Last January DIR EN GREY dropped their most recent greatest hits album “VESTIGE OF SCRATCHES”. A massive album for which they selected no less than 44 songs from their career based on the votes of their fans, all to celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary. Aside from that they also re-recorded three of these songs especially for this release.
While everyone was looking forward to this greatest hits album, they also couldn’t wait to hear new works from the band. And their prayers were heard when the new single “人間を被る“ (Ningen wo Kaburu) was announced. This single contains a brand new song, a re-recording of one of their very first songs and a live song. The single was released in four different versions of which some are just a CD, and others contain a DVD or a Blu-ray disc.
Today we’ll limit ourselves to the “regular edition”, which is a CD containing the three songs only, however.
01. 人間を被る“ (Ningen wo Kaburu)
03. 詩踏み (Utafumi) [LIVE]
For the ones familiar with the more recent works of DIR EN GREY this single is exactly what you’d expect from the band. Despite their genre mostly being categorized as “heavy metal” the band speaks to more than that small section due to their mostly experimental sound which is easily accepted worldwide. It should come as no surprise that DIR EN GREY always knows to draw an audience to their live shows, whether this is in Europe, the United States or their homeland of Japan.
人間を被る“ (Ningen wo Kaburu)
As a whole this is a very solid song and an amazing example of how well the five guys of the band know each other. Kyo’s vocals vary from long, high notes to low growls and screams, but despite that this song is very pleasant to listen to. The pace is higher and the emphasis is on the heavier end of the spectrum, but it’s also very melodic at the same time. Definitely a product of years of knowledge in music, and more importantly, each other. The guys have found what they like, but also what they’re good at, and you can certainly hear that in this song.
The original, first version of ASH was released in 1998, so it’s not really a surprise that this song specifically can be found on this single. Especially not we have the theme of “20 years of DIR EN GREY” this year. When you hear this song you probably don’t need any explanation on why this re-recording has absolutely boosted this song to 2018’s version of the DIR EN GREY we know and love.
What made the song unique has been preserved perfectly, giving it a facelift and making sure it is good to go for many years to come. The lyrics tell a different story, but this facelift tells it’s own story of 20 years of DIR EN GREY.
詩踏み (Utafumi) [LIVE]
Despite this being a live- instead of a studio recording, it’s a perfect introduction to what you can expect at a DIR EN GREY live show. Kyo’s vocals are as diverse as they are in the studio and just as easy to enjoy because of that.
At the start of this recording Kyo announces it to be the “last song”, but it doesn’t feel like it’s the final sprint to the finish. There is just as much power and determination as the studio recordings, which they obviously get to spend more time on than live songs during a show. If you have never seen a live show from the band, these types of songs are a great place to start. And then to the real thing, of course!
人間を被る (Ningen wo Kaburu) is a single you go through in one go, but you still don’t really notice that you’re already at the end. If you have the repeat function switched on you can hear the final song almost seamlessly transitioning into the first song again, making it very suitable to play as background music for when you’re doing other things. For fans of DIR EN GREY this single is exactly what you’d expect from the band, like I already said, but for new fans it’s also a great introduction to a band who has been making a name for themselves for 20 years now.
Despite if you call yourself a fan already or not, this single definitely is one you should listen to because of the diverse vocals and solid guitars, bass and drums. Even if you’re not a fan of the heavy metal genre I’m pretty sure that you’ll find something in this band that appeals to you, and will motivate you to find more of their works in no time!
Final score: 85/100
Artist: DIR EN GREY
Release: 人間を被る (Ningen wo Kaburu) (single)
Release date: April 25, 2018
CD number: SFCD-222 (special edition with Blu-ray) / SFCD-224 (special edition with DVD) / SFCD-226 (limited edition with DVD) / SFCD-228 (regular edition)