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Dum Spiro Spero (stylized as DUM SPIRO SPERO, Latin for "While I Breathe, I Hope") is the eighth studio album by Japanese metal band Dir En Grey, released on August 2, 2011 in the U.S., and in Japan on August 3.

Dum Spiro Spero
Dum Spiro Spero.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 2, 2011 (2011-08-02)
LanguageJapanese, English
ProducerDir En Grey
Dir En Grey chronology
Dum Spiro Spero
The Unraveling
Singles from Dum Spiro Spero
  1. "Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami"
    Released: December 2, 2009
  2. "Lotus"
    Released: January 26, 2011
  3. "Different Sense"
    Released: June 22, 2011

The album's three singles, "Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami", "Lotus" and "Different Sense", have all been remastered from their original releases. "Rasetsukoku" is a re-recording of the original song found on their 2000 album Macabre.


Release and promotionEdit

It was released in both a single-CD edition, a deluxe edition digipak with two bonus tracks ("Rasetsukoku" and "Amon (Symphonic Ver.)"), and a limited edition featuring the deluxe digipak, a DVD and two LPs. This featured alternative versions of songs from the regular version of the album, remixes, interviews, studio footage, and more.[4]

Music videos were released for all three singles; "Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami", "Lotus" and "Different Sense".[5][6][7][8]


The album art was designed by the band's long-time artist Koji Yoda. This art-cover probably represents Tara, the "Mother of Liberation" in Tibetan Buddhism. The bamboo scenery is very meaningful to the band. According to guitarist Die, "the bamboo conveys the idea of sacredness and serenity [...]. Ultimately, it means to keep faith and hope alive even though you are living the worst : While I breath, I hope."[9]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic     [11]
PopMatters          [12]
Revolver     [13]
Rock Sound          [14]

Dum Spiro Spero was met with positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic (a review aggregator site which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 from music critics), based on 8 critics, the album has received a score of 74/100, which indicates "Generally favorable reviews".

In his review for AllMusic, Thom Jurek wrote that "Dir en Grey are a band in their own genre at this point, and Dum Spiro Spero is the farthest-reaching testament to establish that as fact more than opinion." He also acknowledged the wide variety of influences on the album, ranging from death metal and power metal to pop music, praising comparing vocalist Kyo's range to Mike Patton. Rock Sound described it as a "satisfyingly challenging, perpetually writhing musical beast".

PopMatters' Dane Prokofiev noted in a positive review that "their music is eclectic and hard to classify into any one subgenre—except that they have the added fangirl-ish oomph of flashy appearances, thanks to their visual-kei roots". Like Jurek, he praised Kyo as a gifted singer, particularly for his range. He also singled out bassist Toshiya as deserving of praise for his performance on Dum Spiro Spero, "as his throbbing bass lines complement the technical guitar riffs well by adding a groovy kind of bad-ass attitude to the overall feel of the music. Without him, the guitar melodies of Kaoru and Die would most certainly sound naked and hollow."

Track listingEdit

All lyrics written by Kyo; all music composed by Dir En Grey.

Disc one
1."Kyōkotsu no Nari" (狂骨の鳴り; "Cry From a Lunatic Bone")1:58
2."The Blossoming Beelzebub"7:35
3."Different Sense"5:03
5."'Yokusō ni Dreambox' Aruiwa Seijuku no Rinen to Tsumetai Ame" (「欲巣にDREAMBOX」あるいは成熟の理念と冷たい雨; "'Nesting Within the Dreambox', or Cold Rain and The Philosophy of the Mature")4:49
6."Jūyoku" (獣慾; "Carnal Desire")3:28
7."Shitataru Mōrō" (滴る朦朧; "Trickling Ambiguity")4:02
10."Akatsuki" (暁; "Dawn")3:33
11."Decayed Crow"3:48
12."Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami" (激しさと、この胸の中で絡み付いた灼熱の闇; "The Violence And the Darkness Of the Burning Heat Entwines In My Heart")4:03
13."Vanitas" (Emptiness)5:27
14."Ruten no Tō" (流転の塔; "Tower of Vicissitudes")4:27

Release historyEdit

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States August 2, 2011 The End Records 2-LP TE204-1
Compact disc (Limited) TE210-2
Compact disc
Japan August 3, 2011 Firewall, Sony Music Entertainment Japan 2-CD album with bonus DVD, 2-LP box set
Compact disc SFCD-0097
Europe August 5, 2011 Okami Records, Gan-Shin, Rough Trade Compact disc OKCD-0006
Compact disc (Limited) OKCD-0005
12" LP album OKLP-0002


Country Provider(s) Peak
Japan Weekly Albums[15] Oricon 4 37,586[15]
Billboard Japan Top Albums[16] Billboard Japan 6
United States Billboard 200[17] Billboard 135 3,900[18]
United States Top Heatseekers[17] 2
United States Top Independent[17] 22
United States Top Rock Albums[17] 39
United States Top Hard Rock Albums[17] 9


  1. ^ Bosso, Joe (2011-07-26). "Interview: Kaoru and Die from Japan's new kings of metal Dir En Grey". Archived from the original (Interview) on 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2011-07-26.
  2. ^ "Dir En Grey: Dum Spiro Spero | Reviews @". Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  3. ^ "Dum Spiro Spero - Dir en Grey | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  4. ^ "Dir en grey Official News Release". Retrieved 2011-06-13.
  5. ^ BlankTV (2010-09-30), Dir En Grey - "Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami" The End Records, retrieved 2016-07-07
  6. ^ "Der En Grey - Lotus". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  7. ^ Direngreycommunity (2011-07-07), [HD] Different Sense | Dir En Grey (PV), retrieved 2016-07-07
  8. ^ "Average Sorrow". Dir En Grey official website. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  9. ^ Frénot, Mandah. "Dir En Grey (2011)" (Interview). France: VerdamMnis.
  10. ^ "Dum Spiro Spero". Metacritic.
  11. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Dum Spiro Spero - Dir En Grey". Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  12. ^ Prokofiev, Dane. "Dir En Grey - Dum Spiro Spero". Retrieved 2014-09-19.
  13. ^ Wood, Mikael. "Review: Dir En Grey – Dum Spiro Spero". Archived from the original on 2011-08-09. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  14. ^ Moorhouse, Giles. "Dir En Grey - Dum Spiro Spero". Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  15. ^ a b 2011年08月第3週の邦楽アルバムランキング情報. (in Japanese). Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  16. ^ "Billboard Japan Top Albums". Billboard Japan. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Dum Spiro Spero US charting". Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  18. ^ "Dir En Grey: 'Dum Spiro Spero' First-Week Sales Revealed". 2011-08-10. Archived from the original on 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2011-08-13.