Review Summary: Rosenrot is the most experimental release to date. Largely overlooked by many, but, at times, contains some of the bands best song writing.
Rammstein’s discography has kept to a relatively routine pattern, writing fresh material to be made for a new album every couple of years, but Rosenrot
is a little different to the rest of the groups albums and for a couple of reasons: firstly, Rosenrot
– surprisingly – came out only a year after their 2004 LP Reise, Reise
and secondly, over half of Rosenrot
’s tracklist contains B-sides that never made the final cut on Reise, Reise
. When people hear the word “B-side” they’ll grimace and assume that the songs were never good enough to be on a “proper” album; so why have Rammstein decided to take six songs from previous recordings and make a new album with them? The answer, quite simply, is they stand strong enough to be on the bands fifth studio outing.
Make no mistake, many might see the B-side tracks as a handicap, but Rammstein have never been a band to do things in the conventional sense, and Rosenrot
stands up tall with the rest of the bands discography. The opening track, ”Benzin”, dissolves any doubts about an album dipping in quality, and proves that these guys are showing no sign of slowing down; from Chris’ grooving bass kicks in the verse to Till’s wall breaking screams in the chorus. The track comes packed in a sound that has been getting fine-tuned for several years, masterfully showcasing the heavy and infectious Rammstein we’ve come to know and love. Further proof that Rosenrot
contains top-quality material is shown on songs like “Rosenrot”, “Spring” and “Wo bist du” that aim more towards the slightly more epic sound found on Mutter
; while “Mann gegen Mann” brings the heavy duty, headbanging treatment.
Unfortunately, the flow of Rosenrot
isn’t great, and any real momentum being made in the first third of the album is lost when we reach “Stirb nicht vor mir (Don't Die Before I Do)”, which sees Rammstein at their softest: the track contains guest vocals from Sharleen Eugene Spiteri and has Till singing some fantastic ballad type melodies over acoustic guitars, however Sharleen Eugene Spiteri’s English sang contributions tend to make the song come across a little cheesey; the song is decent and enjoyable enough on its own, but it is so left field from anything else on here that it damages the tones created from the other songs. The same applies to “Te quiero puta!” which has mariachi elements amalgamated with the standard Rammstein sound and guest vocals from Carmen Margarita Zapata, and again, the song is enjoyable on its own merit – albeit it came across almost laughable – but it ends up tearing up any consistency.
But, what Rosenrot
lacks in consistency, it makes up for in being Rammstein’s most atmospheric release to date. The album has its ups and downs in terms of consistent tone, but the album is littered – especially toward the end of the album – in songs that bring fantastic ideas and sounds. Songs like “Feuer und Wasser” and album closer “Ein Lied” showcase a different kind of Rammstein that bring the band to their darkest, heaviest and most epic. It’s a real shame the band didn’t decide to make more songs like this instead of including “Te quiero puta!” and “Stirb nicht vor mir (Don't Die Before I Do)”.
has some odd song choices at times, but the album is still at a fantastically high standard, a standard the band have managed to maintain their whole career thus far. And while Rosenrot
might have some crazy ideas, it’s this kind of experimentation that makes the album so interesting and stand’s out so much from the rest of the bands LP’s. It might have some songs that didn’t make the cut on Reise, Reise
, but these songs are just as good as any Mutter
or Reise, Reise
tracks. And for that reason alone the “B-side” tag should be overlooked.