Tuesday, 4 August 2009


“DIM” is the sound of a band finding their sound. After the relative disappointment of 2007’s “Stacked Rubbish”, it’s good to see that instead of copying its scattergun approach of clashing styles and moods; “DIM” is much more thematically unified, stronger in identity and a gripping show of force from a band more confident in their abilities.
There is almost an hour of music here, peppered with brief interludes to give the listener a respite from an otherwise dark and bleak album. Previous singles “Guren” and “Leech” appear here in altered form, re-recorded and remixed whilst their most recent release, “Distress and Coma” remains unchanged, as does B-side “Headache Man”. The new version of “Guren” features more prominent acoustic guitar and slightly altered vocals and sounds stronger here than it did a year ago. By contrast, “Leech” redux is slightly robbed of its bite by a dull mix that numbs the guitars. It is unfortunate that the band felt the need to change this song as it was perfectly fine in its original form.
Of the new songs, “The Invisible Wall” stands out as a highlight with its pounding riff and driving rhythm, but the true star of the show is “13Stairs[-]1”. Gloriously pulsating and snarling through its slow burner opening, the song then thunders into a grinding head-banger. Positioned perfectly as the tenth track on the album, it manages to keep things interesting rather than allow itself to drift into the mid-album lull that plagued “Stacked Rubbish”. It sounds completely different from anything the GazettE has tried before and it will go down as one of the best songs in their catalogue. “In The Middle of Chaos” will divide fans with its very Western power chord structure but the album ends a little too typically with a fast heavy song (in this case “Ogre”) and an eerie but heavy slow song (“Dim Scene” - doing exactly what previous closers “Taion” and “Chizuru” did better). It’s a minor complaint in what is an impressive comeback from the jewel in the PSC crown. We will see if the GazettE can maintain this high standard with the single “Before I Decay”, due for release this October.
For the iPod playlist: "The Invisible Wall" "13Stairs[-]1"
Verdict: **** (4/5)

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