After an interlude, Dir en grey makes the bold choice of starting the album with the nearly 10 minute epic "Vinushka." With several catchy tracks in the three to four minute range, it's a risk that yields mixed results. "Vinushka" is a good representation of the entire album. It's a combination of intense metal, dark melodic rock and a lot of experimentation.
On the other hand, it's a bit bloated and repetitive. Uroboros has a lot of clever and creative moments, but self-indulgence rears its head at times as well. There are times when everything comes together perfectly. On songs like "Stuck Man," brutal riffs are offset by catchy melodies. Experimentation is tempered by hooks, and the vocals combine death metal growls and higher pitched shrieks.
Speaking of vocals, Kyo once again gives an excellent performance. His melodic singing is showcased on "Ware, Yam Tote," and he sings with a lot of emotion and expression. He also delivers potent growling and screaming vocals.
Uroboros is a solid album that fans should enjoy, but with a little streamlining and less repetition could have been even better.
(released November 11, 2008 on The End Records)