DUM SPIRO SPERO - thoughts and notions


Ago 6 2011, 5h32


Never have I felt such strong excitement and anticipation for an album before. DIR EN GREY's 8th full length album, DUM SPIRO SPERO, has kept me eager since its release date had been announced. Long months of wait are finally over and now I can slowly let my emotions get back into normal. I underlined the word 'slowly' because listening to the album again and again awakes a lot of new feelings and impressions in me and I'm sure this is just the beginning.

-Unleashing the monster-

I received a copy of the UK deluxe edition on August 4th 2011, 3 days after the oficial release date for Britain. I got to say I am more than satisfied with the packaging which is truly lovely with the band & album name printed in gold and the artwok which I loved immediately it had been revealed (the bamboo forest with the 10-armed DSS's "mascot" statue). The booklet and the bonus sticker come in the combination of black and "gold" as well as the CD itself, fiercly shouting its name in capitals. The deluxe feel is definitely there.

-Ius primae noctis-

I could enjoy the first listen just last night as, in the end, it was not the need to hold the physical copy of the album in my bare hands that kept me from experiencing the content of this piece. But that's a different story so back to the album!

-One by one-

狂骨の鳴り - one of the most positively disturbing album intros I've ever heard. An anguished piano followed by the gloomy-doomy distorted mix of musical instruments and human cries indicates that this album is no bed of roses but rather a walk on burning coals - suffering for some, purgatory for others.

THE BLOSSOMING BEELZEBUB - starting ploddingly, this track sways from more to less melodious for more than 7 and a half minutes. I find myself liking the 'hah-hah-haaah" parts which Kyo occasionally serves in this one. Do I hear the same anxious piano in the background? So far I have an unclear image of this song.

DIFFERENT SENSE - this song was a love at first listen for me. There is very little to reproach. I enjoy the intensity of the aggresive parts - they make me headbang every time I hear it. The chorus is simply breathtaking and strong and the guitar solo makes the song even more attractive to me (even though technically it might not be that much innovative, but I don't really care, I enjoy it). Kyo's clear vocals in this song make me want to join him and sing my lungs out.

AMON - why is there so much hate for this song? Each time I hear it I find it unbelievable that people find this song so bad. I love the flow of this song and the oriental-styled vocals fit into it so much. Makes me wanna dance to it. To be honest I did need a fair ammount of repeats until a I got into the entity of this song but after I found it there is no turning back - I love it.

「欲巣にDREAMBOX」あるいは成熟の理念と冷たい雨 - the first part is simply mind-blowing. The progress of this part is so fluent I cannot imagine something is there to break it all up. It's almost as if I were in a dream. My heart sighs in pleasure when Kyo hits the highs and some moments strongly remind me of their MACABRE/鬼葬 era. Don't know why. I just get that feeling. Then the "nightmare" steps in. How unexpected ... yet well-fitting. A true DREAMBOX.

獣慾 - intense from the very beginning. I wanted to hear this one the most... and I love everything about it. Fast-paced, melodic, rampant and beautiful at the same time. This is what I love about this band. I wish the part 2:47~3:01 lasted forever. I could listen to it all night and day.
PS: It is probably only me but Kyo's screams remind me of Dani Filth of Cradle of Filth at his best in this song.

滴る朦朧 - well I absolutely adore Kyo's vocals in the beginning. Not sure about the song as a whole yet. I like it a lot but there's something I need to overcome about it. This one reminds me of VULGAR or even maybe Withering to death. in some moments. Another "confuser" for me which leaves me unable to get an exact image.

LOTUS - I can see it as it was yesterday when LOTUS came out as a single. Many fans and listeners tagged this song as a failure. I liked it but I myself thought it lacked something to be great. Despite that it grew on me and with time I started to enjoy the song as it is. However, listening to the album version I must say the lack is now gone and I don't think this song could sound any better. Whatever they did with this song, I now find it absolutely complex. I can imagine this version making the PV an even stronger sensation. I know some prefer the original to this. I'd say that if the basis is bad there's no way to build it to something great. So yeah, LOTUS is a great song, for me more enjoyable in its album upgrade.

DIABOLOS - holy shit, I reckon this is going to be epic. There's something about its atmosphere that makes me excited. The chorus got stuck deep in my mind right after the first listen. The guitars sound wondeful. This song is so full of despair that needs to be let out. A masterpiece in my eyes, it's like a story which draws me deeper and deeper into it. The last minute is the climax - the point where the hoplessness reaches it's peak. Nevertheless, I feel that the closure is one of the "SPERO" moments on this album. Bringing tears to my eyes and a pinch of hope as it closes, DIABOLOS is another one of DIR EN GREY's gems.

- honestly I never thought the preview is going to evolve in what I heard. I love the vivid images this song awakes in my fantasies. It's so upbeat in a way and I constantly feel like swaying to the rhythm. I feel like in a totally different world, space and time. Parts of the song again bring up an "old" DIR EN GREY vibe, but still it sounds like nohing I imagined.

DECAYED CROW - pours anger on me like MARROW OF A BONE did back then. And again there's something that makes Dani Filth's face pop up at certain moments of Kyo's screams. Need some time with this one as well but overall I enjoy it.

激しさと、この胸の中で絡み付いた灼熱の闇 - now did I say LOTUS got "pimped"? Hmm I think 激しさと、この胸の中で絡み付いた灼熱の闇 did not get the same results when being improved. Sure, some parts have the new "blingbling" but I miss the onset of the single version. Maybe if they merged the 2 version, there would be an ultimate win. Maybe not. Either way the album version reminds me of the song when it's played live. Still the song's one of my favourite's, but... but...

VANITAS - oh relief. Beautiful and haunting. Another desperate point. Can't say much even though I'm full of emotions when I hear this song.

流転の塔 - the final battle where worlds collide. This is like everything DIR EN GREY did so far in one song but they have that secret ingredient that makes this song new and unique.

羅刹国 - as a re-make it's one of those that bear most similarity to the original (compared to other re-makes). A great re-make of a great song.

AMON (Symphonic Ver.) - damn. I love AMON and I love mixing metal and rock music with symphonic, but I don't know. I think it would be nice if the band experimented more with this but this is not 100%. Some parts are highlighted but some sound a bit overstuffed. Still it's nice to see they are open to experimenting with simply anything so thumbs up.


Well DIR EN GREY proved to me that they still are full of surprises. The sound of this album is a step forward again. Overall this album is something I've never heard in my life and I'll have a hard time listening to other albums (including band exclusive of DIR EN GREY) because I'm sure I'll be comparing them to DSS. It is one of the albums that mature with time and life experiences and now it is hard to say how good or bad it is. I'm sure I'll change my opinion and view of this album, so after some time I might update this journal.

"However, we want to know the truth. People are able to overcome huge obstacles and problems if they know the truth.

In the album title “While I Breath I Hope,” and our music video “DIFFERENT SENSE” that we released just prior to the album, our sense of wanting to take action that will lead to a breakthrough in the current situation is reflected."

-DIR EN GREY, open letter, August 2nd 2011-


  • unfaded_dream

    Thank you very much for your great review, it was a very interesting read. I have a hard time right now listening to this album which is very complex and which lead a listener to a very new different level of music regarding the composition and structure as the atmosphere. There are a lot of times where I feel something similar to you when I read this, and you also helped me to understand more some of my own feelings as they were hiding somewhere inside me, concerning some songs I felt something similar to you... I'm sure that this album will expand more and more new feelings and images over time that we don't know yet.

    Ago 6 2011, 12h24
  • Killinstinct

    After my first listen, I had to say VANITAS, Juuyoku, Ruten no tou and DIABOLOS impressed me the most. Especially VANITAS because it's a ballad and I love Dir en grey's ballads.

    Ago 8 2011, 21h25
  • mizuononde

    i pretty much agree with everything you wrote :P DIFFERENT SENSE - love at first listen for me too! i think the first minute is alright, and the last 4 minutes are just amazing. 獣慾 - "This is what I love about this band." and "I wish the part 2:47~3:01 lasted forever." me too *_* i love this song! LOTUS - i've always really liked this song :) especially the last 40 seconds. VANITAS - "Beautiful and haunting." yes.. it's an intense, emotional song for sure.

    Ago 10 2011, 5h08
  • mizuononde

    unfaded_dream: "I'm sure that this album will expand more and more new feelings and images over time that we don't know yet." i definitely agree! even though i've only listened to it once so far, it's gotten a significant reaction out of me.

    Ago 10 2011, 5h13
  • Prototype_RD04

    "PS: It is probably only me but Kyo's screams remind me of Dani Filth of Cradle of Filth at his best in this song." Yeah, me too.

    Set 17 2011, 20h27
  • Pretsy

    In my fairly honest opinion (you won't take me seriously anyway :D) this album kinda went "missing" after LOTUS - the flow just faded away :(

    Fev 6 2012, 17h21
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