Review Summary: This sounds like Rammstein always has, but with a fresh perspective on their sound...
Rammstein – Liebe Ist Fuer Alle Da
Over the course of their career, Rammstein have always stuck to an almost singular musical ethic. Their infamous combo of electronic doodles, chugging Metallica guitars, and Till Lindemann’s booming subwoofer voice is a success the world over (but mostly in their native Germany and in the neighbouring European countries). The fact that most of their lyrics are sung in anything but English only enhances their Teutonic mystique, which seems to concern nothing more than a primeval sexual attitude (yes, 90% of Rammstein songs are about sex), a love of morbid humour, and some deadly catchy songs.
For the people who were hoping that Rammstein had moved on from their Sehnsucht-era sex-themed orgasmfests and got some musical sophistication, you will be sorely disappointed. Rammstein’s belated return to the musical arena comes with an album that is exactly like their older albums. The musical reference points to an album that fits squarely between their seminal Mutter album and Reise, Reise; in fact this album is so Rammstein that you wonder if no time has passed at all. What do we find on this album? Atmospheric keyboards? Check. Sexual humour? Check. Thumping guitars? Check. A punishing rhythm section? Check. Till’s ridiculously sub-bass frequency voice? Check. It all is there, pretty much. If you liked Rammstein with any previous album, you’ll like this guaranteed.
Of course Rammstein do experiment here and there. Waidmanns Heil has a pre-chorus vocal line that reminds of German compatriots Die Apokalyptischen Reiter. Fruhling in Paris starts off with a decidedly 60s vibe (think Dutch protest singer Boudewijn de Groot or similar) but ends its sappy ballad with a dose of languid French and a burning melody. Haifisch sounds like the band’s attempt to channel modern-day Tiamat (so, Sisters of Mercy then?). Various other little experiments exist, but all of them are variations on the same theme, and all of them sound like the band always has. Even the band’s attempt at sexual humour with B******** and the Fritzl-inspired Wiener Blut feels familiar (Mein Teil concerned Armin Meiwes). The only real flaw seems to be closer Roter Sand, which sounds like Nebel, yet going nowhere. Even the stupid whistling during the song screams kitsch, and although Rammstein have never been possessed with subtlety, this is probably the ultimate way to kill a ballad by whacking you over the head with it.
Even when the band is at its most generic, lead single Pussy being the prime example, the band is firing on all cylinders. Everything about their songs fits like a glove, and when Till screams the band name in the opener Rammlied, it does exactly that what a Rammstein album is supposed to do; try and make your guts come out of your stomach while simultaneously impersonating something close to a military parade. In that respect, this new Rammstein record is a success as much as every previous album was; it sounds like you expect them to, it sounds fresh by their standards, and it does what you want it to. In an age of musical unreliability, it is nice to find a veteran band sounds like they have everything under control and comfortable in their niche; it is even nicer to find them successful when quaintly venturing out of their zone to experiment with some other styles. Now give us the next one in less than four years, please.