review - 01.29.2011 19:01

Fans are surprised, some amazed with the new release, LOTUS.

Since DIR EN GREY's contribution to the "SAW 3D" soundtrack, comes their new single, LOTUS. The three track single was released on January 26th, 2011 and has catered to numerous fans.

The shrill nasal tone of Kyo’s voice stands out against the darkness pooling in the guitar riffs found in the title track LOTUS. That dark feeling lingers through the intro of the song but soon fades away as Kyo falls to a husky whisper and spills out a few lines. He, along with the backing track, stays relatively hushed and calm until a minute or so in, where Kyo's untamed scream lets loose. However, the end result is somewhat disappointing. The song had built to a climax, but just ends. The listener then expects for the track to continue, but silence follows.

A newly recorded version of the older 2003 hit OBSCURE is a bit of a surprise. The screaming is rather impressive; although more extreme, it certainly fits the song title but features less in the newer version. The newer version of OBSCURE is also more open and carefree; the listener hears more of 's singing voice, not just the screaming most are used to hearing within other DIR EN GREY works. The newer version focuses more on intricate sounds and pairing small chords together at a rather progressive rate, instead of elaborate overtures or fast-paced beats. Compared to the 2003 version, the melody has changed; the tempo is much slower in spots and almost flows like poetry in that it does not follow a set pattern.

REIKETSU NARISEBA (Live at SHINKIBA STUDIO COAST) gives the opportunity for some fans who have not heard DIR EN GREY live to actually hear them in a live setting. However, this track does nothing much for the single and only points back to their roots and their original image which producer Jason Suecof , who has produced other acts such as All That Remains, Bury Your Dead, August Burns Red, etc., has altered for the US market. It also perhaps gives listeners a chance to rock out, but other than that, a better B-side could have been selected to succeed the title track.

The key thing is that DIR EN GREY’s 26th single will impress some and potentially annoy others. Many fans will appreciate a ‘revival’ of Obscure but not necessarily the minor changes brought forth with the new version. The single, LOTUS, could be improved in some minor areas but manages to cater to fan expectations for this highly anticipated 2011 release.

The single comes into two editions: limited and regular. The regular is a three track release; the limited edition includes a DVD containing three PVs. LOTUS is also available through iTunes.
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