Rosenrot is the fifth release from the popular Industrial German sextet. The album was originally slated as 'Reise-reise Vol. 2' as it contained songs that didn't make it onto the 2004 release as well as a few new songs. However, while Reise-reise experimented with different sounds, this album brings back a more traditional sound similar to that found on 2001's Mutter. Over their career, Rammstein has progressed from a riff-laden industrial sound to almost theatrical compositions of heavy guitars, oddly placed samples and Till's hollow but agressive deep vocals. This album is no exception, having progressed even further down that path. The end result is an album that I would rate second to Mutter and place high above its mediocre predecessor.
While the album consists largely of softer, more melodic songs, the album's harder tracks manage to project enough power to compensate. The opener and first single, BENZIN, features a techno-based intro followed by an accented snare beat, and we note that drummer Christoph 'Doom' Schnider has finally risen to his potential. However, the song is a little weak through the verses and chorus and doesn't have the solid backbone that some of their previous harder tracks have. This is redeemed by the next song, MANN GEGEN MANN, which starts out softer with Till growling out the title on the agressive chorus. FEUER AND WASSER also utilizes dynamics to a great effect, starting off slowly and building into a powerful guitar sound as the song progresses.
The highlight of the album, however, is ZERSTOREN. Beginning with a strange Japanese-sounding vocal sample, the floor tom and solid guitar riffs follow. The longest track on the album, it takes you on a pounding rampage before the surprise outro, a light keyboard part with Till singing softly as it fades out. The outro doesn't really work for me, but it still fits well enough to be listenable.
Softer songs and the traditional Rammstein love ballads fill up much of the album, particulatily the stretch near the album's middle. That being said, they are the best that Rammsetin has ever composed. ROSENROT is a nice simple bass-driven song that features prehaps the best sung vocals on the album. SPRING is a long, epic track about a man preparing to jump from a bridge, which although maybe overly theatrical is still a powerful song. The album's closer, EIN LIED, povides a nice light closer without sounding too weak to round off the album.
There are two controversial track, however, that branch off in vastly different directions. The first one is the billingual duet STIRB NICHT VOR MIR/ DON'T DIE BEFORE I DO, a duet sung with a female singer (whose name I am too lazy to look up). They never really harmonize, however their duet works well, the softness of her vocals play well on the harshness of his. The song comes across well, despite the cheesiness of the english lyrics (which is a reminder as to why they don't record original songs in English).
The other song is TE QUIERO PUTA, a song done largely in Spanish. It begins with the sound of horses and then trumpets, followed by the obligatory hard guitar riffs. While I appreciate the innovation of the song, I can't honestly enjoy it (the realisation that Till bellows 'I love you, whore' during the chorus has not added to my appreciation).
All in all, Rosenrot shows that Rammstein are still a menacing force in the music industry and that they will continue to progress their sound to new levels and facets. I resommend this release to any fan, or to anyone who is wishing to get into the band as it shows their current direction. I also am looking forward to the release of their new live DVD, which should be out later this year.
Mann gegen Mann
Strib Nicht vor Mir