Dir en grey - ARCHE


Run time: 65 minutes, 21 seconds
Number of tracks: 16

Written By: Rachel Yarwood
Release Date: 10th December 2014

Un deux
Cause of fickleness
Chain repulsion
Behind a vacant image
Sustain the untruth
Kukoku no kyouon
The inferno
Revelation of mankind

It's been over three years since the release of "Dum Spiro Spero", a real whirlwind of an album that really exaggerated the lengths to which Dir en Grey were going to push musical boundaries. 
So what can fans expect from "ARCHE"? Will we be hearing something along the lines of where we were left or will we be ultimately caught off guard and surprised with a fresh set of songs to celebrate the group's coming back and their own fifteen year landmark. 

"Un deux" opens the album with a single death knoll before giving way to one hell of an introduction of heavy guitars and drums and instinctively it is almost like you know your ears and your brain are going to busy for the next hour. 
As you head into the second and third tracks, the one thing already that you are picking out from this album is the wonderful melody that Kyo has brought back to his vocals. Sure enough there are the same deep growls and raspy screams that creep back into the mix, such as with the powerfully infectious mid-point of "Uroko", but there is also plenty of melodic  quality to his voice this time which distinguishes the tracks perfectly and the higher notes even giving some hair raising moments at times. 

"Phenomenon" takes things down a couple of notches. Toshiya's bass lines are seductive and together with Shinya's beats they both keep the rhythm deep and sultry. Although this is one impression you are experiencing, "Phenomenom" also seems to have this oppressing feeling of going through a torture or sadness, made even more emotional by the tone of Kyo's voice and the beautiful final notes of the guitar. 

With the news of their tour on the way, "Chain repulsion" will most definitely be one of the tracks on the top of the list that will be received well at their live shows. It has a deliciously heavy beat, full of pounding rhythms and fantastic guitar work that will get even the most laid back gig goer running to the floor and head banging for what their life's worth. 
"Sustain the untruth" is another that is going to have the crowd going wild. There are some funky melodies and vocals added to the hardcore sound of this track that works brilliantly to get your heart pounding and your head banging in appreciation of just how good this song is.

In fact, "ARCHE" is probably an album where you'd have to be a really picky person to sniff out anything you didn't like. 
"ARCHE" is simply one of those albums that you can spend too long listening to, over and over again, without it ever getting tiresome. There are new elements incorporated into the songs that you haven't heard before, granted there are times that you can say mirrors previous material in terms of genre, but ultimately this album is one on it's own and should be on every Dir en Grey fan's shelf.