DIR EN GREY - vocalist Kyo, guitarists Kaoru and Die, bassist Toshiya and drummer Shinya - became extremely popular almost immediately upon forming 16 years ago, when they caught the attention of the CEO of East West Japan. Their debut was marked by the simultaneous release of three singles, all of which reached the Top Ten. Five albums later, DIR EN GREY added to their international success by solidifying their presence in the U.S.
While singing mostly in Japanese, Kyo, via his expressive voice, is able to transition effortlessly from a deep growl to theatrical vocals that transcend language barriers. The Los Angeles Times wrote that “Kyo is a staggering vocalist” and “has stockpiled an extreme range of vocal inflections, from a guttural mutter to a tonsil-ripping scream—no electronic effects needed”.
In August 2011, DIR EN GREY released their 8th studio album, DUM SPIRO SPERO, which garnered overwhelming support worldwide as their strongest and maddest record yet. In our time when heavy rock music has become diversified, the band’s deep and extensively unique perspective is once again borderless and uncategorized. “ It's extreme in a way that corpse-painted clowns will never understand--but as an expression of raw, wounded humanity, it stands as DIR EN GREY's most captivating, compelling and soulful release to date.“ [Kerrang!, 30 Jul 2011] The album’s 14 tracks include singles “Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami” (featured on the ‘SAW 3D’ soundtrack), “LOTUS”, and “DIFFERENT SENSE”.
In 2012, Kyo's long time damage to his throat became worse, resulting in doctors ordering him to stop singing temporarily. In February, it was announced that Kyo will be taking time off to treat his throat and the band would not be publicly active during that time. After a long period of silence, DIR EN GREY announced their new single and tour in Japan and Europe, and DIR EN GREY will finally be back in the U.S. and Canada this November 2013 for a headlining tour for the first time in two years.