ALBUM MOTOR, UNIVERSAL RELEASE:
APRIL 2, 2001 REVIEW: APRIL 6, 2001
Four years have passed since six Gernan gentlemen attacked us with "Sehnsucht". Regardless of what people thought, there was simply no escape from this industrial rock monster.
I can understand those who think Rammstein is a pompous, horrible musical punishment to mankind. You just either hate them or love them. I tend to belong to the latter group.
Maybe that's because I don't have this fear of German culture. I don't start to scream "nazis!" everytime a band has hard vocals with German lyrics. Poor Germans, if they had to stick to soft and nice music. There are enough of Blümchens, Modern Talkings and Wolfsheims out there. So I guess it's kind of healthy, when Rammstein punch its big fist into the German charts. And I'm not the kind of alternative snob that drop a band that enters charts or fills stadiums. It's the music that matters.
This charming and entertaining record sounds truly great. Rammstein has perfected their special formula to a maximum. I'm sold from the very beginning: the symphonic power-opening in "Mein Herz Brennt". Other lovely tunes are "Spieluhr", "Zwitter" and of course "Sonne", the first single hit, that still grows. Maybe not as strong as "Du Hast" or "Engel" though.
Rammstein get away with a lot, because they do what they do so well. Just look at the hard rock clichées, which might have been pathetic elsewhere. They also manage to make the most of Till Lindemann's limited, but fitting vocals.
I've heard so many failures in this genre. Lack of song-writing skills are obviously common. Blurry or pathetic image can be a problem. Hard bands tend to forget about contrasting, soft details in the sound picture, or to give the listener a chance to catch his breath once in a while. Other problems might have to do with variation, the length of the songs or rip offs.
This on the other hand, is German perfection and excellent craftmanship. Germans are fit for the job: to mix hard electronics and hard rock. They have the tradition and the discipline. Americans, for instance, are obsessed with their rock heritage.
"Mutter" is one of the best and most important albums this year. "Ein Knaller", like the Germans put it.