posted on 1/2005 By:
Rammstein is definitely a band that isn't for everyone. Aside from the fact that they sing in German, they also received a small amount of MTV fame with the song "Du Hast", and as we all know, any coverage on MTV makes a band instantly suck and all of the true metalheads must immediately hate them and everything they do, writing off the band completely and making it well known to all of your friends that you hate the band, constantly proving your devotion to the TRVE metal and nothing commercial in the slightest. All sarcasm aside, Rammstein has put out some great material in the past, but some could argue that it gets boring or stale after awhile. Herzeleid and Sehnsucht were both great albums, but they were quite similar. Most had a heavy, simple riff coupled with a very straightforward drumline. It worked because of the utter simplicity, plus Till Lindeman is a stylish vocalist. Mutter continued this trend and in this reviewer's opinion, they perfected their style. It had the perfect blend of synth and metal, pure German efficiency. Where could Rammstein go from there?
This is where Reise, Reise comes in (it's pronounced rise-uh rise-uh, if you were wondering). While Reise, Reise may not be their most "metal" album to-date, it is by far their most experimental and unique. The first two tracks, "Reise, Reise" and "Mein Teil" are the most like their old material. They're straightforward German industrial metal, with great hooks and riffs. "Dalai Lama" is where things start to get interesting. It's actually a softer song, still eerie and muscular in a way that only Rammstein can execute, but during the refrain there's a great piano part that is practically genius in its über-simplicity.
One of the things that blew me away was the track "Los", I was not expecting it at all! Amazingly enough, it's an acoustic track. Not a pansy-ass, singer-songwriter, campfire acoustic track. Not even a sad, emotional, slow moving acoustic track. It's like they took any standard Rammstein industrial riff and played it on an acoustic guitar, so it sounds like repressed aggression. The only part that isn't acoustic is a little guitar solo thing that, along with something that sounds like a harmonica, gives it an old western tinge.
The two songs about places, "Amerika" and "Moskau" are excellent as well. "Amerika" is, for lack of a German translator, about something having to do with America being cocky or gluttonous or something like that. The beat is great; I dare you to not tap your foot to it, and the chorus (being in English) is extremely infectious. "Moskau" has some interesting female vocals and makes you feel as if it's a concert right in the middle of Red Square or a political rally at the footsteps of the Kremlin. I believe some of the lyrics are in Russian, but I'm not the best linguist. A cool part of the song is the bridge portion where there's some kind of accordion or concertina playing a catchy riff, which immediately goes back into metal riffs.
My problem with the album is that it kind of tapers off towards the end. The final four songs just sort of blend together and don't really have anything memorable. "Amour" has a decent riff and an oddly cool solo with a mellow feel to it, and "Ohne Dich" has a cool chorus, but "Morgenstern" and "Stein Um Stein" just feel like generic Rammstein, filler if you will.
The beginning three quarters more than makes up for the final quarter though. Some could argue that the last two songs let you down easy instead of dropping you off harshly, which I guess works for the album. Reise, Reise is by far the most unique Rammstein album to date. I was amazed at the variety of songs you get to sample on a single album! Naturally, everyone is going to say they sold out because they didn't play the exact same crap as the last three albums, and of course it's the fans that dictate what you can and can't play. I was very pleased to see the band growing and changing with time. Anyone who didn't like Rammstein before should give this one a try, and anyone who was previously a fan should definitely enjoy it. Don't be a generic metalhead sheep, try something different!
Amerika - God damn this song is catchy
Dalai Lama - I love that little piano thing and way the song sneaks up on you
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