Dir en grey is a Japanese metal/rock band, formed in 1997 and went major in 1999. Yoshiki of X JAPAN produced their early singles (which were later compiled in the album GAUZE) and since then they have been composing and managing their works on their own.
Dir en grey was formed by former members of an indie band, La:Sadies, formed in the late 1995/early 1996. After parting ways with La:Sadies' bassist, KISAKI, the remaining of the band recruitted Toshiya (previously in D+L) and together they form Dir en grey. Kisaki has since gone and be involved in several indies projects, including KISAKI Project, Syndrome, Mirage, and Phantasmagoria.
They released their first mini-album MISSA in 1997, followed by the release of GAUZE in 1999, MACABRE in 2000, and Kisou in 2002. These albums had a strong visual theme to them, and although it is easy to see the progression of the band's psyche across the tracks, they were still a settled style.
A shock came in 2002, with Dir en grey releasing six Ugly, six 'ugly' tracks of American styled music, but still with the faint undertones of Dir en grey's typical vocal lines in the choruses and bridges. Dir en grey's next album, VULGAR, was released in September 2003, with the lead track, OBSCURE, heading back towards the original style. They released a single album titled THE FINAL, in 2004 which included four songs: THE FINAL, INCREASE BLUE, RED...[em], and The IIID Empire - in which the last three songs are live covers from their Osaka Kouseinenkin Kaikan concert on October 26, 2003.
Despite no longer being visual, Dir en grey still surprises people with each album - moving from hard tracks such as Pink Killer and FILTH, to rock ballads such as mushi or 24ko Cylinder, and then onto tracks such as Mr.NEWSMAN with profound lyrics, but a heart wrenching vocal bridge, or umbrella with its catchy chorus.
On March 9, 2005 Dir en grey released their seventh album, Withering to death.. This album consisted of fourteen tracks, two of which were previousily released singles, -Saku- and THE FINAL. The sound of this album was different than anything Dir en grey had released consisting of the vocalist, Kyo, mostly screaming and the music harder than Dir en grey's usual style. This album left many fans wondering what new things Dir en grey was to attempt next and many began to believe that Dir en grey was heading for a more western heavy metal sound, moving away from their original style on GAUZE and earlier released music.
The later months of 2005 began with Dir en grey setting out to conquer the European music world. On May 28 Dir en grey did their first European live in Berlin, Germany. The title was TOUR05 It withers and withers. They planned a number of lives throughout Europe consisting of Germany, France, and Belgium. Still touring, now to move onto TOUR05 It withers and withers in Paris, France on July 24th and OCTOPUS ROCK FESTIVAL in Nivells, Belgium on July 29th; Dir en grey has made a name for themselves throughout Europe. We can only hope now that they will conquer the United States of America and other countries as well.
Dir en grey's fifth album Withering to death. was released on the 11th November 2005 in Europe, and on the 26th May 2006. The album was a special modified version, featuring a DVD with the PVs for either THE FINAL, 朔-saku- or Kodou, depending on the country, as well as footage from previous tours that promoted Vulgar. The CD also contained a booklet with full lyric translations into German, English or French. This version of the record was mainly targeted at new fans rather than at existing fans.
During March 2006 the band went on tour in America with the rock band KORN. In May they returned to Europe (Berlin, Koln, German Festivals).
As Dir en grey has their new album UROBOROS they have just begun to tour in America and Canada for their new album release which is set to release November 11th. Tour dates and more information about their tour can be shown on their Myspace.
Originally their style was Visual-Kei, but later on, they settle down for a vaguely visual style. They drastically change their look with the release of each album. Most of the outfits from their Visual Kei-era are extremely elaborate, and as Kaoru claims in an English interview for Newgrave gothic magazine, he made his outfits elaborate on purpose to make it more challenging for cosplayers, or a costume player, to imitate the look.
- [1997.02.25] MISSA (Mini-Album)
- [1999.07.28] GAUZE
- [2000.09.20] MACABRE
- [2001.08.22] -KAI- (改-KAI-) (Remix Album)
- [2002.01.30] Kisou (鬼葬)
- [2002.07.31] six Ugly (Mini-Album)
- [2003.09.10] VULGAR
- [2005.03.09] Withering to death.
- [2007.02.07] THE MARROW OF A BONE
- [2007.12.19] DECADE 1998-2002 (Best Album)
- [2007.12.19] DECADE 2003-2007 (Best Album)
- [2008.11.12] UROBOROS
- [1998.05.10] JEALOUS
- [1998.08.12] -I'll-
- [1999.01.20] Yurameki (ゆらめき)
- [1999.01.20] -ZAN- (残-ZAN-)
- [1999.01.20] Akuro no Oka (アクロの丘)
- [1999.05.26] Cage
- [1999.07.14] Yokan (予感)
- [2000.02.16] Myaku (脈)
- [2000.06.07] [KR]cube
- [2000.07.26] Taiyou no Ao (太陽の碧)
- [2001.04.18] ain't afraid to die
- [2001.09.12] FILTH
- [2001.11.14] JESSICA
- [2001.12.19] embryo
- [2002.07.31] Child prey
- [2003.01.22] DRAIN AWAY
- [2003.04.23] Kasumi (かすみ)
- [2004.03.17] THE FINAL
- [2004.07.14] -saku- (朔 -saku-)
- [2005.09.21] CLEVER SLEAZOID
- [2006.07.26] Ryoujoku no Ame (凌辱の雨)
- [2006.11.15] Agitated Screams of Maggots
- [2007.10.24] DOZING GREEN
- [2008.09.10] GLASS SKIN
- [2001.08.22] TOUR 00>>01 MACABRE
- [2001.10.31] 1999 Nen 12 Gatsu 18 Nichi Osakajo Hall
- [2001.10.31] GAUZE-62045-
- [2002.03.20] Kimon
- [2003.05.21] Rettou Gekishin Angya Final 2003 5 Ugly KINGDOM
- [2004.10.06] TOUR04 THE CODE OF VULGAR[ism]
- [2005.06.29] Average Fury
- [2005.07.27] Average Psycho
- [2006.05.03] TOUR05 It Withers and Withers
- [2009.02.04] A KNOT OF