Dir en grey [Gauze] (First Album)

February 7, 2009

Gauze -mode of adam-
Schwien no Isu
Raison Detre
304 goushitsu, Hakushi no Sakura
Tsumi to Batsu
mazohyst of decadence
Akuro no Oka
Gauze -mode of eve-

The album starts off with the intro Gauze -mode of adam-. The arrangement sounded creepy with the carnival music even before it went all twisted guitar crazy. In fact, even moreso.

The first full track on the album is the shout-fest Schwien no Isu. This song is crazy, but I found that I quite enjoyed it. The arrangement is a bit chaotic, I didn’t even try to keep up with it, because it made me feel like I was spiraling into madness. The shouts all together were orgasmic, I’m serious and then when Kyo starts screeching all scary-sex like, I almost peed on myself. I mean I shouldn’t like this song, but the whole composition of it is just so engrossing that you can’t help but to be insanely fascinated with it.

The next track on the album is the mid-tempo verging on up-tempo Yurameki. This song was pretty interesting, though I noticed that it dragged a bit towards the end and for good reason, its over five minutes long. The arrangements main focus was the drums, which were slow during the verses and then got quick during the chorus. The vocals were intense, highly controlled and quite good. I mean I don’t know what Kyo and whoever (because he wasn’t the only one singing I believe, I think Sho or Die sung at some points as well) were saying, but I was hanging on to every word. Also, when the song first started it was pure V-Kei style rock, and it sounded so much like Gackt I had to make sure I was really listening to Dir en grey.

The next track on the album is Raison Detre. This song has a lot going for it, but truth be told, it all went completely over my head. The arrangement is a lot electric guitar, but it seems like its got some techno in it, electonica type, only dark instead of pepped up? I hope I’m wrong and am just hearing things. It was a pretty quick arrangement, but when it was given time to shine, it sounded pretty kick-ass. The vocals, Kyo I believe (since he’s always the one singing) was pretty good, though it seemed like he put a little too much in it, he did some pretty interesting things with his vocals that impressed me. I don’t like this song though, despite the praise, to me, this is one of those songs you listen to once and never again.

The next track on the album is the uninteresting 304 goushitsu, Hakushi no Sakura. I found myself pretty bored with this song. The arrangement is mainly the drums, which plays the same note over and over again, in a very consistent pattern. I mean it does change up a bit, but it sounded pretty much the same throughout to me. It also carries a pretty dark atmosphere. It was all right, but nothing ‘wow’ ing. Kyo I believe has the main vocals in this, and though his voice was decent, I just found I didn’t really care for it or this song. I hardly remember it at all.

The next track on the album is Cage. I won’t say this is down-tempo, because that would be just ridiculous, but its certainly somewhere down there. I liked how the arrangement started off very innocent with the music box, but still held such a creepy air. It then goes into the hard-hitting arrangement: drums, guitar, bass and its all pretty tame, but holds such an sustained intensity. I love how at certain points I wanted to bop my head, weird. I loved Kyo’s vocal performance in this song, how he stretches the notes out on certain parts, it really kept me interested and almost absorbed in this track, when it would have otherwise went clear over my head.

The next track on the album is the tripped out Tsumi to Batsu. This song is a one way trip to insanity, and normally I’d so go for songs like this, because I have a little ‘not all the way there’ inside of me. However, this song, I just could not take seriously. The arrangement is hard rock of course, mostly the guitar (electric guitar?), it was pretty frenzied but a bit on the plain side. Kyo (I so think it was Kyo), half the time sounded like he was either being choked or dry hurling, it was just so strange and a bit disgusting. Towards the latter half of the song it got pretty interesting, but by then I had had enough. This song isn’t all that bad, but its really too long (over five minutes) to be so unnecessarily warped.

The next track on the album is the WTF!? mazohyst of decadence. -_-; That about sums up my feelings for this song, but I think I’m going to go a little more in-depth. First off, I wonder how DeG manages to make the most innocenct noises in the world sound like torture? I mean the baby crying at the start and end of the song had me cringing in terror! The arrangement is pretty much just there to enhance the overall suffering air and long-winded-ness of this track. Kyo just did major overkill vocal-wise and there seemed to be no point to whatever the hell it was he was screaming in moaning about, like seriously. The song is an agonizing nine minutes and twenty-two seconds long, so its like: ‘just kill me already’ I literally wanted to rip off my ears and eat them. This song is the absolute definition of exasperation.

The next track on the album is the mid-tempo Yokan. Hmm? There isn’t really much I can say about this song, outside of the fact that I liked it. I don’t know, maybe it didn’t leave much of an impression. The arrangement was typical and Kyo’s vocals were intense, controlled and so V-Kei, seriously. I still enjoyed it, and I really like how it went out.

The next track on the album is the everywhere Mask. I actually thought this song was going to be a bit more dark and less chaotic than it was. The arrangement is a frenzied guitar and its nothing we haven’t already heard. The vocal performance –Kyo– was just a mess, it was very exasperating listening to him groan and scream all over the place. The song isn’t long, but it really felt longer than it was and a lot of the time I was hoping it was over, because it would suddenly pause and then when it would start again, I just wanted to beat my head up against my computer screen.

The next track on the album is the ear-bleed inducing -Zan-. It was like torture. I mean it starts off promising enough with the breathing, but then it blares straight into the arrangement, which is of course your typical drums, guitar and bass ensemble, amped up to high octane levels of insanity, with enough frenzied speed to give you an overdose. Kyo is screaming like he’s being stabbed or burned or something. I mean, honestly, its enough to make the hairs on your arms and the back of your neck stand up. Its like he’s being mutilated or eaten alive… in fact I got that vibe from this song. This track is really just too much for my poor ears.

The last full track on the album is the uber long and boring Akuro no Oka. Why is this song so long? I mean its stupid long, over nine minutes of a simple drum arrangement and Kyo singing all slow and sad like. What? I mean there was the obligatory sound effects, I liked the running water towards the end, but honestly this song goes nowhere, I mean nowhere. I feel like I just wasted nine minutes of my life that I will sadly never get back. Tragic.

The last track on the album is an outro Gauze -mode of eve-. This is an ridiculous four second long song of what sounded like a gurgle. What. The. Hell. Was. The. Point!?

Rating: * star

Dir en Grey’s first album Gauze was a pretty interesting listen. I do not mean that in the good way, because though it was interesting in its own right, it was a painful listen to both my ears and my brain. I only liked four songs on this album, the stand-out being Schwien no Isu and that’s pretty terrible in its own right. I mean I understand Dir en Grey is a dark k-rock group, but its really only so much I can take. Kyo has a good voice, but the screaming and groaning and moaning he was doing in most of the tracks on here just came across as so pointless and ‘wtf?’ I mean, I seriously didn’t get it. I listened to one of my favorite Dir en Grey songs Mushi live, and the groaning and screaming he was doing in the songs on here, he did the same things for that song, but its like I felt it and it didn’t come across as strange or scary, but appropriate. It sent shivers down my spine and made my eyes wet. These songs just made me wonder why I hadn’t hit the next button yet. I’m not a fan of Dir en Grey, not really and its only a handful of songs by them I really like, so maybe I’m not the best person in judging their music. However, I do know when something sounds good and when something sounds bad, this album is definitely the latter. Gauze had some pretty long tracks on here, one even going over the nine minute marker, so that kind of brought the enjoyment value of this album down even more as well, because no one should have to listen to a torturous song, for so long. Its inhumane.


2 Responses to “Dir en grey [Gauze] (First Album)”

  1. roger Says:

    IMHO Dir En Grey are the best J-rock band around. J-rock guitarists also have the coolest guitars! http://japansugoi.com/wordpress/jrock-guitars-are-unique/

    • memoriesoflove Says:

      I’ve always been a fan of X-Japan and L’Arc’En’Ciel, but they are the most interesting, I give them that.

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