Besides six Ugly, this was Dir en grey's first venture into the American rock genre (whereas GAUZE and MACABRE were still more pop, and Kisou . . . well, I'm still trying to forget that album), and they managed to pull it off very well.
This album has it all: Fast paced songs like THE IIID EMPIRE and OBSCURE, slower songs like RED...[em
] and SAJOU NO UTA, and just fun songs like Child prey and ASUNAKI KOUFUKU, KOENAKI ASU.
This album seems to come in layers: The first four tracks are fast rock songs, the fifth and sixth are slower songs, the next three are fun to listen to, and all of them from there (excluding AMBER) are faster-set songs once again.
Kyo's voice is simply amazing in this album: From screeching in songs like audience KILLER LOOP to singing melodically in KASUMI, you can clearly see how far he's come in terms of a singer within the past few years.
Also, the actual lyrics are darker and more mysterious (ie. INCREASE BLUE, AMBER, and Child prey).
However, the album does have two setbacks that I like to call MARMALADE CHAINSAW and NEW AGE CULTURE. MARMALADE is just plain annoying and CULTURE is too fast and impossible to pick-up on. Also, I would have preferred it if the song R TO THE CORE was longer.
I would pick this up if you want to get into Dir en grey, or if you're already a fan and need to get into this band somehow.
RECOMMENDED SONGS: DRAIN AWAY, audience KILLER LOOP, OBSCURE, Child prey, and ASUNAKI KOUFUKU, KOENAKI ASU.
MY RATING: 4 out of 5
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