By Paris365 on January 18, 2013

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Fire Wall Division

Dir En Grey continue to refine their sound with their latest single, "輪郭" (Google translate: "Outline"), which features lots of melodic singing in lieu of the old school death metal screeching found on so many of their past releases. Everything about their sound is cleaner and crispier here. The guitars are less grimy, instead possessing more of a clean sound like you would expect from bands like Helloween and Anthrax. Sure, there are still some crunchy guitars and the rhythm section still projects a doom-like vibe, but this is more accessible than most of their previous singles. It's a song that demands to be heard, where many of their past songs were confrontational to a point that you sometimes felt like you weren't meant to listen to them. This song even has a traditional heavy metal style guitar solo ripe for air guitar or Guitar Hero.

The translation of the first B-side, "霧と繭," is "Fog And Cocoon," at least according to Google. This one features very guteral, gravely vocals -- we're totally talking hardcore or death metal here -- with enough screeching to make your neighbors call the police because they'll fear there's a rampage going on in your flat. It especially reminds me of the material on their album The Marrow Of A Bone, though there are shades of their last album, Dum Spiro Spero, as well. Which isn't to say that there aren't some clear guitars and vocals here -- there are a bit -- but most of the song sounds downright evil in all the best ways possible.

The final track is an "Eternal Slumber" remix of the title track by Akira Yamaoka. Much of it simply consists of guitar and singing, but there are parts with drums and orchestration and those parts grow louder and creepier as the song progresses. So, this remix might be decidedly mellow at times but it's ultimately far too aggressive to go on a sleepytime playlist. Definitely NOT a lullaby. On the contrary, it would be perfect for a Halloween-themed playlist, a little something to scare the trick or treaters. -Michael McCarthy

A limited edition, first pressing version of this single is also available and comes with a bonus DVD (contents TBA.) It's also possible to buy the single bundled with a poster.

Labels and artists interested in being featured here may contact Michael McCarthy at cinema365@gmail.com. Follow Michael on Twitter https://twitter.com/paris365.

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