hane)
  11. "ain't afraid to die"
     


🥈GAUZE🥈

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Album No: 1

Released: July 28, 1999

Length: 64:47

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@Disposable once said "Aliene Maφriage perfected the essence of kote kei with Les Soirée 夜の舞踏会/断罪の章~神罰篇 and five months later Dir en grey sealed it with GAUZE". I agree wholeheartedly. GAUZE is a legendary album and is the release where Dir en grey transformed from emulating their idols to standing neck and neck with them. A lot of this has to do with YOSHIKI's knowledge and involvement; he not only produced one of the only two Dir en grey albums that don't sound like bollocks, but he positioned and polished them to be the premier band of 1999. From delicate pop tunes to rock to acoustic ballads, no cornerstone of kote kei was left unturned and as a result this is one of the few albums that feels like a comprehensive view of the times. Many amazing songs such as but not limited to  "予感", "Cage", "ゆらめき", "raison detre", and "アクロの丘" find their home on GAUZE. It's one of the only Japanese albums I can think of that received a PV for every single song. It's so real, kote kei died after GAUZE was released because no one could top it, not even Dir en grey themselves! Despite its legendary status, influence, and special place in my heart - it was the album that got me into visual kei after all - there are still some decisions that boggle my mind. "GAUZE -mode of eve-" is completely useless, "MASK" is an (enjoyable) mess, and the plodding and depressing "mazohyst of decadence" feels out of place. Their first two singles aren't even featured here! But then again, what is a kote kei debut album without its charming imperfections?

Also, stay away from the remixes for this period. They are not very good.


The Top 3 Tracks from GAUZE:

  1. "予感" (Yokan)
  2. "アクロの丘" (Akuro no Oka)
  3. "mazohyst of decadence"


The Worst 3 Tracks from GAUZE:

  1. "GAUZE -Mode of Eve-"
  2. "GAUZE -Mode of Adam-"
  3. "MASK"


The Optimal Tracklist for GAUZE [as curated by Zeus]:

  1. "-I'll-"
  2. "Unknown... Despair... a Lost"
  3. "Schweinの椅子" (Schwein no Isu)
  4. "ゆらめき" (Yurameki)
  5. "raison detre"
  6. "304号室、白死の桜" (San-maru-yon Goushitsu, Hakushi no Sakura)
  7. "Cage"
  8. "GARDEN"
  9. "予感" (Yokan)
  10. "蜜と唾" (Tsumi to Batsu)
  11. "残 -ZAN-"
  12. "アクロの丘" (Akuro no Oka)
     

 

 

🥇UROBOROS🥇
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Album No: 7

Released: November 11, 2008

Length: 58:54

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UROBOROS is considered by many to be one of the peaks of Dir en grey's career, and for good reason. UROBOROS was penned, recorded, and released only a year after THE MARROW OF A BONE, but it was such an unprecedented evolution in Dir en grey's sound. Kyo discovered his lower registers and began incorporating gutturals and shrieks into his vocal skills, while the composers rediscovered a lot of the tribal influence of MACABRE and mixed it with progressive metal, metalcore, and sprinkled some visual kei on the top. It's lightning in a bottle if it were ever captured in a studio, and this album set such a high bar that the band haven't yet eclipsed it's influence upon themselves. This is the album that convinced me Dir en grey could handle progressive metal, although a release like it truly hasn't come around yet. The few strikes against this album really knock it down a few pegs: the English versions of singles "GLASS SKIN" and "DOZING GREEN" were a failed ploy towards a Western market when they should have stuck with Japanese, the production is really muddy (although it hides some flaws and ends up accruing a charm of its own), and UROBOROS [Remastered & Expanded] should not be a thing, because the sterile remaster sucks the atmosphere out of the disc.

 

The Top 3 Tracks from UROBOROS:

  1. "蜷局" (Toguro)
  2. "INCONVENIENT IDEAL"
  3. "STUCK MAN"


The Worst 3 Tracks from UROBOROS:

  1. "GLASS SKIN" (English vers.)
  2. "我、闇とて・・・" (Ware, Yami to te...)
  3. "GLASS SKIN" (Japanese vers.)

 

The Optimal Tracklist for UROBOROS [as curated by Zeus]:

  1. "VINUSHKA"
  2. "RED SOIL"
  3. "慟哭と去りぬ" (Doukoku to Sarinu)
  4. "蜷局" (Toguro)
  5. "STUCK MAN"
  6. "冷血なりせば" (Reiketsu Nariseba)
  7. "undecided" (unplugged version)
  8. "DOZING GREEN" (Japanese version)
  9. "INCONVENIENT IDEAL"
     


👑VULGAR👑

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Album No: 4

Released: September 10, 2003

Length: 57:02

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Dir en grey delivers best when they are under pressure, and they faced the most intense criticism of their career around 2002 - 2003. They were at the top of the visual kei scene after 鬼葬 (kisou), but they felt as a band there was nowhere left to go. After completely switching styles and lighting their fans on fire with the Western hard rock styled six Ugly, Dir en grey were in crisis mode. Many liked the change, but the loud minority detested it. This sounds like small beans now but back then the band was afraid of losing too many fans; so much so that everything about VULGAR was meticulously planned for success. And it worked! Two of the three singles are ballads, while the third is a mosh song easy to get into. The meat and potatoes of the album is surprisingly more visual than anyone would have expected, which did a lot to ease reluctant fans into the new sound. "OBSCURE" is a throwback to the perverted madness of 鬼葬 and was chosen as the PV single for that reason. The nu-metal influence gives VULGAR a consistency 鬼葬 wished it had. The closest VULGAR gets to an instrumental is the two minute "Я TO THE CORE", which is a proper track in its own right! VULGAR also has one hell of a banging track list. So many other underrated gems are on this release like "audience Killer LOOP", "砂上の唄", "RED...[em]", and "AMBER", which makes it well worth your time to check this one out. GAUZE and UROBOROS are the more critically acclaimed releases, but VULGAR is the album I would alter the least, and it's the one I would use to introduce a fan whose taste I was unsure of. I just don't understand why "腐海" (Fukai) is not here.

 

The Top 3 Tracks from VULGAR:

  1. "AMBER"
  2. "RED...[em]"
  3. "audience KILLER LOOP"


The Worst 3 Tracks from VULGAR:

  1. "明日無き幸福、呼笑亡き明日" (Asunaki Koufuku, Koenaki Asu)
  2. "CHILD PREY"
  3. "NEW AGE CULTURE"


The Optimal Tracklist for VULGAR [as curated by Zeus]:

  1. "audience KILLER LOOP"
  2. "THE IIID EMPIRE" (VESTIGE OF SCRATCHES version)
  3. "蝕紅" (Shokubeni)
  4. "砂上の唄" (Sajou no Uta)
  5. "RED…[em]"
  6. "MARMALADE CHAINSAW"
  7. "かすみ" (Kasumi)
  8. "腐海" (Fukai) (single version)
  9. "DRAIN AWAY" (single version)
  10. "OBSCURE" (PV version)
  11. "AMBER"
     


That's everything folks! Thanks for reading all the way to the end! Did you like it? Did you agree? Do you have your own rankings? Leave them below! I'm interested to know what everyone's opinions are, especially since Dir en grey is one of my favorite bands ever. So many people are passionate about this band like no other. If enough people liked this, I may follow up soon with one for the GazettE.
 


:domo:Until next time:domo:

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I don’t dislike any of Diru’s albums as all of them are fantastic in their own right.

 

For me it would be (Best To Worst)

 

Gauze tied with Withering to death

DSS

Kisou

Uroboros

The Insulated World

Vulgar

Macabre

Arche

The Marrow of A Bone

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Guess I wrote it somewhere in this forum already, but...Arche is my favorite, and I love it to the extent that I would dare to say it is my favorite album ever. I agree with the flop tracks you mentioned (although Inferno is the only track that I really think is not fitting into the album). But all the other tracks I love soo much, they speak to me on a personal level and I think Shinyas drumming is particularly well-fitting. Everything on this album sounds so perfectly well-matched, I guess to some people it is too ‚perfect‘?

Dum spiro spero is my 2nd favorite, I just like the long tracks, like a symphony that takes you through different places. Not too much into the mix though.

I don‘t really get the hate for marrow of a bone...it has some really nice tracks with raw emotion, which is what dir en grey fans like I guess? And Uroboros is great, too...it‘s gloomy track Bugaboo made me their fan!

I don‘t listen too much to withering, though musically I think Insulated is their worst album. However, I do enjoy live performances of its songs, so I guess in the end you cant do else but have slight :tw_heart: for anything they do.

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DSS is their worst for me, it just forgettable. And I listen to it the least. I don't remember one song from that album off my head. I need to see the CD jacket to know. Every damn time. Sure, it can be technically skillful or whatever. But when your music doesn't long lasting, and didn't stick to your listeners, what's the use of that? Also, I feel that they are trying to repeat what they did with UROBOROS, but it just get too ambitious to the point of not listenable nor repeatable.

Edited by LIDL

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THE MARROW OF A BONE is their worst album for me as there are not many prominent songs on it, but 艶かしき安息、躊躇いに微笑み is simply one of their most beautiful ballads ever composed.

 

I grew up with GAUZE so it's my all time fav album of theirs whereas WtD is their masterpiece beating UROBOROS which IMO is overrated.

Edited by nostalgia

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@Zeus As somebody who is borderline obsessed with tracklists, I'll try out a few of these you've made, particularly MARROW, kisou, and MACABRE. I find it quite interesting that you'd open MARROW with THE PLEDGE. I'm glad you agree that 腐海 could should have been on VULGAR; it actually would have fit nicely between DRAIN AWAY and NEW AGE CULTURE. Some things I highly disagree with: snubbing 蛍火 and embryo; and most of all, listing the Japanese version of GLASS SKIN as UROBOROS' 3rd worst; it should have been 我、闇とて, with the Engrish version of DOZING GREEN as #2. As for your top 3 picks, I pretty much agree with them.

 

Unpopular opinion confessions: I prefer the album version of CLEVER SLEAZOID, and I don't really care for ain't afraid to die.

 

I'm gonna rank these albums too! I'm basing the ranking on the number of favourites from each album. Deducting points for "objectively" bad songs, adding extra points for true classics.

  • The Well-Insulated Room (5, -1 for Values of Bullshit)
  • DUMB SPIRO SPERO (6)
  • ARCHE (7, -1 for Sustain the unshit, +1 for 輪郭)
  • 鬼葬 (7, -2 for the first two Shinsou tracks, +2 for Bottom of the death valley and 蟲 -mushi-)
  • MACABRE (4, +4; title track gets double points and cancels out any bad songs)
  • THE MARROW OF A BONE (7, +2 for CONCEIVED SORROW and 艶かしき安息)
  • Withering to death. (7, -1 for Jesús Crust, +3 for dead tree, 悲劇は, and 鼓動)
  • GAUZE (8, +2 for Cage and アクロの丘)
  • UROBOROS (9, +1 for VINUSHKA)
  • VULGAR

The lower ranking albums are still not bad, in my opinion. At worst, The Insulated World is an above average album.

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Lets be real. Uroboros >>power gap>>everything else they've done>> TIW.

 

I don't know why marrow of a bone get's so much hate. It's about as good as most their other stuff and has really good tracks spaced throughout. It's a much smoother listen than their longer albums too.

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I've counted 7 favourite tracks which Zeus mentioned as the worst ones. I need to question my tastes 😅

And I still love TIW for what it is trying to be - not overcomplicated album suited for concerts (Arche also tried to be like this, but it catered for ballad/soft song fans). And because it gives fun&heavy songs (DSS was heavy, Arche was somewhat fun, and TIW is both for me).

And I dislike poppy part of Gauze. Again, tastes (although I'm into Schwein no Isu and Tsumi to Batsu, they're fun).

Edit.
Also, @Zeus You don't like that TMoaB starts with Conceived Sorrow and continues with 4 bangers, but your TIW recommendation tracklist is:

1)Aka
2)All heavy stuff (:

Edited by EvilHippy

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I really enjoyed this thread. Thank you @Zeus.

 

As for DSS to ARCHE, I did somewhat of a case study for it.

 

The band (or maybe just Kaoru) did want to make a more badass version of Uroboros because of how well received Uroboros was. They were really confident and very open when it came to promo for DSS. Remember how Shinya did a QnA on FB? And how they had giveaways every other day like a month or so before DSS dropped and the twitter account was hella active? Once the album dropped and they seen how many units it sold, it definitely hurt their ego and overall morale. 

 

To paint a picture here's what i was able 2 pull from Wiki:

Uroboros JP sales: 43,316 

US Sales/Shipments: 6054

 

VS.

 

DSS JP Sales: 37,586

US Sales/Shipments: 3,900 

 

(if im wrong here or these numbers are inaccurate, please let me know) 

 

The bands attitude shifted  after that and I remember there was a lot of talk about them hating each other and possibly disbanding, due to the interviews that dropped post the release of the album. It also didn't help that the performances were and arguably still are pretty bad due to how they recorded DSS. Clearly the band didn't learn their lesson because they proceeded to take the same approach when it came to the Unraveling, which imo aged badly minus a few songs. 

 

The band did go back to basics when it came to ARCHE and that same energy they went into DSS with was non-existent. Yes, they did learn how to work together again but they played it safe sound wise. It has hints of their oldie stuff mixed with DSS, thus making it one of their most lukewarm albums to date and imo it doesn't hold up well years later. 

 

 

The Insulated World, is a step in the right direction. It has elements from ARCHE and DSS that blend well with each other and has enough freshness thrown in that separates its self from them.

 

Its also has some of the bands worst written songs to date...Zetsuentai and Devote My Life belong in a dumpster fire.

 

As much as I love the album, its no where near as creative as DSS or Uroboros. DSS is where the band peaked and now they're in the same boat as Lynch. and the GazettE. They've found their medium and they're gonna stay there, while occasionally doing something that really stands out. The World of Mercy should be a clear indicator of that. And THAT IS FINE. 

 

Promotion wise, I don't think they care much for it at this point. ARCHE had like 2 singles but they were REALLY spaced out. The insulated world had like 2 other really spaced out singles as well. Though, a lot of that could be because of DECAYS and Sukekiyo. They also stopped dropping physical releases for the US as well and I think that's out of spite for the low sales DSS did over here. 

Edited by Ro plz

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7 hours ago, Tanishi said:

Lets be real. Uroboros >>power gap>>everything else they've done>> TIW.

 

I don't know why marrow of a bone get's so much hate. It's about as good as most their other stuff and has really good tracks spaced throughout. It's a much smoother listen than their longer albums too.

everything about it screams rushjob, from the dodgy production right down to the cliche grieving polish mother cover art that about a dozen other bands used before them. but for me there's more charm in that sort of spontaneity than in the overwrought, plastic sterility of something like DSS.

Not too sure about my least favorite. It's either DSS, or The Insulated World, which moves away from some of my problems with DSS but towards even more new problems.

Can I just lump the entire Monster energy drink-pig squeal-core-Mike Patton-time signature wanking era together as my least favorite?

 

I'll go with Gauze as a favorite. But I have days where I'd go with Macabre, and some trve kvlt days where I'd go with Missa (whether it counts or not).

 

Not far below is Kisou (some of their best songwriting, despite being the audio equivalent of chewing on tinfoil) and Vulgar (nothing with the song Sajou No Uta deserves to get labeled as "that album where they listened to too much Korn").

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5 hours ago, EvilHippy said:

I've counted 7 favourite tracks which Zeus mentioned as the worst ones. I need to question my tastes 😅

And I still love TIW for what it is trying to be - not overcomplicated album suited for concerts (Arche also tried to be like this, but it catered for ballad/soft song fans). And because it gives fun&heavy songs (DSS was heavy, Arche was somewhat fun, and TIW is both for me).

And I dislike poppy part of Gauze. Again, tastes (although I'm into Schwein no Isu and Tsumi to Batsu, they're fun).

Edit.
Also, @Zeus You don't like that TMoaB starts with Conceived Sorrow and continues with 4 bangers, but your TIW recommendation tracklist is:

1)Aka
2)All heavy stuff 🙂

LOL seems funny doesn't it? I don't hate that MARROW starts with a slow track. "CONCEIVED SORROW" is just not a great opener for what is essentially a metal core album. They set you up with a depressing power ballad before slapping you with three of the most generic and interchangeable tracks in their discography. It's an odd juxtaposition because MARROW  is so straightforward with how it presents itself, where as I find The Insulated World is a lot more cagey and difficult to approach with just a few listens. That's why it makes sense to me to put Aka first.

 

 

1 hour ago, Ro plz said:

The band (or maybe just Kaoru) did want to make a more badass version of Uroboros because of how well received Uroboros was. They were really confident and very open when it came to promo for DSS. Remember how Shinya did a QnA on FB? And how they had giveaways every other day like a month or so before DSS dropped and the twitter account was hella active? Once the album dropped and they seen how many units it sold, it definitely hurt their ego and overall morale. 

 

To paint a picture here's what i was able 2 pull from Wiki:

Uroboros JP sales: 43,316 

US Sales/Shipments: 6054

 

VS.

 

DSS JP Sales: 37,586

US Sales/Shipments: 3,900 


Do you have any sales figures from digital distributors? A lot changed in the musical distribution arena in those three years, least of all services like Spotify really coming into their own.   

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I think a huge part in the Uroboros to DSS sales slump was that the popularity of weeb shit was sinking fast and the promotional machine falling apart by the seams. The optimism for the foreign market must've been massive after 2008 and I'm sure tons of money was spent on promoting Deg overseas with next to no return to that investment. That must've been very disappointing both for the band and management once it was finally realised that they peaked in American and European venue size already back in 2006 and it's only going to be downhill from there no matter what they do. I consider this band entering their old man phase right around when Sukekiyo was formed and Arche was released. The ambition that went to DSS is obviously on a different level to Arche and TiW, but whether that's a good thing depends on what you think of their Monster energy drink-pig squeal-core-Mike Patton-time signature wanking era. To me the band that made everything from Missa to Vulgar ain't the same band as this one. Sometimes when I put on a track like 24k Cylinders or Macabre in the right state of mind I go like fuck, what a fucking band that was. It's the same guitarists farting that fucking dial-up modem sounding chug that made egnirys and 304? I cannot believe it.

 

Yoshiki_at_Guanajuato_International_Film

 

thank u

 

 

 

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VULGAR remains my favorite (and the one I think is their best) after all these years. Everything they've put out after Wtd. (with the exception of ARCHE) has been garbage to me. '06-'08 RENTRER EN SOI outsold.

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I refuse to participate in the ongoing kisou slander this forum has developed a taste for over the past few years.

 

granted the 『average western stans』 wilding out in their thread started this, but we can do better sisters, FILTH alone deserves more praise than a hole decade worth of their bullshit formulaic recent singles.

 

looking back, uroboros was surprisingly good at the time considering the absolute horse shit they were throwing out through entire DSS TMOAB era with no signs of stopping until the actual album dropped, and everything about it surpassed the (extremely tepid) expectations. do I listen to any of it ten years later? like no, ffs no, never again.

Edited by nekkichi
I forgot which shit deg album dropped first, sowwee x

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1 minute ago, nekkichi said:

FILTH alone deserves more praise than a hole decade worth of their bullshit formulaic recent singles.

Keloidmilk too or whatever the fuck the full title is a top tier song 

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10 minutes ago, nekkichi said:

I refuse to participate in the ongoing kisou slander this forum has developed a taste for over the past few years.

Kisou and Macabre are in a similar boat for me in one regard. Their periods were excellent and full of a lot of fan favorites. The albums are quite jank, especially Kisou.

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40 minutes ago, Zeus said:

Do you have any sales figures from digital distributors? A lot changed in the musical distribution arena in those three years, least of all services like Spotify really coming into their own.   

Nah, I mean there probably is but that info would have 2 come from someone who can translate it.

 

Sorry brodie.

 

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I was never a huge fan of Vulgar. In my humble opinion Wtd is better than Vulgar. Not that Vulgar is bad, it’s a great album and has some of my favourites on there but it never stuck with me as much as Wtd did.

 

I’d take TIW over Arche any day 🤷🏻‍♀️

 

22 hours ago, Saishu said:

Honestly quite shocked at DSS topping the best/favorite polls. 
 

also, Arche being way more disliked than I thought!

DSS really was the album that got me hooked on Diru’s heavy stuff Imo

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