Uroboros [Deluxe]

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Japan's Dir en Grey have taken much of the indie metal world by storm over the last 11 years. Beginning as a wildly experimental pop band that first incorporated hard rock and heavy metal into their sound about three or four albums in, they've become an absolutely ferocious unit both on record and on stages worldwide. While their records have only recently seen release in the United States, it hardly matters in the digital age. Sony even reissued their Marrow of a Bone outing in 2007. Uroboros, on the venerable The End imprint, is Dir en Grey's seventh studio album. It is both an expansion of their metallic sound, as well as a return to their more experimental pop origins. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Japan's Dir en Grey have taken much of the indie metal world by storm over the last 11 years. Beginning as a wildly experimental pop band that first incorporated hard rock and heavy metal into their sound about three or four albums in, they've become an absolutely ferocious unit both on record and on stages worldwide. While their records have only recently seen release in the United States, it hardly matters in the digital age. Sony even reissued their Marrow of a Bone outing in 2007. Uroboros, on the venerable The End imprint, is Dir en Grey's seventh studio album. It is both an expansion of their metallic sound, as well as a return to their more experimental pop origins. Still comprised of its original lineup with Kyo on vocals, guitarists Kaori and Die, bassist Toshiya, and drummer Shinya, this set may upset some of the harder core purists who yearn exclusively for the thrashing assault days. For the rest of us, this may be the band's most magical and thought-provoking set yet. Other than in the willfully misanthropic underground of black metal, heavy metal itself has been undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts, incorporating all manner of art rock, prog metal, and classic post-rock structures as well. Uroboros has all of the above in a seamless meld of lush textures, expansive dynamics, impeccably recorded sound, and above all brilliant musicianship. Kyo still writes his lyrics and sings almost exclusively in Japanese -- almost all of the band's titles are in Japanese, as well. That said, the translated lyrics are in gray on black in the booklet in two-point type, readable only with a magnifying glass. No matter. Kyo's voice is more like another instrument, whether he is singing melodically, growling, or shrieking. The set begins with a brief instrumental intro called "Sa Bir," which employs deep drum loops, sub-bass synth oscillations, a cimbalom, and a warbling bass throb with a few background roars from Kyo. This gives way to the risky opener "Vinushka," with its acoustic guitars, shimmer ride and crash cymbals, and the vocalist nearly crooning before giving way to metallic riffing, sound effects, and plenty of reverb on the vocal. Dynamic and time signature changes occur with stunning regularity even as a gorgeous dark, nearly gothic rock tune begins to emerge from the din and hush. At nearly ten minutes, this is a step onto the plank hanging over the abyss, but with Kyo's wildly varying vocal styles (Mike Patton has nothing on him) the tune gels as a suite without seemingly separate parts. Whether it's the thrashing death metal in the middle of the cut with its insane growl, or the lilting, hushed darkling prog pop in the center, it all works. It sets the tone for a seamless listening experience that combines the many strengths Dir en Grey enjoys as a band, with a couple of other standouts being the warped, jagged funky rock of "Stuck Man" -- with a killer bassline by Toshiya -- and the elegantly layered "Ware, Yami Tote," with Kyo's emotionally honest and vulnerable singing, Shinya's breakbeats, and entwined acoustic and electric guitars with an actual hook. Seasoned fans will either smile knowingly or shake their heads and cry sellout (they'd be wrong). For the uninitiated, Uroboros is actually the best way to get introduced to Dir en Grey's complex and alluring musical magic and mayhem. Think of some strange cross between Anathema, Rush, the Gathering, and Katatonia, with some early Mission U.K. thrown in and you might get into the neighborhood of this mercurial band's sound. [The End has also issued a Deluxe Edition of the album that comes with a bonus DVD featuring five live performances from the Marrow of a Bone shows in Tokyo in 2006, two bonus cuts featuring the Japanese lyrics to "Glass Skin" and "Dozing Green," a beautifully adorned chrome-on-matte-black slipcase, and a red-on-black screened booklet with a ton of photos included as well.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/11/2008
  • Label: The End Records
  • UPC: 654436012429
  • Catalog Number: 124
  • Sales rank: 67,226

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Sa Bir (2:00)
  2. 2 Vinushka (9:37)
  3. 3 Red Soil (3:24)
  4. 4 Doukoku to Sarinu (3:48)
  5. 5 Toguro (3:58)
  6. 6 Glass Skin (4:28)
  7. 7 Stuck Man (3:35)
  8. 8 Reiketsu Nariseba (3:33)
  9. 9 Ware, Yami Tote... (7:02)
  10. 10 Bugaboo (4:44)
  11. 11 Gaika, Chinmoku Ga Nemuru Koro (4:22)
  12. 12 Dozing Green (4:06)
  13. 13 Inconvenient Ideal (4:24)
  14. 14 Glass Skin (4:29)
  15. 15 Dozing Green (4:08)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Repetition of Hatred
  2. 2 Agitated Screams of Maggots
  3. 3 Hydra
  4. 4 Dead Tree
  5. 5 Dozing Green
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Dir en Grey Primary Artist
Toshiya Bass, Group Member
Shinya Drums, Group Member
Technical Credits
Ted Jensen Mastering
James Galus Management
Dir en Grey Composer
Sean "S Dot" Francis Marketing
Junko Watanabe Promoter
Akinori Kaizaki Engineer
Kazutaka Minemori Instrumentation
Kana Shiba Production Control
Sayaka Suzuki Promoter
Victor Wlodinguer Management
Koji Yoda Artwork, Art Direction
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    COOL!

    I had been introduced to these guys by my room mate and had heard a couple of songs by them but not a lot. I found this particular album at the library I work at here in Boise and decided to check it out and give them a deeper listen. These guys are really unique. They're a bit different, but they're also really awesome. When listening to this CD, it was like at certain points I was listening to stuff I've sorta heard before, just in a different tongue, but at certain other points, I was hearing something I had never really heard before. Dir En Grey shreds along with some of the best of them, but they add their own unique touch to the music. It was sort of experimental metal type music if I had to try and label it. Overall, I thought this album was pretty much awesome, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves metal. It's refreshing and new. Listed with this is another Dir En Grey album worth checking out, as well as a few other cool metal offerings by some great bands of foreign nationality.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2011

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    Posted February 20, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews