Author Topic: A Review of Dir en Grey's GAUZE  (Read 757 times)

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Offline Airbag!

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A Review of Dir en Grey's GAUZE
« on: July 02, 2007, 12:22:34 am »


    I've always planned to write a review for Deviantart.com, but never got around to it.  Instead, I think I'll write one here, and see what ya'll think of it. 
    Anyway, this is a review of the first mainstream release by current death metal prodigies and former pop icons Dir en Grey.  Keep in mind, however, that if you're looking for a great metal album, this is not the place to look--GAUZE was written almost decade before Dir en Grey's shocking switch to metal and is dedicated almost entirely to a light, "pop" sound.  This, however, is NOT Avril Lavigne and Nsync--Dir en Grey's seemingly happy songs consist almost entirely of violent depictions of abuse, abortion, rape, and a world gone mad.  As my favorite album, I believe that GAUZE, despite the hefty import fee from Japan, is worth every penny.
    Don't let the beautiful cover art of a scantily-clad woman fool you--these masters of pop, hailing from Kyoto, Japan, have been banned in several countries for their disturbing and abusive live shows, which consist of the antics of lead singer Miyamato Kyo's self-abuse, ranging from slitting his wrists and pulling teeth to vomiting on his fans.  Because of this, Dir en Grey shows are frequently cancelled when one of the band members is hospitalized.
    GAUZE opens with the track labeled "GAUZE -mode of adam-", where the sound of a carnival, overdubbed with Kyo's vocals, evolves into the album's first true song--"Schwein no Isu".  Next comes a personal favorite--the pop ballad Yuremaki, which was supposedly originally written by the famed X-Japan.  Afterwards, we come close to meeting the heavy side of Dir en Grey in "Raison D'Etre" or "Reason to Be".  Although another light pop-type tune, "Raison D'Etre" has become extremely popular in Japan, namely for its intricate guitar riffs.  The next single on the album, "Cage", is a personal favorite and is considered one of the best on GAUZE.  Although the sound sound is slightly heavier, "Cage", which consists of the sad ramblings of a dead child, still maintains airplay in Japan after almost a decade.  "Tsumi to Batsu" is a world away from the earlier tunes.  A disturbing song concerning rape, the lyrics are practically screached in a style more akin to western heavy-metal than other tracks on GAUZE.  Next comes a song so controversial that it labeled lead singer Kyo as an anarchist.  In a sweet, nine-minute song, Kyo sings for the children who died in abortions and attempts to ignite a rally against the Japanese leaders, who allow abortion in their country.  This song greatly reminded me of a blues song, however, it quickly mutates into Kyo's incoherent screaming and choking as the track ends with the quiet murmurs of a baby, crying.  "Mask", the next track, is perhaps the only true "anti-government" song written by Dir en Grey.  Concerning the Japanese and their capture of Americans as they attempt to mutate and in the end turn their prisoners into killing machines.  With a music video laced with violent scenes of the government's doing, "Mask" keeps a light, yet frantic tune as Kyo chokes and wails various verses.  This next song, dubbed "Zan", was the first true "metal" song written by Dir en Grey.  It begins with Kyo's breathing, which turns into screaming as the song begins.  Usually, songs don't scare me, but this violent depiction of insanity is one of the few that do.  The final single from GAUZE is indeed the best--"Yokan", written for Kyo's pet fish after its death, is a beautiful, electronic, tropical tune mixing both spoken vocals and Kyo's beautiful vocals.  This song, which ends the album on a hopeful note, tells us that we all must learn to seek new love and live, as well as be happy.  Yokan (after which my fursona is named) is indeed the best track on this album.
    To sum things up, GAUZE contains a variety of musical styles from one of Japan's #1 band.  In my opinion, if you must hear one platinum album in your life, make it GAUZE.
    Wow, I sound like an advertizement type person.   :shock:  Well, if any of you want to listen to the album, I can give you a few of the mp3s.
Mate of Shwintay!