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Dir en grey (DIR EN GREY/Dir en grey) is a Japanese metal band. They formed around 1996 as a Visual Kei band, but have gone in a more contemporary direction as far as appearance. Musically, Dir en grey encompasses Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Nu-metal, Gothic Metal, etc. They first gained attention in 1998 with two independently produced singles. Subsequently, They caught the eye Yoshiki from X Japan, who helped arrange and produce the singles of Dir en grey's first studio album.


  • Kyo: Vocals
  • Kaoru: Guitar
  • Die(pronounced "Dye" as opposed to "dee-eh"): Guitar
  • Toshiya: Bass Guitar
  • Shinya: Drums

Studio Albums:

  • Gauze (1999)
  • Macabre (2000)
  • Kisou (2002)
  • VULGAR (2003)
  • Withering to death. (2005)
  • UROBOROS (2008)
  • DUM SPIRO SPERO (2011)

Dir en grey Provides Examples of:

  • Ambiguous Gender: More in the early days when they were in the Visual Kei movement. This video is one of the best examples.
  • Anime Hair:
  • Badass Longcoat: Kyo in Yurameki, complete with a fur collar
  • Bishonen: Every single member of the band.
  • Captain Obvious: They have a song called 'I Will Die in Loneliness, Because I'm Lonely'.
  • Careful with That Axe: Kyo has a tendecy to have this.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Some of the songs with english lyrics from The Marrow of a Bone have this.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: "Egnirys Cimredopyh" Read it backward
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Seriously, just try to figure out what Kyo is singing in some songs. Not even the Japanese understand him sometimes.
  • Long Title: Loads of examples when translated to English, including (but not limited to) 'Room 304, Cherry Blossoms of White Death' from Gauze and 'Tragedy is the Sweet Melancholy That Lowers Your Eyelids' from Withering to Death.. But the worst, oh god, is the third-to-last track on their latest album Dum Spiro Spero, which, when translated, reads this: 'The Violence and the Darkness of the Burning Heat Entwines in My Heart'.
  • The Mentor: Not only Yoshiki, mentioned above, but Kyo was also a roadie for Kuro Yume, whose influence is very obvious on Dir en Grey's first few releases.
  • Metal Scream: Kyo does these very well and often.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: They've covered everything from a 1 to an 11. However, most of their songs range from 6 to 8, with their softer songs typically in the 4-5 range.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Marrow of a Bone starts off with a soft power ballad, is followed by several ultra-aggressive metal songs, and while the album does soften from there, it never has another ballad again. The transition can be very unsettling and startling to the unsuspecting listener.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Seriously, just try figuring out what kind of metal they play. Is it Alternative Metal? Nu-metal? Death Metal? Hair Metal (no, seriously; their first album is very pop-like at times)? Black Metal? Thrash Metal? Heavy Metal? Let's just call it 'The Ridiculously Hard-to-Classify New Wave of Japanese Heavy Metal'.
  • New Sound Album: Gauze was essentially Pop Rock influenced Alternative Metal, with a strong J-rock sound to boot. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Macabre moved towards Progressive Metal, while still retaining the influences from the previous album. Kisou continued the trend, but this time adding Nu-metal and Avant Garde Metal influences. Vulgar was essentially the same, but this time with an American vibe and a more aggressive sound. Withering to Death was a much more experimental effort, blending nearly every element they used so far in their sound up to that point. The real big change, however, came with The Marrow of a Bone, which brought in a Death Metal, Metalcore, and Deathcore sound; even to this day, it is still one of their heaviest albums. Uroboros combined the aggression of the previous album with the experimentation of their early albums. Dum Spiro Spero took The Marrow of a Bone and turned it Up to Eleven, featuring things the band has never done, such as Kyo performing low death growls and becoming scarily diverse with his vocals.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: The intro to "Cage."
  • The Pete Best: Kisaki, who didn't do too badly on his own but nowhere near the level of success the rest of the band had.
  • The Unintelligible: Some of Kyo's more inhuman sounds and his English tend to be this. Honestly, listen to 'Dozing Green'. Would you believe every word of that song is in English?
  • Textless Album Cover: Marrow of a Bone was this by a printing accident in its initial U.S release. The cover was completely black with nothing on it. It has since been fixed but you can occasionally find it with the solid black cover.