Rammstein

Diesel 11

Und die Welt zählt laut bis zehn...
The "Du Hast" bit is pretty clearly a reference; after all, it's probably their biggest song and "Deutschland" was the first new release in ten years. Likely they threw it in just for that call-back for old fans, but luckily it fits in with the rest of the song's concept and makes for a nice homage to the classic days while they continue to push forward in the modern world.
 

Diesel 11

Und die Welt zählt laut bis zehn...
Sehnsucht (1997)



1. Sehnsucht - Yeah, kind of a meh opening with that electronica sort of style going on throughout the heavier riffs. Till sounds better on this album as a whole, but not on this sound. Really don't care for the voice here. Lyrics are... interesting? Eh, not so much. Doesn't get me going at all. The guitar sound is kinda cool, but if that's the best part of a song then obviously the song must not be such a much. I will say though that it's got a fairly catchy chorus that will get stuck in your head... although again, lyrics aren't that great. "Der Finger rutscht nach Mexiko" is a pretty bleh line. The post-chorus is also far too repetitive, although there's a nice guitar bit that pops its head in at its completion. And while I do like the way the final chorus comes in, this song is just bland overall. Bad way to open up an album, and certainly a very stale sort of title track. Bonus point for being catchy, but that's about it. Average song. 5/10

2. Engel - ...and yet right from the beginning of the next song, the album's already 200% better. Some really wonderful whistling opens up this single, before the keyboards come in, leading into one of the band's most badass riffs ever. The verse is great, helping to bring to life the idea of angels that Rammstein are presenting for us. And then the chorus. So good. I love, love, love Bobo's vocals here, representing angels with her pure and innocent sound. The real clincher is when Till comes back for "Gotte weiß, ich will kein Engel sein." It's one of the best lines from any Rammstein song, one of the definitive lyrics that helps give them their image. The instrumental bit features some dance-y industrial stuff before we exit with the chorus and some final whistling bits. Easily the best song on the album and one of the band's best overall. The riff, the lyrics, the whistling... so good. 10/10

3. Tier - A really dig the opening to this, with its quieter sort of sound, and while I wish we could've seen it in more bloom, the real riff kicks in shortly thereafter and it's fucking awesome too. What a fucking banger. Till compares humans to animals in the verse, in which a pedophile father rapes his daughter and she ends up getting revenge on him. The chorus is great too - "What are you?" "Nothing but an animal!" It's a great song that examines how fucked-up we as humans can be, and features some really killer music at the same time. Not really much more that I can say about it. Great way to follow "Engel" and another of the best songs on this album. 10/10

4. Bestrafe mich - Some spiking keyboard before the riff kicks in, and it's another great one. Till comes in asking to be punished in a really sinister and sexual way. It's a very strong verse, and it gets better with the chorus, and both the vocals and music soar higher. "Du darrrfst mein Bestrrraferrr sein!" The way he rrrolls the r's is awesome and helps make the song what it is. One of the times the band knocked an uber-sexual song out of the park. Not quite as great as the previous two, but it's still really good. 9/10

5. Du hast - One of the band's most iconic openings, as Flake's keyboard makes for a very industrial, very dark sort of beginning before that motherfucking riff kicks in. It's the song that helped make the band what it is, and with that in mind, it really doesn't let up any. Heavy as fuck, it calms down a bit for the sinister verse, which, as many have stated before and will likely state more throughout the years, is just pure fuckin' genius. The way Till plays off on the difference between "du hast" and "du hasst" (you have / you hate) is one of the band's best examples of lyricism. The soaring chorus is phenomenal as well. This was my introduction to Rammstein, as it was for many, many others. It's probably the biggest, most iconic song they've ever released, and for good reason. It's fucking awesome. Probably not in my Top 10, but it's up there. Dark, moody, heavy, epic. 10/10

6. Bück dich - Bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang opens this song before Till tells the listener to "bend over". The smashing riff comes in and leads to the verse, which isn't bad but I don't think it quite knocks it out of the park. Till's singing isn't some of the best on the album, but it's also not the worst. The repetitive chorus is actually pretty great though, backed by the heavy distorted guitars, and lead by Till's aggressive vocals. The instrumental section is pretty sweet as well. I'm quite satisfied with this song as a whole because it's pretty solid stuff. I can take a not-so-awesome verse so long as the rest is killing it, and for the most part, it is. Good stuff. Maybe not as good as the four previous song, but still good. 8/10

7. Spiel mit mir - An orchestral sort of opening makes for an eerie beginning to one of the darkest songs on the album. This one deals with incest between two brothers, and is kind of an unnerving listen. But the band make it interesting, with Till leading it forward, as keyboard and guitars build up the suspense and atmosphere going on. Pretty solid verses and a gripping chorus help. There's also a really good instrumental section as the keyboard and guitars seem to meld together before the verse comes back in. It's stronger overall that the previous song, but not quite on the same level I think as Lieder 2-3-4-5. Definitely a good one though. 8/10

8. Klavier - It's funny that a song about a piano doesn't really use too much piano, but that's Rammstein for you. The opening verse is some eerie stuff, and then the distorted guitars kick in for the chorus. It feels like a recapturing of the black metal feel of "Seemann". I don't think that chorus quite knocks it out of the park, while still being pretty solid overall. It could've used... something extra to push it over the top in following the pretty awesome quiet verses. The instrumental and bridge are also not quite the best, but like I said, it's a very good song, just not quite the best thing Rammstein have ever done. A "hidden gem" perhaps though. 8/10

9. Alter Mann - The opening to this sounds like a romp through the jungle in like... Dora the Explorer or something. The riff is solid although not outstanding, and the verse is sort of the same. The chorus is better, although it feels like it's trying to do something similar to "Bestrafe mich". I do like how they bring up the heritage of fairy tales that Germans have put so much pride in over the years. As a whole, it's a solid enough song, but unfortunately just not memorable enough for my taste. 6/10

10. Eifersucht - An interesting keyboard opening for this one, but not one of the most memorable from the Rammstein canon. Same can be said about the riff and the verse. Know what? Throw in the whole damn song, because the chorus does nothing either. Forgettable song, could've easily been left off of the album and none would be the wiser for it. 4/10

11. Küss mich (Fellfrosch) - After the previous song, this opening comes as a rush of octane to the bloodstream. The riff mixes together with the keyboards in a way that feels quite like a representation of a frog. The lyrics are about sex again, and while the verses are solid but not outstanding, the rising chorus culminating with "küss mich!" is pretty great. It's certainly a very good song and a very good closer. Not one of the band's all-time classics, but I like it. 8/10

First and foremost, Sehnsucht is a far better album than Herzeleid was. You can tell that the band is truly coming into their own here, pushing forward lyrically and musically, and it features some great songs in its ranks. Certainly, "Engel", "Tier", and "Du hast" are three of the band's best ever tracks. Unfortunately there is some fat around the frame - the title track, "Alter Mann", and "Eifersucht" are kinda stale as far as songs go. But everything else in between is quite solid. It's certainly a good album, but Rammstein would go on to make better with the very next one being one of the pinnacles of Deutsche Metal.

Rating: 78%
 
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Diesel 11

Und die Welt zählt laut bis zehn...
Agree to disagree. My perspective as an American who understands most of what they're singing thanks to being raised in a bilingual household* is obviously going to lead to different perspectives than a full-fledged German-speaking person or someone who doesn't know the language at all, so there's that.

*Just don't ask me to write stuff in German, because, as we've seen elsewhere on this forum, I'm not good at all. :p
 

Collin

New Tool is coming!
I was mainly saying that the song as a whole is a pretty good song. I have no fucking idea what is being said in any Rammstein song as I don't understand any German. It's just good. I think I know where you're going with the German thing though... I will go no further.
 

Diesel 11

Und die Welt zählt laut bis zehn...
I mean obviously lyrics aren't necessarily the determining factor of if a song is good or not. They do play a role in my appreciation of music, however, and can often tint a song. I just don't care for it as a whole, even from a musical level. Just feels average to me. I get why you'd like it though, it's catchy stuff. Just not my thing.
 

Brigantium

Grim Reaper
Staff member
I thought part of the widespread appeal of Rammstein was that English speakers can understand or pick up on enough to sing along to the choruses at the very least, probably why they work at big festivals. Incidentally, I can already imagine the effect of tens of thousands of people punching the air and singing along to Deutschland at music festivals this summer.
 

phantomoftheicarus

Nobody can ever hear him call
Sehnsucht

Sehnsucht

So, here we go again. This time we open with a strange sounding electronic melody. I really like it, especially seeing as it sounds almost exactly the same as Josh Monkey's cover of Break On Thorough (To The Other Side). The song quickly builds up before erupting into the main guitar. So far so good, but the riff isn't really anything too exciting, and probably sub par to most of Herzeleid. Till's singing seems quite clipped and hyper, so I don't think it flows too well. What I do like however is the delivery of the word 'Sehsucht' in the chorus and the weird echoy melody (is that the term??) that follows it. It's alright, but a very weak opener.

Engel
A classic right here. The whistling in the intro is spooky yet epic, and sets the song up nicely. Once again, the riff is nothing too technical, but works an absolute treat in this song. Till's singing takes on a serious tone, adding to the weight of the song. But it's the chorus that really gives this song it's height. Starting off firstly with the female vocals, then Till getting louder and more shouty before transitioning into the whistling and main riff. Later on we get more digital sound effects - a perfect blend between digital and guitar. The riff seems even more crushing as the song nears its end and Till seems completely in control, if that makes sense. We finish like we started with an echoing whistle. Absolutely beautiful

Tier
This one kicks off with a very strange intro, that sort of sounds like a combination of Smells Like Teen Spirit and Movin' On Up, but it rapidly changes into a crushing, marching riff, although it does sound a bit empty, probably due to pretty quiet bass. Till takes on an aggressive tone with his voice as well as a more unorthodox way of singing as he often does, but I'm enjoying it this time. It's definitely a memorable song, particularly the bursting words at the end

Bestrafe much
The intro, consisting of what I think was an A# note being bended, felt weird but sort of spooky and reminded me something although it could have been this song from the past. But that's not the important part. The centre piece here for me is the riff. Crunchy, muted and fitting extremely well with drums, I was impressed, especially at the start of the song where as a whole it felt heavy and and epic. To describe it metaphorically, it felt as though the song carried a heavy burden on it's back, and began transferring that to me. Good stuff. The return of the guitar bends during the second verse also added a spooky, heavy aspect. Disappointingly however I felt the song took a nosedive towards the end, with Tills - although fine - singing taking up too much of the limelight. I think more potential could have been tapped with this one.

Du Hast
Do I really need to say anything for this one? The iconic intro begins before go into undoubtedly one of the best riffs Rammstein have intro written. Till speaks the words we all know, and we burst into the riff once again. The chorus is sublime, hyping you up and making you want to headbang all night. The electronic fills after the chorus don't sound silly or out of place at all here, adding a fun little touch to the song yet keeps the hype going throughout. Everything about the composition of this song is just perfect, it's not too long or short, the guitar comes in at just the right time with the right thing, and Till puts on a fantastic performance to seal this as quite obviously one of the best songs in the catalogue. It's their most popular for a reason.

Buck Dich
I am liking this riffage. Very simple, but it's making its presence absolutely clear. Structurally it seems quite similar to Sehnsucht. I think it's much better, but by riff alone. Till's singing once again sounds purposely strained - except on the chorus, where it sounds more growly - and I wonder if a song of such similarity was needed again, especially as they've already showcased the variety and skill that they can provide. I'm enjoying the song, but this had a lot more potential.

Speil mit mir
Jaws, is that you?? That Peep Show scene where Super Hans is talking about creating a powerful sense of dread with his keyboard comes to mind. Now I'm laughing, back to it. This song initially appears very unfamiliar for Rammstein with Till singing all by himself, but it gives way to a riff bleeding the feeling of suspense. It feels so heavy despite the fact it sort of isn't, there's no crushing instruments and the electronica has high presence, it just carries a huge burden of emotion with it. That's all that I can describe for this song, pure emotion of anger and tension. It's sort of feels like a filler song, but it's a good one at that. I'm not bored at this stage like I was Herzeleid. Always a good sign.

Klavier
This one initially sounds a bit like Mutter, like Seemann from the previous album. Till's singing is pretty nice, and we've got a little whistly melody in the background. This definitely sounds like something that would be on Mutter (the album) and I wonder if they were written around similar times. The chorus is ok, nothing too bad, but not groundbreaking either. Great instrumental section after the second chorus, with the drums and 'humming' working really really well together. There's not much to complain about it but repeated listenings of Mutter makes me feel as though I've heard it all before, and I probably have.

Alter Mann
What a funky intro. Drums and some electronic beeping/bells, it reminds me of Africa and Infectious Grooves at the same time. In fact the whole song sort of does. It's very strange, and without understanding the lyrics I feel very lost. A Google search says the lyrics are something to do with an old man discussing philosophy by a pool. I'm still not feeling it. Some interesting effects as the song nears it's end. I'm rambling and I have no idea to write about this musical concoction, so I'll move on to the next song with haste

Eifersucht
What a great intro! It sounds stupid for a metal album, but it makes me wanna bang my head. And sure enough it gives way to a head banging, feet tapping fast riff. It's a fast moving song, and breathes a bit more life into this album, even though it wasn't particularly boring in the first place. You can hear some very weird keyboard sounds at intervals in the song, but I really like them. It makes the song feel really bouncy. This song feels like a perfect blend between the two worlds of electronic and metal, and it's lived up to its potential superbly. Perhaps slight too much repetition of the title word at the end of the song, but it's delivered well. An underrated song gem surely?

Kuss much (Fellfrosch)
What another great riff to start off to. We're straight into it this time - no digital intro. I can hear some very clangy instruments, most likely the keyboard thingy. The song flows well, not dragging on any longer than it needs to. Again, a good blend of the electronic and metal world's. Till's singing transitions well between sections, and isn't clipped like in previous songs. Suddenly I can hear music that sounds like it was straight out of Cuphead, it works I guess, before getting straight back into the main act. This song really isn't messing around. But what the hell is that weird noise??

Overall, this was a pretty good album. It had far less boring songs than Herzeleid and provided perhaps a darker tone that really helped it to a step up a notch. A criticism would be that the songs can be sometimes structured quite similarly, but they can still pull it off nonetheless. I'm gonna be generous and give it

85% / 8.5
 

Diesel 11

Und die Welt zählt laut bis zehn...
And now it’s time for the two albums that mark the pinnacle of Rammstein’s career: Mutter and Reise Reise.
 

Collin

New Tool is coming!
The old ones are outdated, I’ve been listening to them so much that I’ve got a much better idea of what I like and dislike. Will start after I give the first and last albums one more listen.
This could be said for every other review you've done! :confused:
 

Diesel 11

Und die Welt zählt laut bis zehn...
Mutter (2001)



1. Mein Herz brennt - You hit the play button and an orchestral piece opens up the album. Till comes in, with a quiet beckoning to all the children listening to pay attention to him. And are we ever. What a brilliant idea, too, to take the Sandmann theme and reinterpret it here. The music builds up, until finally erupting as Till shouts out the song's title. And this is it, this is the Rammstein we've been waiting to meet during the last two albums. They've finally made it. The orchestration mixed in with the heavy-as-fuck riff is nothing short of amazing; it just sounds so good. The verses are calmer but help to build the tension here, given that this song is supposed to represent nightmares and all. The pre-chorus is insanely good. The guitar coming back in, the orchestra building up as Till soars above the chaos, climaxing at the chorus itself, it's just awesome. And the instrumental section helps bridge the gap to the final chorus, which is so good. What an epic song, what an epic opener. Jesus Christ is it magnificent. 10/10

2. Links 2-3-4 - 1-2-1-2-1-2 march the soldiers before Schneider launches us into the riff with a quick smack of the drums. And what a riff! It's a contender for Rammstein's most badass riff of all. The heaviness is on full display here and the way it feels simpler yet punches you over and over with its power is fantastic. The song calms down for the verse, which basically talks about how you shouldn't judge someone because of their image because you don't know where their heart lies. Rammstein's lie on the Left, as they state explicitly in the chorus. The build-up with the marching stuff is great, launching us back into that epic riff. The second time around we go even further, as Till instructs us to march "Links zwo-drei-vier". It's a very militaristic sort of song, and it's a brilliant way to respond to the critics that labelled them a part of the alt-right movement. It doesn't seem to last very long, but damn does it do a lot in that span. 10/10

3. Sonne - First and foremost, I love the way the album's first three songs all seem to connect together. The first two both talk at length about the heart, and the second two both features numbers prominently in the lyrics. It's a little thing that I find brilliant and I doubt it was unintentional. It really helps link the album together. On that subject of numbers, "Sonne" opens right where "Links 2-3-4" left off, as Till comes in and counts from one to nine before the riff kicks in. It's simple yet the effect is huge. Given that the song was originally written as the entrance song for Vitali Klitschko, a Ukrainian boxer, they realized that the opening must have a monster hook to grab people before it pays off with the actual quality of the real deal. And it works so fuckin' well. Lots of people seem to have learned how to count in German through this song because of how effective that lead is. But that's not the only thing this song knocks out of the park, because lemme tell you right now: this song knocks it out of the park, home run, winning the whole damn game right there. In place of "zehn", Till says "aus" - and then the song explodes into the most massive riff ever. Holy shit. It's like the sun just blew the earth out of orbit. If this was the way you entered into the ring, you better hope you're as good of a boxer as this is as a song. Because goddamn, the guitars mixed with the keyboards here is just phenomenal. The verse is intercut with the riff, as Till simply talks about how people are waiting for the light, that the sun will not be going down tonight... and all the world counts to ten. And then it just lights up again as the chorus begins with a shout of "EINZ!" The actual lyrics here sound less then enticing on paper: "One - Here comes the sun / Two - Here comes the sun / Three - She is the brightest star of all / Four - Here comes the sun." Yet fuck me ten times running because the way it's executed is some of the most grandiose stuff you'll ever hear in music. The guitars and the orchestral stuff melds as one in a chemical wedding of Germanic excellence. The chorus is possibly Till's finest moment as a singer, as he soars above the music in a shockingly emotional performance. His rolling of the r on the word "Stern" is such a mind-number. To put it plainly, that chorus is nothing short of a theatrical Meisterwerk. And then it's back into the riff and into a shorter verse that leads back into the chorus, which is a bit longer now. In the second half female vocals join the heavenly choir, backing Till's epic voice. It helps raise the whole thing to that next level. A longer version of verse 2 acts as the bridge before we run through the chorus one last time and close off with the female vocals isolated. Absolutely beautiful. This song is just so good. I mean seriously. It's such a simple concept it's not even funny... and yet they just turned on the theatrics to the max and played it for everything they had. And it works. By god does it work. It's no wonder that it's a fan favorite. Personally speaking, on an album full of highlights, and I mean full of highlights, this one honestly stands out above the rest, as the single best song on Mutter and as the single best example of why Rammstein, especially this era of Rammstein, are as good as they are. Hell, this may even end up being my favorite song from them overall, because it really is just so... so goddamn excellent. I mean seriously, this single song deserves to be explored. It is Songwriting 101: how to take a simple concept and execute it professionally. This song is a fucking masterpiece. I'd probably give it an 11 on any other day, but I don't want that to affect my average score so I'll leave it at a 10. But seriously. This song is just excellent, 100% perfection captured on tape. And yes, I did just spend the last half hour talking about a single song. It's that good. 10/10

4. Ich will - Leave it to Rammstein to have one masterpiece follow another, because yes, this album just isn't letting up whatsoever. "Ich will" follows the "Sonne" School Of Songwriting with using simplicity to make it epic, but a little differently. Whereas "Sonne" is simple yet knocks it out of the park with its theatrics, "Ich will" is a bit more complex lyrically than it appears on the surface. At first glance, it's simple a great song for a live performance, hooking the audience in with stuff like, "Can you hear me? Can you see me? Can you feel me? I can't understand you!" in the chorus, all of which are responded to by the audience with, "We hear you! We see you! We feel you!" Obviously something to engage the fans with. Yet it's the verses that steer the song in a different and darker direction. The narrator is a public figure of some sort - perhaps a politician, or, as the music video suggests, a criminal - and he is using the media to broadcast himself to the world and pick up a loyal band of followers completely glued into him and only him. You can also tell he's insane because he starts shouting at points ("Ich will das ihr mich versteht!" and the final "Ich versteh euch nicht!!"). This is all led by the repeating of the words "Ich will", or "I want". He wants to be known. He wants to be seen. He wants to see your hands. He wants. Ich will. It's an absolute genius way of discussing the power the media has of taking normal people and elevating them in the public eyes. For that alone, it's a ten. The fact that the band is on fire throughout it only helps make it even better than imaginable. 10/10

5. Feuer frei! - If you've been paying attention, what makes Rammstein work so well on this album is that they take simple ideas and make them as massive as humanly possible through execution. And "Feuer frei!" is no different. It opens with a pretty lit keyboard intro before exploding in a shower of sparks as Till comes in for the verse. It's a fantastic way of building back up to the actual riff (which is epic), and Till's shout of "FEUER FREI!" is so good. It's an obvious live classic, since it's all the more reason to bring out the flamethrowers, and the bridge in the middle where it calms down is a pretty genius way to get people hyped for the finale. Epic song in total. There really isn't much else to say about it. Just a great song. BANG! BANG! 10/10

6. Mutter - Rammstein can be big, Rammstein can be heavy, and Rammstein can be epic as fuck, but with the title track - their first great title track, might I add - they finally add in some emotional elements to the mixtures. A whisper of the willows opens us up before quiet, non-distorted guitars come in, and it's a very beautifully void feeling. They're just leading you on. Till comes in singing about how he wishes he had a mother and mentions a lot of mother-child things like giving your kid a name, breastfeeding them, and having a bellybutton... none of which he seems to have. It erupts in a massive riff during the chorus, which is again simple yet effective, as they repeat the song's title while the listener gets engrossed in the story they're telling here. In the second verse things seem to get even more sinister, as Till promises that he'll give a disease to this mother he never had, before throwing her in the river. Talk about a dark as shit kinda tale. The bridge is awesome as well. Just look at these lyrics: "An eel lives in her lungs / On my forehead, a birthmark / Remove it with a knife's kiss / Even if I must die from it." So darkly poetic. Then it quiets down as Till screams out, "MUTTER!" The riff comes back, higher than it was before, and the second bridge exchanges "sterben" for "verbluten", or bleed to death. It ends with another run-through of the chorus with Till shouting to his mother to give him strength. Yet another brilliant song, and one hell of a title track. 10/10

7. Spieluhr - This time we change things up as Till introduces the song with a bit of a monologue. There's a child... there's a music box... okay, I'm interested. The riff here is another attention-grabber, and the lyrics in the verses are quite picturesque ones, as we find that this is about a dead child. And that's when the full effect of the song kicks in, right as the chorus starts. Till and Richard's daughter (biological / step-daughter, respectively) Khira sings the lines "bounce, bounce, rider" (or at least that's how it translates to best) and "my heart beats no longer", with Till interjected it with "and no angel steps down / only the rain cries at the grave / a melody in the wind / and out of the ground sings the child." It sounds better in German, but the point is the same. It's a very beautiful song and perhaps the album cover brought to life. Yet another highlight. 10/10

8. Zwitter - But you needn't be sad for long, because this song is Rammstein back with taboo subject matters done in silly yet shockingly smart ways. This is a song you need to listen to again and again to fully get. It opens with the riff before an industrial, hip-hop-esque beat comes in and it really explodes in the monster it is. If you didn't catch it yet by the title, this song is about a hermaphrodite. Not just any hermaphrodite, however. The song details explicitly how this person came to be the way they are. A guy "steals a kiss" from a woman, she wants it back, he doesn't let her go, and then they just fucking meld into a single entity right then and there. Damn. The rest of the song deals with how they view life, as a person with two souls in a body... and also two separate sets of genitalia. Yes, this person can now impregnate themself. It's ridiculous, but that's what makes this song so great. In particular, the last line of the third chorus stands above the rest: "So bin ich dann auch nicht verzagt / Wenn einer zu mir 'Fick dich' sagt." In an attempt to keep the rhyme, I'd translate it to: "No longer do I mind, as it's quite heartfelt / When someone tells me to fuck myself!" It's brilliant. The simple chorus and the raging post-chorus are extra sugar on the mix. Like I said, it needs to be listened to several times to really get, but once you do, godfuck it's so awesome. 10/10

9. Rein Raus - You should probably be able to tell right now that I love this album, but I can't honestly say that it's perfect. Why not? Well... this song exists. It's got another pretty huge riff, but it feels a bit like they took "Links 2-3-4" and made it a little less effective. It's an interesting song about the subject of sexual intercourse, but I don't think the lyrics are magnificent and it starts to get a bit repetitive in places. I think the bridge is quite good though. Unfortunately, most of the song is just... good, not great. Certainly nothing that can compare to the magnficence of the preceding eight songs. Also that carnival piece before the final chorus is kinda bleh. Not bad, just not the best song ever. 7/10

10. Adios - A nice quiet bit opens up this as we move on from "Rein Raus", and then the riff slides in and it's badass. The verse is a pretty interesting one, as Till describes someone who's feeding music into his skin like a drug. It's an interesting subject matter, of how often music becomes a crutch for people, and in this person's case, it is not a savior. The pre-chorus of "Los! Los! Los!" is pretty cool, but the actual chorus is even better, a very melodic sort of affair that I like quite a lot. Like "Zwitter", it needs repeated listens to really get. A great song, although I don't think it's as good as the first eight, but I mean, the competition has been very tough, hasn't it? Certainly a very good track that I like a lot all the same. 9/10

11. Nebel - A cold, chilling intro starts off the last song on the album, before the beat starts in and the verse begins. It's a very picturesque, building sort of verse. There are two people, a man and a woman, and the woman seems to want to tell him something... but can't quite. Then orchestration seeps in as the song builds up even more. As the song progresses further we realize that this woman is dying and this is her last night on earth... and she's spending it with her lover. Then the chorus comes in as he kisses her, the waves come in, and she passes away. And we basically repeat that four times. Which isn't a bad thing at all because I quite like this song. The thing is, like "Adios", I just don't like it quite as much as those eight songs we went through earlier. But it's a damn good closer, all the same. A beautiful way to end a pretty awesome album. 9/10

So yeah. There ya have it. I really, really like Mutter, it's a pretty great album. The last three songs aren't quite on the same level as the first eight, but goddammit those eight songs are all awesome. It's just one monster track after another. I think Reise Reise is a more 'complete' album from start to finish, but Mutter probably has the better material. Rammstein work best when they take simple concepts and execute them as if they were epics, and it really helps make this an experience you want to relive again and again and again. In short, this album rocks.

Rating: 95%
 
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phantomoftheicarus

Nobody can ever hear him call
Yo @Diesel 11 , I've decided not to do an album review of Mutter because im sick to death of listening to it and I just can't write a decent review for it, we can move on to Reise Reise
 

Diesel 11

Und die Welt zählt laut bis zehn...
Reise Reise (2004)



イースト・プレス:余裕の出たレンジャーは、他に生存者がいないかと、さらに周りを捜した。最後が中学少女であった。遺体を叩いて反応をみたりしているうちに、女性乗務員から沢寄り二メートルほどのところの遺体のあいだから、逆立ちをしているような格好で両足をばたつかせているのが見つかった。「僕、大丈夫か」と声をかけ、上にかぶさっている遺体や破片を取り除くと、中が空洞になっていて顔と左足が見えた。男の子とまちがえたようである。「痛いところはあるか」と聞くと、左足を開いてふくらはぎの傷をみせる仕草をした。右肘を挟まれており、すぐには引き出せなかった。​

The first thing one must understand about Rammstein's fourth album, Reise, Reise ― coincidentally, released on '04 ― is that you are going to be partaking in a journey. To quote the esteemed Rod Serling in the Season 4 and 5 intro to his classic television series The Twilight Zone, "...it is another dimension ― a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas." Take careful note of the last two nouns there: things and ideas. For while Reise, Reise is certainly a concept album, it is not a hardcore one, relating you the play-by-play of the story, but rather presents "things and ideas" coming from within the band and outside of them to add into a narrative that will then be up to the listener to fully stitch together. This post is one of those listeners making a valiant attempt at doing just that.

The phrase, "Reise, reise," has three different meanings in and of itself. Firstly, it is a wake-up call used in the German navy. According to Wikipedia: "Every day on a German Navy ship starts with a wake-up call, the purren, which is started by the Locken, a whistle from the boatswain's call given 5 minutes before the main wake-up call. The wake-up call is given by a long whistle and the call: Reise, reise, aufstehen, überall zurrt Hängematten. 'Rise, rise, wake up, get your hammock ready'." This interpretation fits in with the lyrics to the title track ("Reise, Reise Seemann Reise..."). Secondly, it can be translated as "Journey, Journey", or, thirdly, as a command of "Travel, Travel". All three of these can fit into the concept of the album. You, the listener, are being told to arise and to travel on this journey with Rammstein.

Now as to the album's concept itself: Japan Airlines Flight 123, where decompression caused a Boeing 747SR to crash into Osutaka Ridge on August 12, 1985. It incurred the largest loss of life from any one aircraft. For one that does not know German, they may assume that all of the songs here fit right into that theme, but assumptions are often proven wrong. In fact, Rammstein took several different sources for the songs on this album. Let's run through this tracklisting and see what they are exactly:
  1. Reise, Reise ― the fighting and death that takes place on the ocean.
  2. Mein Teil ― German cannibal Armin Meiwes.
  3. Dalai Lama ― Goethe's "Der Erlkönig" updated for modern audiences, taking place in an airplane.
  4. Keine Lust ― how the band, with all their fame and all their fortune, just simply don't want to do anything anymore, besides making the music that brought them together in the first place.
  5. Los ― a play on the word "los" and the suffix "-los", discussing the band's past and present.
  6. Amerika ― a ripping put-down of the US's interventions in foreign affairs.
  7. Moskau ― a sexual look into the Russian capital.
  8. Morgenstern ― how even the ugliest of people may yet find love.
  9. Stein um Stein ― an abusive relationship where one person dominates the other.
  10. Ohne dich ― a ballad about wanting only to be with another person and feeling empty without them (...and with them...).
  11. Amour ― a glimpse at love.
So... where in fuck's name does Flight 123 fit into all of this???

The answer is quite simple: it doesn't. Flight 123 is a faux concept to an album with a much broader theme of journeys. The only song that remotely seems relevant to 123 is "Dalai Lama", because it takes place in an airplane, but closer examination reveals that it's a completely separate flight that was taken down by a storm, rather than decompression. If we leave off Flight 123 altogether, we get a very different concept. Let's go through the tracklisting again with our new theme of journeys in mind:
  1. Reise, Reise ― a maritime journey / a journey through death and war.
  2. Mein Teil ― Meiwes's journey to find a suitable sacrifice to his appetite.
  3. Dalai Lama ― an airplane journey.
  4. Keine Lust ― the culmination of Rammstein's journey as artists.
  5. Los ― the actual journey of Rammstein as artists.
  6. Amerika ― a journey 'round the world propelled by the most egotistical nation in the world.
  7. Moskau ― a journey through the seedy streets of Moscow.
  8. Morgenstern ― a journey to find love.
  9. Stein um Stein ― the culmination of a relationship's journey, one with no escape and no exit.
  10. Ohne dich ― a journey to find the one you love and a journey to leave them, both with no good outcomes.
  11. Amour ― a journey to escape the clutches of love.
Admittedly, you could stitch together a story of a disastrous airplane disaster with the lyrics from this album, but that's rather hard to do. "Dalai Lama" would be the starting point since it is the most explicit; "Keine Lust" could be the point of view from a passenger who is, in the words of Churchill, "bored with it all" in the face of his own demise, with "I am cold" referring to his actual death; "Los" brings up windstorms and namelessness (the passengers have been forgotten while the disaster remains prominent in minds); and "Amour" has that closing line of, "Please, please, give me poison," possibly because it would be better to die now before becoming mutilated on the ground and possibly languishing before death finally seeps up ― but I've tried and tried and tried, and for the life of me, I really can't figure out how to include the other seven tracks into the narrative. If you can, lemme know, because I'm all ears.

Whether or not you agree with my ways of viewing this album, maybe this'll at least give you something to think about. Now let's head into the actual song reviews and see how good the actual content of the album is... and whether or not you agree with me there.

* * *​

1. Reise, Reise - The album starts with a rat-tat-tat of drums, seabirds calling in the wind, the restless waves, and seamen chanting before building up with orchestration and guitars into an epic wall of sound. The verse is calmer and sets up the parallels between fishermen and the navy ― the one spears he food, the other spears his fellow man. We build into the chorus with an "ahoi!" and it's just so good. I remember watching the beach scene from Saving Private Ryan in my history class not too long ago, and the whole time the only thing I could think of was, "What the fuck are they doing to the animals underneath the waves??" It's that thought that makes lines like, "Und die Wellen weinen leise / And the waves cry in silence," so good. The sea cannot speak for herself, so who will speak for her? Leave it to a band as controversial as Rammstein to do just that. Like the tragic tale of Dr. Suess's The Lorax, man doesn't give a shit about anything other than himself and will not stop till he completely fucks-up the planet. It's a fantastic album opener. 10/10

2. Mein Teil -
Suche gut gebauten 18-30jährigen zum Schlachten
―Der Metzgermeister
So posted one Armin Meiwes on now-defunct website The Cannibal Cafe, and was responded to by one Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes. In the course of their meet-up, Brandes got his dick chopped off and ended up losing his life... willingly. Meiwes would continue to feed off the body of his friend until police discovered what he'd done and arrested him. When Rammstein heard the news, they were enraptured. "It's so sick that it becomes fascinating and there just has to be a song about it," Till would say. A song is exactly what they wrote, a song unlike any other they'd written up to this point... "Mein Teil".

This song is literally stuffed to the gills with all sorts of dual meanings and stuff in that vein that need several listens to completely get. It's also one of the best examples of how translating this into English just wouldn't have the same ring to it as the band's native German. Right from the opening line ("Heute treff' ich einen Herrn / Der hat mich zum Fressen gern...") you can tell that Till has really put a lot of effort into portraying the sick excitement Meiwes's voluntary victim feels. The best way I've been able to translate this in keeping things rhyming is, "Today I'm meeting a man / He has many a culinary plan." It just doesn't have that same sick yet fascinating vibe as the original does.

The pre-chorus is one of Rammstein's most brilliant moments overall. "Denn du bist was du isst / Und ihr wisst was es ist!" ("'Cuz you are what you eat / And you know what it is!") This one goes right to the heart of the whole situation. What was it that Meiwes and Brandes first started with? The dude's dick. Injecting the classic saying, "You are what you eat," into this throws a ton of shade right on Meiwes. Furthermore, the last line in the song's bridge brings up his childhood, something he blamed when asked how he got so fucked-up. Rammstein point out quite pertinently that, if a lot of people have shitty childhoods but remain normal, why is it that you become someone with an appetite for human flesh? Answer: "You are what you eat." You're a dick.

The song's title is also a very apt one for this tale. "Mein Teil" is slang for a person's dick, but literally translated means "my member" or "my part". This ambiguity offers up two different explanations. Firstly, Brandes's attempt to eat his own dick with Meiwes. Secondly, Meiwes's ingestion of Brandes's body made Brandes become a part of Meiwes. This was something that spurred on Meiwes from the beginning, wanting to be as close to his friends as possible... and what's closer than your friend being a literal part of you? It's all sorts of fucked-up but it's a very interesting subject to think about.

Verse 3 shows Brandes starting to feel ill, while Meiwes fries up his body and sets out a array of candles, fine China, etc. This sarcastic take on, "I must remain cultured," is yet another part of what makes this song great. Beyond the sarcasm, beyond the fantastic lyricism, beyond the whole story, this one also has some badass music. The riff is straightforward and heavy while the orchestration and even what appears to be a choir soar up above the turmoil. Till's singing is really, really good, particularly on the pre-chorus. Overall it's just quite simply another example of how good Rammstein really is, by far one of the best songs they've ever made. 10/10

3. Dalai Lama - Yet another absolutely brilliant song. No, this isn't about the Dalai Lama and is only called that because of the current one's fear of flying. What it's really about is a father and son aboard a doomed airplane. It's an updated version of the Goethe poem "Der Erlkönig" for the modern day, and features all sorts of brilliant lines... actually, simple lines that Rammstein manage to make brilliant. For instance, "Man does not belong in the air," "Can't you hear the thunder?", "Heaven, take back the wind!", and "The pressure falls in the cabin..." They just sound so good in German and Rammstein make it a pretty compelling tale. It's also a wonderfully assembled track, featuring guitars but also piano quite prominently. Wonderful song. 10/10

4. Keine Lust - A popular song among Rammstein fans but it doesn't quite draw me in as much as a lot of them on this album. It's still quite good though; "Ich hab' keine Lust" is a great hook, as is "Mir ist kalt!" Not much more to say about this one. Maybe it's my not feeling well but I'm worried that "ich hab' keine Lust" to fully articulate my thoughts on the rest of this album... but we'll see how that goes. 9/10

5. Los - A very interesting song for Rammstein, since it features no distorted guitars at all, and focuses on some really cool strumming instead. It plays around with the word "los" ("go") and the suffix "-los" ("-less") and is an interesting interpretation of the band's rise to fame from their perspectives. The music is really really cool, issa bit of a bop to be honest. Another great great song from a great great album. 10/10

6. Amerika - Ah yes, and now for the one song everyone's heard from this album, the single "Amerika". Firstly, what a great hook. "We're all living in Amerika, Amerika ist wunderbar..." It's a very sarcastic song about how the US keeps messing in with everyone else, thereby creating a world that's hooked onto everything we do. But is that really such a good thing? That's what this song asks us to consider, and damn is it a great song. The guitars are surprisingly dark for such a commercial song (for this band at any rate). The bridge spells everything out for those that may not understand the concept behind this - "This is not a love song." The keyboard solo is lit, too. In total, what more can one say about it? It's a definitive classic from the band, yet another monster song. A biting anthem that only Rammstein could concoct. 10/10

7. Moskau - As much as I love "Mein Teil" and think it's probably the best written song on Reise, Reise, "Moskau" is my favorite. It's. just. so. good. Oh my god. Viktoria Fersh has an absolutely gorgeous voice, and I love how she twists and turns with Till's deeper, darker style. The song itself isn't quite what you'd expect from the title. After opening with Fersh's cry of "Москва!", it goes into a bit of a poppy dance-metal piece that leads us to the chorus. And then Till jumps in with, "This city is a whore." Wait... what? Yeah, we're not looking at the cathedrals and the other architecture that line Russia's capital and are often the first thing one thinks of. Instead, we're taking a stroll through the seedy straights where prostitution is rampant and the city herself is the biggest whore of them all. Shit, they even get away with bringing up blowjobs. And why? Because it just works so damn well. That hook of "Раз, два, три!", Till's clincher of "Ist doch die schönste Stadt der Welt!", and the seamless transitions from part to part make it a filthy yet beautiful song. This is Rammstein's hidden gem, and it's also right up there with "Sonne" as the best song they've ever written. So good. 10/10

8. Morgenstern - A choir opens up this song before the drums come in and Till announces that "she is ugly". I never can tell if he's talking about the Morgenstern (Morning Star) or the woman he's talking about in the song. But it's a good song. Not my favorite from the album and it takes several listens to get, but it's very good. It's basically talking about how even the ugliest of people have beauties inside and that love sees past the outer shell. Great sentiment. A very orchestral song and yeah, it's very good. 9/10

9. Stein um Stein - A very quiet, very dark opening kicks this song off. Till sings about all the plans he has for his lover... he's gonna build her a house and trap her inside forever and ever. The chorus is very classic "angry German" stuff, but it's also got vibes of Poe's classic story "The Cask of Amontillado". Till sounds great on the ending lines of the chorus and in the bridge. Also, the keyboard solo is awesome. This is another song that took several listens to get, but I love it now. Well... almost. I think it ends weakly with that final shout of Till's, and it's probably the weakest song on here as a whole. But man, most of it is great. 9/10

10. Ohne dich - Talk about a monster ballad. Orchestra opens it up before Till comes in and, pay attention because he doesn't roll a single R in the course of the song. The genius of this song, I feel, lies in the fact that, at first glance, it feels like could've been written by any other German band and become a radio hit, yet this one is purely Rammstein's. The heavy guitars in the chorus help elevate the feelings of emptiness throughout the song. "Without you, I cannot be... with you, I'm also alone..." It's a brilliant glimpse of hopelessness in a relationship where you can't live without someone and yet you want to leave them all the same. Just so good. If Rammstein ever makes you cry, it's because of this song. 10/10

11. Amour - And then from that feeling of hopeless beauty we're transported into another song about love, this time how it grips a person and never lets go of them. The opening here is really really good, and the rest of the song never lets go. The chorus is beautiful, even when the heavy guitars kick in. But watch out, because there's also a kick to the nuts in the final line of, "Please, please, give me poison!" Because love can be a blessing (see track 8) and a curse (tracks 9 and 10). It's a summation of the previous three songs and it's absolutely wonderful. What a great ending to a fucking great album.

Mutter is an awesome album, but Reise, Reise is still Rammstein's peak in my eyes, mainly because it's a more complete album. The themes throughout, the way it flows from song to song, and the way all the band members are giving it their all... I just love it. Not a single bad song on it, all of them are great to perfect. I don't think I can say much more than that. Great, great, great album.

Rating: 97%
 
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