- Sustain the UNtruth
- Ruten no Tou (acoustic ver.)
- Gaika, Chinmoku ga Nemuru Koro [LIVE]
1. Sustain the UNtruth
DIR EN GREY returns to the music scene with another demonic offering in Sustain the UNtruth. Down-tuned guitars open the song with menacing riffs and the vicious screams of wah-wah. Kyo’s vocals in the verse are a chaotic mix of whispers and harsh growls, made all the more obvious by the lessened instrumentation. As he unleashes a spiralling wail, the distorted guitars return, and chorus arrives. Here, his vocals turn clean and go high. While Kyo’s growls wouldn’t be my first preference to listen to, they are dark, evil and a perfect fit for the song. Likewise, his higher lines in the chorus aren’t the most pleasant, but get the job done. The band’s performance is great. The clunking basslines, the unsettling timing of the guitars and the ponderous beast that is the drums all supply the heavy atmosphere. A very solid A-side from DIR EN GREY.
2. Ruten no Tou (acoustic ver.)
Unlike their acoustic versions, which are cluttered with disharmonic piano chords, Ruten no Tou is a melodic, guitar-driven piece. The acoustic guitars play arpeggios and surprisingly normal-sounding chords with a Spanish twist. Low-key bass and drums fill out the arrangement, and blend with the other instruments nicely. While the instrumentals are the strong part of the song, the vocals are the weak part. I don’t mean this as in lacking power, but Kyo doesn’t have the tone to sing acoustic. He sounds fine against a metal backdrop, but a plain song like this exposes his unattractive traits. Also, his growls are horrible and do not fit the song at all. However, I do like how he softens his vocals in certain sections to suit the more laid-back mood. For me, the guitar-work is the best part of the song, and makes it tolerable.
3. Gaika, Chinmoku ga Nemuru Koro [LIVE]
Sustain the UNtruth is soft for a heavy metal song. Now, this stuff here is hardcore. And a case of Totally Not My Thing. Gaika, Chinmoku ga Nemuru Koro starts with clean guitars, and is surprisingly peaceful. For a short time, at least. Then a high scream pierces the air, the drums go mad and the guitars go furious. The verse is a scream-fest, full of low growls, high growls and everything in between. I don’t like it, but it is impressive how he can put on such a range of voices. The chorus slows down the tempo, timed with a switch to clean vocals. Kyo manages to hit the incredibly high notes, which is a relief since I’ve heard lives where he’s struggled. Although this type of music doesn’t appeal to my tastes, the band’s playing is tight and the way Kyo does his vocal gymnastics is cool.
I got out as much as I could expect from this single, i.e. the A-side, which was a good heavy track. The acoustic version and live didn’t work for me, because of the unsuitable vocals in the former and not matching my tastes for the latter. Overall though, I’m happy enough with Sustain the UNtruth. It’s also nice to review something that’s not anison occasionally xD
Rating: 3 stars