Review Summary: In tweaking a few things here and there, Rammstein craft a master class in industrial metal.
Rammstein are known for their immediate, impactful music and aggressive vocals courtesy of Till Lindemann. With their previous album Sehnsucht, they made their presence known worldwide, thanks in part to the fantastic Du Hast
In fairness, Mutter doesn’t differ too far from the sound of the previous album. The only major difference is the addition of symphonic instrumentation on tracks like Mein Herz Brennt
and the Title Track
and thanks to that, they end up being two of the best tracks on the album. Mein Herz Brennt
is a dark and foreboding track, beginning with Till delivering his lines in an almost spoken word style, backed up by a menacing yet simple drum beat and a minimalistic violin. Mutter
may just be the most emotional track Rammstein have ever recorded. Here, the symphonic elements are definitely toned down but what really makes this song so powerful is again, Till’s delivery of his lines. Every word he utters is filled with emotion and pain and rightfully so, as the song is a reference to Richard Kruspe and Till’s unhappy childhood due to their detachment from their mothers. This is perfectly demonstrated from 2:48 onwards, when Till is whispering “Mutter” many times until it becomes a pain drenched shout. Taken into context, it’s heartbreaking stuff.
But it isn’t all just symphonic metal. The trademark electronic songs are there, like Spieluhr
which begins with electronics that sound like something from a demented nursery rhyme. It features the electronically altered vocals of a little girl in the chorus, further adding to the nursery rhyme atmosphere and making it incredibly catchy. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be a Rammstein album without a light hearted song full of slightly eccentric sexual lyrics and that comes in the form of Zwitter
(Hermaphrodite in English). In this track, everything just seems to flow perfectly, with the drums, guitars, electronics and bass (while not always audible) complimenting each other perfectly. These men are lifelong friends and you can definitely tell in the music. Another example of this is Links 2 3 4
, only the electronics are less present.
Without a doubt, my favourite tracks from the album are Adios
and the first glimpse people got of the album back in 2001, Sonne
. The album could have easily ended with Adios
, as opposed to Nebel
, a very laid back, slow track. I am not by any means saying that it is boring, I just think that since the album started with a bang, it could have ended the same way. The guitar effect on Adios
at around the 2 minute mark is absolutely fantastic, and it never fails to put a massive grin on my face. Sonne
is definitely one of the most well known Rammstein songs, beginning with a countdown before everything else kicks in. You can actually hear the bass on this song in the verses. It is playing essentially the same lines as the guitar but it works perfectly. In the bridge, Till affirms , “The sun is shining out of my hands, it can burn, it can blind you” becoming increasingly aggressive, amounting to “It lays down painfully on your chest, balance is lost, it lets you go hard to the floor, and the world counts loudly to ten”. Powerful lyricism or sexual innuendo? You decide.
Overall, this is an excellent album which truly features something for everyone, from fans of more aggressive metal and massive riffs (Sonne
and Fueur Frei
) to the more symphonic side of metal (Mutter
and Mein Herz Brennt
). I would say this is a perfect starting point for anyone interested in this band, and it comes with a high recommendation.