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Dir En Grey is a Japanese metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 band formed in 1997 and currently signed to Firewall Div., a sub-division of Free-Will. As of 2011, they have recorded eight full-length records. While the group's lineup has remained consistent since its inception, numerous stylistic changes have made the genre
Genre
Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

 of their music difficult to determine (though it is generally considered to be a form of rock music
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

). Originally a visual kei
Visual Kei
is a movement among Japanese musicians, that is characterized by the use of make-up, elaborate hair styles and flamboyant costumes, often, but not always, coupled with androgynous aesthetics. Some sources state that visual kei refers to a music genre, or to a sub-genre of Japanese rock, with its...

 band, the band has opted for less dramatic attire in recent years.

Dir En Grey has toured through Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, and North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

; Billboard
Billboard (magazine)
Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis...

 commenting on the group's international fanbase, that the band "has transcended the language barrier in the United States through its music" and "gained its audience without singing in English".

1997–1999: Early career


Dir En Grey was preceded by the independent
Indie (music)
In music, independent music, often shortened to indie music or "indie" is a term used to describe independence from major commercial record labels or their subsidiaries, and an autonomous, Do-It-Yourself approach to recording and publishing....

 band La:Sadie's which included four of Dir En Grey's later members before it disbanded. After parting ways with La:Sadie's bassist Kisaki
Kisaki
is a Japanese musician who has worked with several visual kei bands, including La:Sadie's, Syndrome, Kisaki Project and Phantasmagoria. Besides playing bass and composing music, he also works as a producer, previously for the Matina label and currently for Under Code Production...

, Kyo, Kaoru, Die and Shinya along with newly recruited bassist Toshiya regrouped as a new band on February 2, 1997 and released a first EP
Extended play
An EP is a musical recording which contains more music than a single, but is too short to qualify as a full album or LP. The term EP originally referred only to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play records and LP records, but it is now applied to mid-length Compact...

, Missa, a few months later. According to guitarist Kaoru, the name "Dir En Grey" was chosen because it "sounded right," and is composed of words from several languages, so that people would not be able to attach a specific meaning to it other than the band's name itself. More likely, however, was that the name was taken from "Dir en Gray", a song from Lareine
Lareine
Lareine was a Japanese visual kei rock band formed in 1994. The bands name is reported to have come from the French Queen Marie Antoinette. In 1999 the group signed to Sony, later in 2000 when all other members left, Kamijo created Applause Records...

's first demo tape.

They first attracted mainstream attention in 1998, by entering the top ten on the Oricon
Oricon
, established in 1999, is the holding company at the head of a Japanese corporate group that supplies statistics and information on music and the music industry in Japan. It started as , which was founded by Sōkō Koike in November 1967 and became known for its music charts. Oricon Inc...

 music charts with the still independently produced songs "Jealous" and "-I'll-
-I'll-
"-I'll-" is a single released by Dir En Grey on August 12, 1998. The video of the title track would later be featured on the Mousou Toukakugeki VHS...

". Five subsequent singles, arranged and produced by X Japan
X Japan
is a Japanese heavy metal band founded in 1982 by Yoshiki and Toshi. Originally named X , the group achieved their breakthrough success in 1989 with the release of their second album Blue Blood...

 co-founder Yoshiki Hayashi, were published during the first half of 1999, the band's first full-length record, Gauze, followed. One of the shows in support for the album (filmed at the Osaka-jo Hall
Osaka-jo Hall
, or Osaka Castle Hall, is a multi-purpose arena, in the Kyōbashi area, of Osaka, Japan. The hall opened in 1983 and can seat up to 16,000 people...

) would later become the first of several live concerts to be released on VHS
VHS
The Video Home System is a consumer-level analog recording videocassette standard developed by Victor Company of Japan ....

 and DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

.

2000–2004: From Macabre to Vulgar


In 2000 vocalist Kyo was hospitalized with hearing trouble and several dates of the tour in support of Dir En Grey's then upcoming album, Macabre, had to be postponed. "Tour 00 >> 01 Macabre" eventually took off later the same year and was concluded at Nippon Budokan
Nippon Budokan
The , often shortened to simply Budokan, is an indoor arena in central Tokyo, Japan.This is the location where many "Live at the Budokan" albums were recorded...

, shortly after the release of the single "Ain't Afraid to Die
Ain't afraid to die
"Ain't Afraid to Die" is a single released by Dir En Grey on April 18, 2001. It appears on Decade 1998–2002 but is not featured on any of their studio albums...

" in April 2001.

In the following year, along with the release of a third full-length album, Kisou
Kisou
is the third studio album released by Dir En Grey on January 30, 2002. It has helped them gain popularity across Asia and is their best-selling album to date. The first press edition came with an extra booklet of lyrics and the cover booklet came in color, as opposed to the normal release...

, Dir En Grey gave their first performances abroad, touring China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, and South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

. Back in Japan, the last dates of the lengthy "Rettou Gekishin Angya" tour were already in support for the band's second EP, Six Ugly
Six Ugly
Six Ugly is an EP released by Dir En Grey on July 31, 2002. Its packaging features several references to American popular culture, such as the Universal Monsters and the band's name being written in the Coca-Cola font, along with the EP's sound being more akin to contemporary western heavy metal...

. In summer 2003, Dir En Grey performed at the Akasaka Blitz for five evenings in one week. Each show (except the first) was themed after a certain album, the last featuring songs from the then yet to be released Vulgar. A DVD set, titled Blitz 5 Days, was later released exclusively for members of the band's official fan club, A Knot. Vulgar released in September 2003, tours in support for the record would last well into 2004.

2005–2006: Early non-Asian touring



In 2005, Dir En Grey performed in Europe for the first time. Their concerts in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 and Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 (as part of the "It Withers and Withers" tour) sold out without promotion, save for newsletters by import record stores and internet-based word of mouth. The band also performed at two major festivals, Rock am Ring
Rock am Ring
The Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals are two simultaneous rock music festivals held annually in Germany....

 and Rock im Park. Becoming more involved with the international music scene, they had French band Eths
Eths
Eths is a French Metalcore band from Marseille.-The beginning:Staif joined by Greg, formed the band What's the fuck in 1996. The following year, Candice joined the band which was renamed Melting Point....

 open for them at the Paris concert and invited American musician Wednesday 13
Wednesday 13
Joseph Poole, better known as Wednesday 13 , is a rock musician from Charlotte, North Carolina. He is most famous for his role as the frontman of the Murderdolls...

 and his band to play at a show in Japan. Dir En Grey also appeared at the Japanese leg of the "Taste of Chaos
Taste of Chaos
Taste of Chaos is a hardcore tour that was started in the winter of 2005 by Kevin Lyman, the creator of the successful Warped Tour along with friend and business partner, John Reese. The Taste Of Chaos tour caters for fans of the post-hardcore, screamo, and metal genres, while offering the same...

" tour.

2005 saw the first official European releases as well, in the form of that year's album Withering to Death.
Withering to death.
-Personnel:* Yoshinori Abe – co-producer* Tatsuya Sakamoto – recording, mixing, mastering* Dynamite Tommy – executive producer* Koji Yoda – art direction...

 The band's music had previously been available to fans not living in Asia through means of import and Internet file-sharing only. The album also managed to achieve Dir En Grey's first non-Asian chart position, reaching #31 in the Finnish
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 album charts. The subsequent single, "Clever Sleazoid
CLEVER SLEAZOID
"Clever Sleazoid" is a single released by Dir En Grey on October 21, 2005. The title track is followed by three live recordings of songs from the album Withering to Death. "Clever Sleazoid" appears as a re-recording on the album The Marrow of a Bone, its music video has been featured on American...

", later climbed to #15 on the singles charts in the same country. Several Dir En Grey songs were also featured in the soundtrack of the 2005 film Death Trance
Death Trance
Death Trance is a 2005 Japanese action/fantasy film directed by Yuji Shimomura, the action director for Versus and Devil May Cry 3. It stars Tak Sakaguchi of Versus fame as the anti-hero with co-stars Kentaro Seagal and Takamasa Suga.The film is the directorial debut of Shimomura, and similarities...

.

In early 2006 touring was expanded to the United States. The band performed in Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

 (South by Southwest
South by Southwest
South by Southwest is an Austin, Texas based company dedicated to planning conferences, trade shows, festivals and other events. Their current roster of annual events include: SXSW Music, SXSW Film, SXSW Interactive, SXSWedu, and SXSWeco and take place every spring in Austin, Texas, United States...

 festival), New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 (Avalon Club) and Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

 (Wiltern Theatre
Wiltern Theatre
The Wiltern Theatre and adjacent 12-story Pellissier Building are Art Deco architectural landmarks located on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue in Los Angeles, California. The entire complex is commonly referred to as the Wiltern Center...

), followed by the North American release of Withering to Death. Again, all shows sold out within days. After more concerts and festival appearances in Germany during the summer, singer Kyo was again hospitalized, due to inflamed vocal cords. While two concert dates in Japan had to be postponed, Dir En Grey was still able to join Korn
Korn
Korn is an American nu metal band from Bakersfield, California, formed in 1993. The current band line up includes four members: Jonathan Davis, James "Munky" Shaffer, Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu, and Ray Luzier. The band was formed as an expansion of L.A.P.D.The band released their first demo album,...

's Family Values Tour
Family Values Tour 2006
The 2006 Family Values Tour was a summer concert tour headlined by Korn. The tour originally started in 1998.-Overview:Although originally conceived as an annual tour, the Family Values Tour returned in 2006 after a five year hiatus....

. In October, the band was back in Japan to perform at the Loudpark Festival
Loudpark Festival
Loud Park Festival is a heavy metal festival held annually at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama City or Makuhari Messe in Chiba City, Japan. It is one of the biggest festivals in Japan....

, along with bands such as Megadeth
Megadeth
Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California which was formed in 1983 by guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine, bassist Dave Ellefson and guitarist Greg Handevidt, following Mustaine's expulsion from Metallica. The band has since released 13 studio albums, three live albums, two...

, Slayer
Slayer
Slayer is an American thrash metal band formed in Huntington Park, California, in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. Slayer rose to fame with their 1986 release, Reign in Blood, and is credited as one of the "Big Four" thrash metal acts, along with Metallica, Megadeth and...

 and Children of Bodom
Children of Bodom
Children of Bodom is a Finnish heavy metal band from Espoo. Formed in 1993, the group currently consists of Alexi Laiho , Roope Latvala , Janne Wirman , Henkka Seppälä , and Jaska Raatikainen...

. Their 22nd single, "Agitated Screams of Maggots
Agitated Screams of Maggots
-Personnel:* Yasushi "Koni-Young" Konishi – recording, mixing* Yasman – mastering* Dynamite Tommy – executive producer* Keita Kurosaka – cover art* Yuuichi Fukada – art direction* Kazuya Nakajima, Yasuyuki Kanoi – live recording-Release history:...

" was released on November 15, during the Japanese leg of the Inward Scream tour. On December 30, the music video
Music video
A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings...

 for "Saku" was voted the #1 video of the year on the MTV2
MTV2
MTV2 is a cable network that is widely available in the United States on digital cable and satellite television, and is progressively being added to analogue cable lineups across the nation...

 show Headbanger's Ball.

2007–2010: The Marrow of a Bone and Uroboros


In February, Dir En Grey went on its first North American headlining tour, visiting sixteen cities while its sixth full-length album, The Marrow of a Bone
The Marrow of a Bone
The Marrow of a Bone is the sixth studio album by Japanese metal band Dir En Grey, released on February 7, 2007 in Japan, and in the United States , Germany , France , and the United Kingdom in the following months. In total, the album was released in eleven countries...

, was released on February 7 in Japan, and in the United States and Europe in the following months. From May to July, the group opened during a United States tour of Deftones
Deftones
Deftones are an American alternative metal band from Sacramento, California, founded in 1988. The band consists of Chino Moreno , Stephen Carpenter , Chi Cheng , Frank Delgado , and Abe Cunningham . Currently Sergio Vega is standing in on bass while Cheng recovers from a car accident...

 and afterwards did another European tour, which included their debut shows in Denmark, Finland, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, as well as several festival performances across the continent, including Ankkarock
Ankkarock
Ankkarock is a Finnish rock and metal festival held annually in Korso, Vantaa, in the Greater Helsinki area. It literally translates into Duckrock. The first Ankkarock was held in 1989; the festival was free of charge until 1998....

, M'era Luna Festival
M'era Luna Festival
The M'era Luna is a festival of goth, metal and industrial music. It is held annually on the second weekend of every August, in Hildesheim, Germanyat Flugplatz Hildesheim-Drispenstedt, a former British Army airbase....

 and Wacken Open Air
Wacken Open Air
Wacken Open Air is a summer open air heavy metal music festival. It takes place annually in the small town of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany...

.

The group went on another international tour in September, titled after its most recent single "Dozing Green
Dozing Green
"Dozing Green" is a single by Dir En Grey, released on October 24, 2007 in Japan and across Europe as well as in the iTunes Store until the end of October. The Japanese edition includes two b-sides, "Hydra -666-" and "Agitated Screams of Maggots [Live]"...

", beginning in Japan, and continuing in Europe, including their first performance in the Netherlands and Switzerland. In late November, Dir En Grey opened two shows for Linkin Park
Linkin Park
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005 and multi-platinum in several other countries...

 at Saitama Super Arena
Saitama Super Arena
is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Chūō-ku, Saitama City, Saitama, Japan. Its spectator capacity is 37,000 at maximum settings.This main arena capacity is between 19,000-22,500 when events such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, ice hockey, gymnastics, boxing, mixed martial arts and...

 and in December performed another Japan tour with 10 Years as support act. Commemorating Dir En Grey's tenth anniversary as a band, two greatest hits compilations, titled Decade 1998–2002 and Decade 2003–2007 respectively, were released on December 19.

At the beginning of 2008, Dir En Grey announced plans to begin recording a new studio album... Their first touring of the year, in May, was another Japan tour with a conclusion of three shows at Shinkiba Studio Coast
Ageha
ageHa is a nightclub and event space in Shin-Kiba, Kōtō, Tokyo, Japan. The club opened in December, 2003. The venue is also known as Studio Coast. The word Ageha is Japanese for 'Swallowtail butterfly'. The club's name has recently been presented in the 3-letter-version 'AGH' in capital letters,...

, titled Death over Blindness. Between touring, Dir En Grey performed on one night of the two-night "hide
Hide (musician)
, better known by his stage name hide , was a popular Japanese musician. He was primarily known for his work as lead guitarist of the heavy metal band X Japan from 1987 to 1997...

 memorial summit" on May 4, alongside X Japan
X Japan
is a Japanese heavy metal band founded in 1982 by Yoshiki and Toshi. Originally named X , the group achieved their breakthrough success in 1989 with the release of their second album Blue Blood...

, Luna Sea
Luna Sea
Luna Sea is a rock band from Kanagawa, Japan, formed in 1989. The band was initially founded by bassist J and rhythm guitarist Inoran, when they were in high school. They soon recruited lead guitarist and violinist Sugizo, drummer Shinya and vocalist Ryuichi, a lineup that has remained the same...

, and others. A second Japanese tour, titled Tour 08 The Rose Trims Again began September 10 the same day as the release of their single "Glass Skin
Glass Skin
"Glass Skin" is a single by Dir En Grey, released on September 10, 2008 in Japan in a regular and limited edition, the limited copy featuring a bonus live track as well as a sticker of the band and a poster...

".

On August 1, Dir En Grey announced the release of their seventh studio album, Uroboros
Uroboros (album)
Uroboros is the seventh studio album by Japanese metal band Dir En Grey. It was released on November 11, 2008 in the United States by The End Records and, due to the time difference, November 12, 2008 in Japan through Firewall and European releases by Gan-Shin...

, which was released on November 11, 2008 in the United States. The band also toured the United States and Canada in support of the album with dates scheduled for November and December (overlapping the release of Uroboros) with opening act The Human Abstract
The Human Abstract
The Human Abstract is an American progressive metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 2004, the group was originally signed to the independent label Hopeless Records, the band then released the two albums Nocturne and Midheaven before signing to E1 Music and releasing Digital Veil...

. More touring that fall included a series of four shows titled "Bajra", two being fan-club exclusive, and a single show on December 29, under the moniker "Uroboros -Breathing-", at the famous Osaka-jo Hall
Osaka-jo Hall
, or Osaka Castle Hall, is a multi-purpose arena, in the Kyōbashi area, of Osaka, Japan. The hall opened in 1983 and can seat up to 16,000 people...

 where Dir En Grey had not performed since December 18, 1999 (as seen on 1999.12.18 Osakajo Hall).

Beginning in 2009, Dir En Grey made their first thorough tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland with Kerrang!
Kerrang!
Kerrang! is a UK-based magazine devoted to rock music published by Bauer Media Group. It was first published on June 6, 1981 as a one-off supplement in the Sounds newspaper...

s "Relentless Tour '09" alongside Mindless Self Indulgence
Mindless Self Indulgence
Mindless Self Indulgence is an American musical group formed in New York in 1997. Their music has a mixed style including rap, punk rock, alternative rock, electronica, techno and industrial...

, Bring Me the Horizon
Bring Me the Horizon
Bring Me the Horizon are a British metalcore band from Sheffield, Yorkshire, who formed in 2004. Bring Me the Horizon constits of Oliver Sykes as the lead vocalist, lead guitarist Lee Malia, rhythm guitarist Jona Weinhofen, bassist Matt Kean and drummer Matt Nicholls...

, Black Tide
Black Tide
Black Tide is an American heavy metal band from Miami, Florida. Formed in 2004, the group is currently signed to Interscope Records and is composed of Gabriel Garcia , Austin Diaz , Zachary Sandler , and Steven Spence...

 and In Case of Fire
In Case of Fire
In Case of Fire are a Christian alternative rock band from Portadown, Northern Ireland, formed in 2005. The original line up consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Steven Robinson, bassist Mark Williamson and drummer Colin Robinson...

. In February, the band announced the public release of a new live DVD, Tour 08 The Rose Trims Again
Tour 08 The Rose Trims Again
Tour 08 The Rose Trims Again is a live DVD released by Dir En Grey on April 28, 2009. The feature show was recorded on October 18, 2008 at Shinkiba Studio Coast in Tokyo, Japan, with bonus footage recorded at the band's December 29th show of the same year at Osakajo Hall in Osaka, Japan.- Release...

, as well as switching European record labels to the newly founded Okami Records, a sister label of their former European representation, Gan-Shin
Gan-Shin
is an independent European rock music record label. It was formed in 2004 by Deville Schober. The label, active in Germany, France and the United Kingdom, exclusively signs bands from Japan...

.

During spring of 2009, the band began to fully promote Uroboros with a series of nationwide tours, under the title "Tour 09 Feast of V Senses
Tour 09 Feast of V Senses
Tour 09 Feast Of V Senses is a live DVD recorded by Dir En Grey throughout their Feast of V Senses tour.It was released for the band's official fanclub "A Knot"...

". The tour was interrupted briefly while in Sapporo and Sendai, with an announcement on the band's official website, explaining that Kyo had been diagnosed with edema
Edema
Edema or oedema ; both words from the Greek , oídēma "swelling"), formerly known as dropsy or hydropsy, is an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body that produces swelling...

 of the larynx, and would require the postponement of three shows, which were rescheduled for early May.
Dir En Grey continued their Feast of V Senses tour in Europe, with a mixture of festival performances, headlining shows, and one co-headlining show with Killswitch Engage
Killswitch Engage
Killswitch Engage is an American metalcore band from Westfield, Massachusetts, formed in 1999 after the disbandment of Overcast and Aftershock. Killswitch Engage's current lineup consists of vocalist Howard Jones, bassist Mike D'Antonio, guitarists Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkiewicz, and drummer...

. The festival performances included their third appearances at Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, as well as their initial concerts at Download Festival
Download Festival
The Download Festival is a three day rock music festival held annually at Donington Park, England . It usually takes place in June...

, Nova Rock and Metaltown. Among the headlining shows, Dir En Grey were also making debut concerts in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

.

After several shows of their late-summer tour, "All Visible Things," Dir En Grey announced their next single for December, "Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami
Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami
is the 25th single by Japanese band Dir En Grey, released on December 2, 2009 in Japan in a regular and limited edition, the limited copy featuring a bonus DVD.The first B-side, "Zan", is a re-recording of a track from band's first album, Gauze...

", as well as a North American and South American tour also under the title "All Visible Things." Their new single was released on December 2, 2009 and reached number 2 on the Oricon Weekly Chart. The highest position to date for the band.

Their 2009 tour season ended with a 3 live tour titled, "Dorje". They finally ended their long Uroboros centered tour by doing 2 back to back performances at the Nippon Budokan
Nippon Budokan
The , often shortened to simply Budokan, is an indoor arena in central Tokyo, Japan.This is the location where many "Live at the Budokan" albums were recorded...

, titled, "Uroboros –with the proof in the name of living…-" where tickets sold out in 15 minutes.

2010–present: Dum Spiro Spero


It was announced on April 7, 2010, that the band would be returning to the United Kingdom in August on the lineup for the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth, playing on a bill being headlined by Iron Maiden and Rammstein. According to the festival website, this will be their only UK festival performance this year. Regarding the announcement, Kaoru (on the Sonisphere UK website) is quoted as saying
"I’d never have thought that we would play a festival of this caliber! It is like a dream come true to be playing with such great bands at Sonisphere. Although we’re not back in the UK for a tour, we wanted to play this festival to give something back to the fans who were disappointed last year from our cancelled finale in London. We were really bummed ourselves to not play and are looking forward to playing a great show for all our fans. We’ll also think up something special for this show as a way to show them our appreciation for waiting for us to come back.
As at any festival, we are excited about playing for people who have never seen us before, and I hope they will be able to enjoy our show with our unique stage performance. It’ll be something they’ve never seen before! It will be absolutely rewarding for us if they simply enjoy our performance.”

It was announced on April 28, 2010, that Dir En Grey will also be playing an exclusive club date at London's Koko venue on August 3, 2010 as part of "The Unwavering Fact of Tomorrow Tour 2010". Guitarist Kaoru comments: "It's been awhile since our last headline show in London so you can expect as much as you want!! We're looking forward to see our fans in the UK again and hopefully see some new faces who saw us on the Kerrang! Tour. Come and enjoy a performance that you can only experience at our headline shows!" Dir En Grey announced later on, that they also will do their debut performances in Russia by adding one show in Moscow at Tochka Club on August 5 and one show in St Petersburg at Glav Club on August 6. Dir en grey have been touring North America on a co-headlining tour with the Finnish
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 band Apocalyptica
Apocalyptica
Apocalyptica is a band from Helsinki, Finland, formed in 1993. The band is composed of classically trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilaakso and drummer Mikko Sirén...

, who have been promoting their most recent album 7th Symphony
7th Symphony (album)
-Digital download:Digital download versions include the standard 10 track edition and the limited 12 track edition of the album, with additional bonus tracks "Spiral Architect" or "Return Game"...

 with a special guest of Kyo
Kyo (musician)
is the vocalist of Japanese band Dir En Grey. He has been with the band since its inception in 1997 and was formerly in La:Sadie's. Kyo was inspired to become a rock star when he saw a picture of Buck-Tick vocalist Atsushi Sakurai on the desk of a junior high school classmate.While he has only...

 interpreting the song "Bring Them to Light", one of the tracks of the cello-metalers latest record.

Recently, the band confirmed in an interview with Kerrang! magazine they are in process of writing new material for the follow-up to Uroboros
Uroboros (album)
Uroboros is the seventh studio album by Japanese metal band Dir En Grey. It was released on November 11, 2008 in the United States by The End Records and, due to the time difference, November 12, 2008 in Japan through Firewall and European releases by Gan-Shin...

. As well as appearing on the OST of the upcoming movie Saw 3D with their latest single, "Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami
Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami
is the 25th single by Japanese band Dir En Grey, released on December 2, 2009 in Japan in a regular and limited edition, the limited copy featuring a bonus DVD.The first B-side, "Zan", is a re-recording of a track from band's first album, Gauze...

", they also participated in Romantist - The Stalin, Michiro Endo Tribute Album which is a tribute album celebrating the 60th birthday of The Stalin
The Stalin
were an influential Japanese punk rock band formed in June 1980, by leader and vocalist Michiro Endo. After numerous member changes, he disbanded the group in February 1985. In May 1987 Michiro formed a group called Video Stalin, which mostly made videos instead of albums, they disbanded in 1988...

's frontman Michiro Endo
Michiro Endo
is a Japanese musician, author and socialist activist. Known as frontman of the influential punk band The Stalin.Endo was born in Nihonmatsu and graduated from Yamagata University. After college he wandered through Vietnam and Southeast Asia...

, which was released on December 1, 2010. The album also featured bands such as Buck-Tick
Buck-Tick
Buck-Tick is a rock band formed in 1983 in Fujioka, Japan. The band has consisted of Atsushi Sakurai , Hisashi Imai , Hidehiko Hoshino , Yutaka Higuchi and Toll Yagami for the majority of its existence...

, Group Tamashii, Merry, Jun Togawa, and Wagdug Futuristic Unity.

The single "Lotus
Lotus (Dir en grey song)
"Lotus" is the 26th single by Japanese band Dir En Grey, released on January 26, 2011 in Japan in a regular and limited edition, the limited copy featuring a bonus DVD....

" was released on January 26, 2011, along with a new fan-club only tour named The Decomposition of the Moon, scheduled to run from May 14 to May 26, 2011. The band released "Different Sense" on June 22, 2011.

The band's eighth studio album, Dum Spiro Spero
Dum Spiro Spero (album)
Dum Spiro Spero is the eighth studio album by the Japanese metal band Dir En Grey, released on August 3, 2011...

, was released on August 3, 2011.

Musical style


Dir En Grey has been categorized in many genres such as alternative metal
Alternative metal
Alternative metal is a genre of alternative rock and heavy metal that gained popularity in the early 1990s. Most notably, alternative metal bands are characterized by heavy guitar riffs and experimental approaches to heavy music.-Origins:...

, death metal
Death metal
Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It typically employs heavily distorted guitars, tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, blast beat drumming, minor keys or atonality, and complex song structures with multiple tempo changes....

, experimental, avant-garde and various others. Dir En Grey's format has been subject to change throughout their career, initially being a rather experimental form of alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

. Some tracks of their debut album Gauze also demonstrated a distinct pop
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

 appeal, which was largely dropped in favor of a more progressive
Progressive rock
Progressive rock is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility." John Covach, in Contemporary Music Review, says that many thought it would not just "succeed the pop of...

 sound on the following albums, Macabre and Kisou
Kisou
is the third studio album released by Dir En Grey on January 30, 2002. It has helped them gain popularity across Asia and is their best-selling album to date. The first press edition came with an extra booklet of lyrics and the cover booklet came in color, as opposed to the normal release...

. While up to that point some songs had already been more fast-paced, raw and aggressive than others, the band's music took a decisive turn with the release of the EP Six Ugly
Six Ugly
Six Ugly is an EP released by Dir En Grey on July 31, 2002. Its packaging features several references to American popular culture, such as the Universal Monsters and the band's name being written in the Coca-Cola font, along with the EP's sound being more akin to contemporary western heavy metal...

, from then on sporting more metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 influences in general. Dir En Grey's style has since gravitated towards riff
RIFF
The Resource Interchange File Format is a generic file container format for storing data in tagged chunks. It is primarily used to store multimedia such as sound and video, though it may also be used to store any arbitrary data....

s and song structures
Song structure (popular music)
The structures or musical forms of songs in popular music are typically sectional, repeating forms, such as strophic form. Other common forms include thirty-two-bar form, verse-chorus form, and the twelve bar blues...

 more along the lines of contemporary North American fusion genres, such as nu metal
Nu metal
Nu metal is a subgenre of heavy metal. It is a fusion genre which combines elements of heavy metal with other genres, including grunge and hip hop...

 and metalcore
Metalcore
Metalcore is a subgenre of heavy metal combining various elements of extreme metal and hardcore punk. The name is a portmanteau of the names of the two genres. The term took on its current meaning in the mid-1990s, describing bands such as Earth Crisis, Deadguy and Integrity...

, though their latest album, Uroboros
Uroboros (album)
Uroboros is the seventh studio album by Japanese metal band Dir En Grey. It was released on November 11, 2008 in the United States by The End Records and, due to the time difference, November 12, 2008 in Japan through Firewall and European releases by Gan-Shin...

, sees them return to the more experimental and oriental sound of their earlier albums. Since its release many sources have begun classifying Dir En Grey as progressive metal
Progressive metal
Progressive metal is a subgenre of heavy metal originating in the United Kingdom and North America in the late 1980s...

. In a review of their sixth full length album, The Marrow of a Bone
The Marrow of a Bone
The Marrow of a Bone is the sixth studio album by Japanese metal band Dir En Grey, released on February 7, 2007 in Japan, and in the United States , Germany , France , and the United Kingdom in the following months. In total, the album was released in eleven countries...

, Allmusic comments on their evolution and diversity, saying:
Kyo's singing is considered a pivotal aspect of the band, and he has gained recognition for his distinctive vocal work and for his large range and versatility, being able to "howl, croon, emote cleanly, scream, shriek, growl, bellow, and make nearly inhuman sounds", and he has been compared favorably to singer and avant garde metal musician Mike Patton
Mike Patton
Michael Allan "Mike" Patton is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and actor, best known as the lead singer of the metal/experimental rock band Faith No More. He has also sung for Mr...

. In their review of Uroboros, Sputnik Music says only of Kyo's singing, "I challenge you to find one singer in any genre with more range than this guy." All lyrics are written by Kyo and deal with subjects such as society, mass media as well as sexual obsessions and love, usually with negative implications. The vocabulary varies from subtle to explicit and several songs rely heavily on double entendre
Double entendre
A double entendre or adianoeta is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first meaning is straightforward, while the second meaning is less so: often risqué or ironic....

s and other wordplay, often involving the multiple meanings of a kanji
Kanji
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters hanzi that are used in the modern Japanese writing system along with hiragana , katakana , Indo Arabic numerals, and the occasional use of the Latin alphabet...

 character.

Members


The members of Dir En Grey are credited with their given
Given name
A given name, in Western contexts often referred to as a first name, is a personal name that specifies and differentiates between members of a group of individuals, especially in a family, all of whose members usually share the same family name...

 or stage name
Stage name
A stage name, also called a showbiz name or screen name, is a pseudonym used by performers and entertainers such as actors, wrestlers, comedians, and musicians.-Motivation to use a stage name:...

s, with the names of and usually being written in kanji.
  • Kyo
    Kyo (musician)
    is the vocalist of Japanese band Dir En Grey. He has been with the band since its inception in 1997 and was formerly in La:Sadie's. Kyo was inspired to become a rock star when he saw a picture of Buck-Tick vocalist Atsushi Sakurai on the desk of a junior high school classmate.While he has only...

     – vocals
    Singing
    Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, and augments regular speech by the use of both tonality and rhythm. One who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music known as songs that can be sung either with or without accompaniment by musical instruments...

  • Kaoru – guitar
    Guitar
    The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

    , backing vocals
  • Die
    Die (musician)
    Die is a Japanese musician and one of the guitarists of Dir en grey. He has been with the band since its inception in 1997 and was previously a member of La:Sadie's and before that he was in Ka・za・ri...

     – guitar
    Guitar
    The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

    , backing vocals
  • Toshiya – bass
    Bass guitar
    The bass guitar is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb , or by using a pick....

    , backing vocals
  • Shinya – drums
    Drum kit
    A drum kit is a collection of drums, cymbals and often other percussion instruments, such as cowbells, wood blocks, triangles, chimes, or tambourines, arranged for convenient playing by a single person ....


Discography



Studio albums
  • Gauze (1999)
  • Macabre (2000)
  • Kisou
    Kisou
    is the third studio album released by Dir En Grey on January 30, 2002. It has helped them gain popularity across Asia and is their best-selling album to date. The first press edition came with an extra booklet of lyrics and the cover booklet came in color, as opposed to the normal release...

     (2002)
  • Vulgar (2003)
  • Withering to Death.
    Withering to death.
    -Personnel:* Yoshinori Abe – co-producer* Tatsuya Sakamoto – recording, mixing, mastering* Dynamite Tommy – executive producer* Koji Yoda – art direction...

     (2005)
  • The Marrow of a Bone
    The Marrow of a Bone
    The Marrow of a Bone is the sixth studio album by Japanese metal band Dir En Grey, released on February 7, 2007 in Japan, and in the United States , Germany , France , and the United Kingdom in the following months. In total, the album was released in eleven countries...

     (2007)
  • Uroboros
    Uroboros (album)
    Uroboros is the seventh studio album by Japanese metal band Dir En Grey. It was released on November 11, 2008 in the United States by The End Records and, due to the time difference, November 12, 2008 in Japan through Firewall and European releases by Gan-Shin...

     (2008)
  • Dum Spiro Spero
    Dum Spiro Spero (album)
    Dum Spiro Spero is the eighth studio album by the Japanese metal band Dir En Grey, released on August 3, 2011...

     (2011)

Scream for the Truth


On August 1, Dir en Grey released an open letter on their official Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 that accuses the Japanese government of lying to its people and hiding the true danger of the radiation
Radiation
In physics, radiation is a process in which energetic particles or energetic waves travel through a medium or space. There are two distinct types of radiation; ionizing and non-ionizing...

 levels after the nuclear accidents
2011 Japanese nuclear accidents
This is a list of articles describing aspects of the nuclear shut-downs, failures, and nuclear meltdowns triggered by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.-Fukushima nuclear power plants:* Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant...

 caused by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, also known as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, or the Great East Japan Earthquake, was a magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday, 11 March 2011, with the epicenter approximately east...

. In October the band launched a campaign called Scream for the Truth, complete with a website and billboards hanging in Times Square
Times Square
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets...

in New York City, in hopes of stopping the lies and getting correct information.

External links