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Dir en grey - A Knot Of [DVD] Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 9.5
Lyrics 8.75
Production 6.5
Creativity 6
Lasting Value 6.25
Reviewer Tilt 7.25
Final Verdict: 76%
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Inside AP.net

Dir en grey - A Knot Of [DVD]

Reviewed by: Ian Walker (08/26/09)
Dir en grey - A Knot Of [DVD]
Record Label: The End Records
Release Date: February 2, 2009

Dir en grey is a name composed of various words from different languages, making it impossible to categorize it in any way. The band's name is much like their storied history. Rising from the ashes of Japan's visual kei movement, a sort of glam rock aesthetic that popularized outward appearance over musical abilities, Dir en grey quickly came into their own. Since their formation in 1997, they have constantly pushed the boundaries of the Japanese music scene, as well as their own, to create a sound that is both powerful and easily accessible to listeners outside of Japan.

The A Knot Of DVD is much like one of their shows: fast and frenetic. A compilation of three fan-club only DVD releases, it doesn't chronicle a single concert or tour, but rather the band's flurry of touring that took place from 2005 to 2007. From American tours like Family Values to various European festivals, A Knot Of is an interesting gift for those of us outside of Japan who have no way of joining their fan club.

Interesting because, as a huge fan of Dir en grey, I am ultimately disappointed with this release. While the prospect of being able to see the band perform throughout many different tours sounds like an amazing journey, the end result is a disorganized mess. Many of the concerts shown boil down to glorified montages, exciting you with the opening riff or chorus of your favorite song before shooting off to the next song or concert venue. But in the DVD's defense, when you are treated to a full song, it's a glorious thing. Every member of the band is spot on, with lead singer Kyo both hitting notes within his incredible range and providing quite a show by himself.

Towards the end of the DVD, a large focus is put on Kyo's stage show. Channeling an inner, albeit tamer version of GG Allin, Kyo is no stranger to self-mutilation. His persona before the concert is drastically changed during, as clawing at his chest and savagely fish-hooking the insides of his cheeks leave him a bloody, insane-looking mess. And even if you can't understand the Japanese lyrics, the message is still conveyed through his body language.

While the quick glimpses and short sets may discourage Dir en grey's hardcore fans, A Knot Of is a great introduction to their extensive discography. Thinking of it from that perspective, I can understand why they released a DVD like this: to market themselves to a larger audience with a quick run-through of who they are and what they do. Unfortunately, the lack of bonus materials and interviews, and very little footage of the band offstage cause A Knot Of to drag on a bit longer than necessary.

High PointsThe few seconds they showed of "Obscure" live, the ending performance of "Child Prey."


Recommended If You LikeSadie, DéspairsRay, watching the song "Dead Tree" performed four times.


http://www.myspace.com/direngrey
 
Displaying posts 1 - 8 of 8
05:00 PM on 09/07/09
#2
Dymytry Vance
Fuck Relient K!
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This band taught me what the word Orouborous (spelled wrong) means.
05:26 PM on 09/07/09
#3
xapplexpiex
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This is such a good band. The first song I heard by them was Clever Sleazoid and I've loved them ever since. Their live performances are really crazy and full of emotion. Kyo slices his chest and puts fish hooks through his mouth, etc...(or so I've heard).
02:55 AM on 09/08/09
#4
Dymytry Vance
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This is such a good band. The first song I heard by them was Clever Sleazoid and I've loved them ever since. Their live performances are really crazy and full of emotion. Kyo slices his chest and puts fish hooks through his mouth, etc...(or so I've heard).
No, just what we call meth.
05:54 PM on 09/11/09
#5
doppelganger
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this band is interesting
07:33 PM on 09/11/09
#6
foisol
EST 1986
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This is such a good band. The first song I heard by them was Clever Sleazoid and I've loved them ever since. Their live performances are really crazy and full of emotion. Kyo slices his chest and puts fish hooks through his mouth, etc...(or so I've heard).
He does fish hook his mouth (but not with a fish hook). He slices himself and cuts the insides of his cheek with safety pins.

Doesn't make it any less painful. Just probably less damaging in the long haul :P
03:47 PM on 09/12/09
#7
signal to noise
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for the record he hasnt done those things at their shows in probably a good 2 years. they dont rely on shock anymore to put on a sick show.
07:48 PM on 09/13/09
#8
slickwataris
jrockexplosion.net
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Hahaha, yeah the only thing I remember about this DVD is hearing "dead tree" half a dozen times and of course the fish hooking. I'm kind of looking forward to their upcoming video collection DVD Average Blasphemy.
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