Dir en Grey

Withering to Death

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Japanese goth metal outfit Dir en Grey returns with 2006's Withering to Death, continuing their curious mixture of the apocalyptic themes of Scandinavian death metal, noisy industrial dance-rock à la Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson, and the gleeful over-the-top theatrical qualities of '70s glam, particularly singer Kyo's falsetto shrieks, which put the guy from the Darkness to shame. By this point in their nearly decade-long career, the band has their shtick down and they're working it for all it's worth; Withering to Death brings nothing new to the party either, musically or lyrically, although the single "Clever Sleazoid" is a fair encapsulation of the group's unique sound. Bottom line: for those who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they'll like, but no one who has so far resisted Dir en Grey's charms will be swayed.

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