Dir en grey is a Japanese experimental metal & rock band. Most fans and haters call them "j-rock", which really isn't any real genre. For many people "j-rock" is only a curse word. For them, every Japanese rock & metal band is just shit (without any good reason). Little bit like many metalheads hate every metalcore band, because you just have to hate metalcore. Well, yeah some of these bands look really gay and dress up like girls but who fucking cares.

Well, nevertheless. These days Dir en grey plays pretty unique sounding experimental rock / metal, with pop, rock, hardcore, death metal, progressive rock, etc, etc, etc elements. So this "j-rock" could be almost everything between pop and death metal. Dir en grey just released a brand new album "Dum spiro spero", which is their most heavy and experimental album so far (at least in my opinion...). This new album sometimes brings bands like Akercocke and Opeth to my mind (bad thing?).

This was their third time in Finland. Previous gigs were in 2007, in Ankkarock festival and two sold-out club gigs in Tavastia. Last time I saw them in Tavastia, and it was a very good show. This i why I've really wanted to see this band again, and after four years it was possible...

This time they played in Nosturi, which was a new place for me. So how did they sound this time?

Dir en grey started exactly on time with their new album intro. Audience seemed to be very excited. After intro the band started with "HAGESHISA TO, KONO MUNE NO NAKA DE KARAMITSUITA SHAKUNETSU NO YAMI" (Pretty short tracktitle. Everyone remembers this, right?). After this "blast" they played a new version from their classic track "Obscure". I really like the old version, but this new version isn't so bad either. Next was LOTUS from new album, which sounded great. After this came maybe their most "death metal influenced" tracks "Different Sense" and "Decayed Crow". I really didn't except them to play this many and this good their tracks from the new album. Next was again some new stuff: ""YOKUSOU NI DREAMBOX" ARUIWA SEIJUKU NO RINEN TO TSUMETAI AME" (Again an easy and short track title...). I was hoping to to hear this track because it has really great and unique sounding vocals.

Vocalist Kyo sounded really good, once again. Kyo can really sing, growl, shriek... well, do almost every sound that man can create. A really great vocalist.

After this came an older track "Karasu". It was also nice to hear a bit older tracks. These kind of older tracks really sound great when played in a "modern" Dir en grey way. Then it was time for "Hydra -666-" and couple of newer songs. Then came new version from "Zan". "Zan" is one of their best live songs. It sounded really epic and heavy in live.

After this the band took little break. Then it was time for encore.

They started the encore with an older ballad "Zakuro", which was little bit a suprise. This kind of material really brings good variation for their new and more metal influenced tracks. After this peaceful song was time to raise fists for "Saku". Last track for this show was "Rasetsukoku". "Rasetsukoku" started the biggest moshspit of the night (yeah, "j-rock" gigs could even have moshpits!). A really good and energetic track to end the night.

After this it was time to say goodbye for Dir en grey.