Back in January DIR EN GREY released their latest greatest hits album VESTIGE OF SCRATCHES, for which they selected 44 songs from their career based on the votes made by fans. All to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the band. Three of these songs were re-recorded for this release.
While highly anticipated, fans couldn’t wait to hear new music from the band, and the answer from the band to this request is the single 人間を被る (Ningen wo Kaburu). Containing one brand new song, one re-recording of one of their very first songs, and a live song. This single was released in four different versions of which some are CD only, and others have a DVD or Blu-ray disc containing footage of various live songs ranging from 2014 to 2017 and in-studio footage from the recording sessions.
Today we’re going to discuss the regular edition, however, which is the CD only version.
01 – 人間を被る (Ningen wo Kaburu)
02 – ASH
03 – 詩踏み (Utafumi) [LIVE]
For the ones familiar with DIR EN GREY’s recent work: this single is exactly what you would expect from the band. Despite their genre being categorized as heavy metal, they still speak to a wide audience with their overall experimental sound that’s easily accepted by the fans worldwide. It’s no wonder that DIR EN GREY manages to pull a large crowd to their shows no matter where they play, be it in Japan, Europe or even the United States.
人間を被る (Ningen wo Kaburu)
An overall solid song which highlights the heavy sound of DIR EN GREY as a band consisting of five individual members being in perfect sync with each other. Kyo’s diverse vocals ranging from long high notes to his low growls and screams make for a very pleasant song to listen to. While being a fast-paced song on the heavier side of the spectrum it’s also very melodic, and definitely the product of years and years of experience. The guys have definitely found out what they’re good at and what they feel comfortable with, and this song is a clear representation of that.
ASH was originally released in 1998, and you probably don’t need an explanation on how this re-recording has changed the song to a more modern version, fitting with the DIR EN GREY we know today. If you’re familiar with the original song you’ll definitely recognize it the second it starts playing, as the key elements have been preserved perfectly. The song from 1998 got introduced in 2018 in the best way possible, and I can’t come up with a better way to highlight the 20 years of music from this band in this one song. ASH has matured, along with the five guys who composed and performed the song at the very start of their career. All of that without losing it’s identity.
詩踏み (Utafumi) [LIVE]
While this is a live song instead of a studio recording, it’s a perfect introduction to what DIR EN GREY sounds like during their live shows. Kyo’s vocals are as diverse as they sound in the studio and equally enjoyable. At the start of the track Kyo announces it’s the “last song” of the live show it’s recorded from, but it absolutely doesn’t sound like “one last stretch”. There’s just as much power and dedication in this one song than there is in their studio songs, for which they obviously have more time with those and are able to make another recording if they aren’t satisfied with the initial result. If you need an introduction to one of their live shows, this song is definitely a good place to start.
人間を被る (Ningen wo Kaburu) is a single you’ll listen through in one sitting without even realizing it’s already over at first. When you play it on a loop you won’t even notice it has restarted again until you’re half way through the title song for a second time. For fans of DIR EN GREY this is exactly what you can expect from the band, like I said before, but for new fans it’s a quick introduction to a band who has made a name for themselves for the last 20 years.
Whether you’re a new fan or not, you should definitely give this single a listen because of it’s diverse vocals and solid guitar, bass and drum lines. Even if you’re not a fan of heavy metal, I’m pretty sure there is something about this band that will catch your attention and look up more of their work!