Music/Popular Culture

Dir En Grey: Japanese Metal from Hell (Saturday Video Roundup)

Godzilla ain’t the only hardcore badass from Japan.

I’m not the Japan expert around here – that distinction falls to blogger, poet, photographer and Japanophile extraordinare Dan Ryan – so I won’t pretend that I know anything about J-Pop. It just felt like a nice day to do something a little different for SVR, and I’ve been thinking about Dir En Grey for the past couple of days.

They’ve been around for a number of years and seem to have evolved through some changes (both musical and visual), so you can surf YouTube and find a range of styles – everything from a sort of melodic Metal that we might associate with, say, Queensryche, to moments that, more than anything, remind me of Tool, to hell on Earth horror Metal that would scare the piss out of Lordi, to straight-up Nu Metal. I’m not so much into the weasels-ripped-my-throat-out brand of singing, but hey, you might like it.

So let’s get our J-Metal on, shall we? We’ll start with “The Final.”

This is “Different Sense.”

Here’s “Kodou.”

And let’s close with something to keep you awake tonight, “Obscure.”

Happy Saturday, folks. And maybe we can talk Dan into doing a more informed J-Pop SVR for us one of these weeks.

4 replies »

  1. Couple of things: One, Dir En Grey make my teeth hurt; Two, I’m really not an expert on J-Pop, at least not enough of one to do a substantive piece on the topic. For that, I would refer you to Mr. Ian Martin, who writes on music for The Japan Times, and has his own record label in Tokyo. Check him out at:

    That is all. Do carry on.

  2. Thanks, Sam. They’re not bad. The king of extreme Japanese music, in this case noise music, is Merzbow, a favorite of mine. Even beyond him, and way harder to listen to Dir En Grey, though, is a guy named Masonna. I made it through about 60 seconds of his music. (Merzbow, on the other hand, I can listen to for a couple of hours.)