Rammstein's first album was about what was to be expected from a bunch of Germans who happily grew up in the old DDR or East Germany.
Precisely brutal and often brilliantly arranged, the band aren't particularly inventive but they bring everything together to make something very radio-friendly out of something that isn't necessarily so.
The band freely invokes its own name throughout the way that KMFDM did in its songs. The final tune is called "Rammstein," to top it all off, this song was used in the film "Lost Highway" by David Lynch who is reportedly a big fan. The riffs readily connect the dots between clipped guitar bursts, power driven choruses and even the occasional solo.
The swaggering sass and stomp of "Wollt Ihr Das Bett in Flammen Sehen" makes for a near-perfect start if a little repetitive and from there the band merrily, without a smile on its collective teutonic face, has a great, loud-as-hell time.
The downside is that the formula is in some ways so perfected they don't vary it much, verses with roiling basses and stomping drums, cascading feedback apocalypse and sometimes squelchy samples adding textures and beats as needed. But there's more there than might be guessed, the frankly beautiful choruses on "Der Meister," soothing keyboards suggesting a 'we all march forward!' anthem for the modern day, the nods towards jungle/drum and bass on songs like "Asche Zu Asche," and "Du Riechst so Gut", and the full on goth/Depeche Mode/metal love of "Heirate Mich" and "Laichzeit." Then there's "Seemann," a power ballad actually worthy of the name.
This is a solid, if unspectacular first album and a good buy for fans of the genre. (4/5)