Dir en grey's "Dum Spiro Spero" is just an excellent album, very colorful and overall a big change in their musical direction.
They started as an alternative rock band with a visual kei look and throughout the years their music became much more heavy and it developed a "metal" sound. Their first few albums had some similarities, but after "Kisou" they started going for a more experimental sound, becoming more versatile with every release and always bringing something new, bringing beautiful instrumentals and topping it with extremely rangy vocals. The biggest change in their music was on their album "Uroboros
mention all this? Because even Uroboros
wasn't as much of a progressive masterpiece as this album is.
Dum Spiro Spero is a very melodic album, very complex, very heavy and very emotional. Dir en grey is known for breaking the language barrier when it comes to music, this album certainly shows that. The vocals are probably the main act on the whole album. No offense to Kaoru, Die
, Toshiya and Shinya, 'cause they make very complex instrumentals, which are occasionally very simple too, yet heart touching. Dir en grey isn't known for ultra fast solos, or solos at all, but this album has few, and even without them, the guitarists deliver just greatly! The bass ranges from basic guitar following to slap playing. The drums have complex fills and patterns, and they've been like this since Uroboros
. The vocals, like I've said earlier, are the most that the album has to offer. They range from very emotional singing, which can be depressing at certain points, especially if you know the translated lyrics, to low growls, screams, extreme shrieks and much more. Unlike Dir en grey's older stuff, this has much more death metal influences, some doom metal influences etc. It is much heavier than most of the music they've made in the past, and that might reject fans of their earlier alternative style (which is still present in this album, in a small portion though).
Overall this is a great and very colorful album that many will like, with great instrumentals, great vocals and lyricism.