Review Summary: Minus a few dated ideas, Rammstein's debut holds up very well with age.
Rammstein have had a fruitful twenty one year career of pyrotechnic fuelled, eyebrow burning live shows; six albums of controversially taboo subjected tracks that range from cannibalism, incest, necrophilia and the infamous Josef Fritzl case, it’s amazing to think a band like this could turn out to be one of the most successful foreign metal bands to have conquered the globe. But their appeal is not without reason, as everything from live shows to music videos and lyrics Rammstein have always stayed several steps ahead of the pack, and created stuff that keeps them both relevant and shows their work is as much Art as it is shock value.
As with any great journey, there is a starting point. Rammstein’s 1994 debut album Herzeleid
has some of the ingredients found in their career peaking albums, but this is very much an LP of finding footing and sound. The industrial pops of the snare drum and metallic chugging tones of the guitars, lathered in the eccentric electronic samples Flake plays over it all, show the band at their rawest in terms of basic sound. The albums opener, Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen?
and Der Meister
bring the fist pumping energy the band are well known for, while Du riechst so gut
and Asche zu Asche
bring the catchy choruses. But as with any band starting out there are some songs or sections in tracks that sound a bit out of place. Some of the album does show cracks of aging, while Seemann
is a great soft song in its own right, it isn’t quite in keeping to what Rammstein normally do; the same can be said for a lot of the ideas put into Das alte Leid
, with weird electronic samples of babies crying and a strange synth solo only highlight the tracks age, while Heirate mich
features some awkward backing vocal ideas that don’t sound too great these days. But this is just nitpicking however, and every song on the album is at the very least enjoyable.
Overall though, minus some of the dated electronic parts and ideas that are littered in some tracks, this album has held up very well. Till’s voice isn’t quite as strong on this LP, but he still does a grand job throughout. The albums overall flow isn’t quite as streamlined or cohesive as future records, but every track - with the exception of title track, which plays a repetitive riff a little too much with no real payoff - brings some enjoyment to the table and is well worth checking out. If you’re into the band or industrial music in general this will be sure to entertain.