withering to death. is another one of Dir en grey’s albums that scared the fans and divided them all. This is rock, bordering on metal… but hey, I don’t know what I’m doing when I use terminology like that. It’s much darker than their previous work, and they don’t seem to experiment so much overall – whereas before it was hard to really define what Dir en grey are as a band.
The snarky will have fun with the first track’s title, Merciless Cult, but it’s worth looking past the cheesy title (really!). The drums are absolute love, and Kyo’s vocals switch from low and growly in the verses to screaming in the chorus.
Even though I said that they don’t experiment much, there are a couple of songs which are bizarrely done that I feel kinda proud of them! dead tree is has Kyo singing with gentle wee guitar(s) which every so often leap into the scariest screaming music ever. I think it’s an awesome contrast, but I can imagine so many people being unnerved by it to actually like it (beware, beware!). I guess they use the same technique in kodou, now that I think of it… where Kyo screams. Twice. He screams. Just lets loose and screams. Which I know shouldn’t be so astonishing, but it’s scary the first few times! Jesus Christ RnR borders on almost rap and hip hop, with this occasional high pitched chorus.
I’ve found I don’t listen to Higeki ha mabuta wo oroshita yasashiki utsu, Kodoku ni shisu, yue ni kodoku, and Itoshisa wa fuhai ni tsuki so much. That’s not because they’re hideously bad songs (they really aren’t!), but I get impatient. “I want to listen to THE FINAL, already!”
Howeverrr. They manage to soften the album a little, which I appreciate. I like listening to Higeki ha mabuta wo oroshita yasashiki utsu when I’m going for a walk. XD It makes me thinking of skipping down a long road, even though I know this is hardcore!Dir en grey!!!!111 and the lyrics are therefore far from peaceful..
I’d also like to say, oh my god, THE FINAL. This song is awesome the whole way through, and I can’t stop listening to it. It’s just ♥ ♥ ♥.
To summarise? withering to death. doesn’t suck. It’s different to their other albums, sure, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve forgotten how to make music like. Just think of their Vulgar album (2003), but with guitars that occasionally stab people. That’s the best way I can describe it. I also like it more than The Marrow of a Bone, because all the songs vary that much more.
And because I got the version with the DVD
I haven’t ever bothered looking at the extra discs for CDs (eg. Zed and Franz Ferdinand). I don’t ever really care – however! Such is not the case this time. There are clips from their tour in 2004 which make me want to go to one of their concerts. Even though I’m such a wimp that I’d pass out in the mosh pit. I don’t care.
The PV for -SAKU- is so amazing (an article from MTV when this video won the Headbanger’s Ball “06 said that the best part was seeing a cockroach crawl over a lifeless hand – they’re so wrong, it’s Kyo’s expressions). Then THE FINAL (the flames, the flames! Shinya’s hair!).
As described by Telecom as being the pinkilicious phone (A+ u gaiz).
What is it with things being produced in a pink colour? Why not any other colour? It’s always silver, black and then pink because girls will want to buy it.
I am a girl, but I bought it because girls like me don’t buy pink phones (we geeks like being taken seriously). I think things like this are funny.
Apart from the fact that the phone is pink, the general design on the top of the clam shell is bizarre. I’ve read reviews that compare the speakerphone to gills. Nothing else to say (they’re right). Yeah. It’s not elegant. The keypad is wonderful, and one of the reasons I was tempted to buy it. The buttons are easy to use for fast texting (hellooo Motorola!).
Upon first turning on the phone you’re greeted with a blinding, hideous orange light on the LCD screen. It’ll then pop up again whenever it wants to alert you of something. Luckily, this can be turned off – but you’ll always see it on start up. Who designs a pink phone (and it was, the other colours arrived a month later) and then is so cheap as to use a LCD screen like that? What an attention to detail!
You then discover that all the free things on it are no fun at all. The ring tones all sound terrible; all games are demos, and not worth playing (I’ll assume this is only the case for phones bought in New Zealand). My sister has a Nokia; it came with three awesome games and none of them demos, so for me this was disappointing… but isn’t something I’m going to whine about. Then again, if you do want to buy games and ringtones you can’t buy an awful lot – the phone’s memory is incredibly limited.
Conveniently, the only way you can discover things like this is because the software on the Sanyo SCP-3100 is easy to use. It’s the same across all Sanyos: so simple and straight forward – not like that same Nokia I talked about before. Nothing about this phone is difficult to use, and it’s easily customisable.
It has a basic camera, the largest resolution being 640×480 but you can’t take many photographs before running out of space, and even then I suspect the file is compressed intensely. But it’s nothing too appalling. The phone’s screen is clear, crisp and bright, which would make it a delight to go on the internet with …. but no one designs sites with cell phone browsers in mind. Pfft.
The sound is somewhat okay… the quality of the voice memos are all right as far as memos go (a little crackly, sure). You can’t record much, but it’s a fun toy.
Phone calls, however, are a little frustrating. Sometimes you just can’t hear anything, and you wonder how much the other side’s getting. This was happening in some obscure town, but then when you’re stranded at 10pm just in the middle of nowhere facing certain death, it comes through – even on a low battery.
So the Sanyo SCP-3100 is reliable. It doesn’t freeze or blank out. The battery is decent. It’s good for receiving texts and calling people – the other features aren’t amazing. Bottom line is it’s really for people who don’t care about features, and want a basic good-looking (rather subjective) phone that’ll work.
I was worried about this album. If you hate it, you’re a bad fan who can’t move on from the visual kei days; if you like it, you’re an ignorant n00b with no appreciation for real music.
I’ve never heard anything like this album before, and it catches you off-guard. If you don’t have an ear for really really heavy music and screaming (because aye, this is metal?) this album is going to be a little scary. And if you go into it thinking you’re going to hate it, you probably will.
Don’t worry about the fate of Dir en grey after this album. They haven’t turned into a band that just mashes things together, and it’s in the quieter songs that show hope isn’t lost. But Marrow isn’t one of their best albums. One of the things that make Dir en grey great is that each of their songs have a little something-something. You shouldn’t have to listen to an album a couple of times to realise that, where you do with Marrow. It’s easy to wind up thinking that every song sounds the same, which is sad.
commentary of first listen
1). Conceived Sorrow This is a good way to start the album – it’s doesn’t launch into Diru’s new metal sound. ….But I’m left apprehensive about what the rest of the album will be like: the singles from the album are so not like this. There’s piano… Kyo’s voice and the guitars are softer. At some parts something bounces. This song is so pretty. Halfway through the songs the guitars go darker and mournful, but it’s not sudden or meant to throw you off. This is one of those songs where you feel sad that he’s taken to screaming so much more. D:
2). Lie Buried With a Vengeance Oooh, I like how the guitars are bouncing off each other, and then how the drums really kick off with Kyo. I have decided I like this song. Kyo’s voice borders on rap amidst the screaming. It starts off steady, and ends up rather disjointed.
And about two and a half minutes in Kyo does this funny little squeal thing (which is hilarious to look out for), and then they think they’re awesome for suddenly going “fuck fuck fuck fuck” like it’s supposed to offend people.
3). The Fatal Believer As soon as it starts, I think ‘generic crazy rock song’. There’s screaming and crazy guitars. That’s about it. Kyo then makes me wonder if I want to reconsider that… but not really… there are a few promising parts that almost make me change my mind, but nah. The only part where Kyo sings is good… but this doesn’t happen enough.
I feel bad listening to a song by a band I really love and deciding I don’t really like it. I like to pretend that it’s just a song I don’t really like as much as the others. But whatever. I’m-a be honest here.
4). Agitated Screams of Maggots The name’s hilarious, and the song seems to bounce along angrily! The guitars continuously swing from one rhythm to the next, and Kyo does nothing but scream. The drums are so… like. ♥♥ I remember listening to this song for the first time months ago. It doesn’t slow down at all, and then suddenly you’re at the end of the song and you’re … stunned.
5). Grief The guitars totally pwn this song, and remind me of bees, but all the “fuck you”s are naff. There’s another really high pitched squeal which is bizarre. ….And another. Kyo squeals now. Awright.
6). Ryoujoku no Ame This song I love. Like a lot. Not much is changed from the single version, except somewhere towards the end they took off some miscellaneous high-pitched singing “anata niwa sukuenai’. Oh wait – they made it so low that you can barely hear it.
7). Disabled Complexes Starts off to be really different from the others. Really different. Kind of calm and nonchalant. Kyo’s voice is quiet, low… and sings along sweetly. For him, anyway. The guitars midway into the song are awesommmmeee. It gets better towards the end, where the song soars with Kyo’s singing. I love the ending, where a lot of high-pitched Kyo voices are layered ontop of each other.
8). Rotting Root This one also starts off awesomely. I’m horrible at discribing guitars, but they totally overpower Kyo’s voice, who sounds somewhat muted. I love this song. The guitars are totallly “NWERRRR WHATEVERRR”, and Kyo swings between screaming and singing like he’s off by himself.
9). Namamekashiki Ansoku, Tomadoi Ni Hohoemi Ohhh, it starts of so quiet and sad with a synthesised orchestra. The first guitar is light and bouncy and sad. Kyo is very lovely here, and the chorus is so nice – I want to say bittersweet – and it kind of floats off to somewhere else. Such a nice relief from the rest of the album. And the way it ends… I will leave it a surprise. XD
10). The Pledge The word which comes to mind is powerful. Mixes these crazy warped guitars and this quietness. Now this is a nice wee balance.
11). Repetition of Hatred Ooooohhh, guitars are drilling away. There’s a real distinction between Kaoru and Die. I like the creepy and eerie in parts when Kyo sings in a high voice. Not a bad song.
12). The Deeper Vileness Fast, screamy song with lots of guitars. Shinya’s drumming is kickass. More really awesome squealing from Kyo. It’s so wtf that it’s awesome. And this song is especially awesome when you want to listen to some screeching ohboy. Like how the ending is staticky.
13). Clever Sleazoid Yeah, the single version was better. The opening’s different (worse)… they rerecorded Kyo to make him more screechy (and his English is… better!), which doesn’t really make it better or worse, but they also took away some of the drama and sadness near the end by making the guitars not stand out so much. It’s like they added too much.
But I said about The Deeper Vileness being a good screechy song I say here.
I bought this in Wellington, knowing I really wanted a break from System of a Down. I saw Imogen Heap(‘s album)! Knowing that she’s not well-known in New Zealand (the mainstream youth listen to a mixture of hip hop, generic pop-rock and Guns ‘n’ Roses), and that I enjoyed the only two songs from her that I’ve heard (c/o the OC soundtracks – oh shhh), I had to buy it.
The whole album carries a light bounciness, right from the first song Headlock and it’s floaty and hopelessly cute even when the songs aren’t particularly happy. I adore her voice – sort of low and a little breathy with a wee English accent. Or at least it sounds English, so I hope I’m right! The music is heavily synthesised, which generally I’m not a fan of and why I don’t tend to take pop seriously, but it’s because I don’t listen to it often, I found it to be strangely refreshing. Occasionally her voice itself is also synthesised, which surprisingly works (especially in Hide and Seek), instead coming off awkward and melodramatic (as when it’s pulled off by the likes of Britney Spears and Gackt).
Actually Hide and Seek? Still awesome. There’s no music apart from all these layers of her singing. Oh wait, and I see from the thank yous that she incorporated the sound of ‘‘ of her studio. And the song is still so sad.
I Am In Love With You didn’t manage to woo me; a combination with synthesised music trying to sound absolutely serious really really didn’t work.
Imogen Heap hasn’t inspired me to listen to more pop, only to whine about how New Zealand is missing out on something so good. Still, I don’t see myself buying another album of hers. She has a certain style that I love listening to, but I found it’s more that floating poppy style that appeals to me more than the actual songs.