Review Summary: Mutter manages to hone in on ideas from previous releases and create a sound that they will use for years to come.
After two albums and countless tours, Rammstein were finally gaining some decent momentum; the single releases from Sechnsucht
, right through to media attention for their controversial antics and word-of-mouth eventually got the wheels moving. But it was in 2001 that, unbeknown to them, Rammstein would create the most important album of their career; not just because it would open them to mass exposure, but because it would make them the first foreign metal band in history to break out into the mainstream using their native tongue. At the time, bands like Scorpion, Europe and Kreator’s had the mentality that singing and writing in English was their only hope to having any success outside of their own country; Rammstein are the rare exception that stuck to their guns and had it payoff. Of course, it was the bands ability to write songs that were both accessible and heavy that would captivate millions; and the collection of songs found on Mutter
are proof that music can transcend language barriers if done properly.
For those that have heard Rammstein up to this point, you’ll notice Mutter
has a distinct feeling and musical maturity to it when compared to previous releases. Having shifted the band’s techno influences to an industrial sound for Sehnsucht
takes another sonic shift to a more “heavy metal” sound; the album has industrial influences, but they tend to slither around the album, rather than sit firm in the bands core sound. The albums opener, “Mein Herz brennt”, showcases all the new ideas the band have implemented on the album: orchestral undertones, meaty guitars, a fat drum sound, as opposed to the industrial pops of previous works, and Till’s voice has a firm grasp on control: ranging from shouts and whispers, to his solid hooky-melodies. The production used is also a masterstroke. Everything on the album sounds absolutely massive, but it never compromises it from sounding crystal clear; songs like “Sonne”, “Ich will” and “Feuer frei!” will tear your face off, but it won’t stop anyone from enjoying all the contagiously catchy choruses.
You can see why Mutter
is held in such high regard among fans. The bands abilities to write solid, catchy and heavy songs have grown tremendously since their debut. The balance and variation of heavy and soft tracks is very well thought out, too – with so many standout moments that will appeal to old and new Rammstein fans: the count up to ten before the stadium shattering riff that kicks in to “Sonne” or the epic climax of “Mutter”; there are so many great moments that will stay with you long after listening. Songs range from the adrenaline fuel “Zwitter” and “Adios” to the slow epics of closing track “Nebel” and the title track – with hard-hitters like “Links 2-3-4” and “Feuer frei!” that will deny even the smallest thoughts of the album holding any monotony.
Overall, this is one of Rammstein’s finest LP’s to date. Lyrically it’s one of the bands strongest efforts, ranging from debunking the Nazism rumour to bank robbers doing a heist, in attempt to gain global notoriety – which is basically Rammstein poking at “no publicity is bad publicity. There are plenty of interesting themes and topics that you can spend ages trying to decipher. And musically this is the album the band found a sound they can pocket themselves into for future releases. If you’re a fan of the metal genre, you owe it to yourself to spin this at least once.