Rammstein
Untitled


4.2
excellent

Review

by Simon STAFF
May 17th, 2019 | 562 replies


Release Date: 05/17/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gotta light?

Time is the underlining motif for Rammstein’s long awaited return, looming over every aspect of its creation. Rammstein’s artwork is symbolic of this: a lone matchstick laid bare to a white backdrop – it’s a far cry to the luscious, provocative scenery of Liebe Ist Für Alle Da’s cover, or the repulsive simplicity of Sehnsucht. No, at a first glance the cover appears surprisingly bland and tame by Rammstein comparisons. However, the matchstick represents a number of things that really drive home where this band’s headspace is at these days: the design’s austerity shows a mature artistic restraint previously unseen by the band until now; the matchstick itself contains the very element that made the band the adulated juggernauts they are today; and it’s the same device that once lit, burns brightly for a limited amount of time before fading out forever. The past, the present and the future are encompassed in this tiny inanimate object, which, in spite of its initially disappointing visual allures, paints a thousand words before you even hear a note of the band’s seventh album. It’s the basis of which this entire record continues to remind you of, and it does so with sophistication and intelligence. 2019 marks one for the books; as the decade draws to a close, both Rammstein and Tool will have finally released albums that were becoming fabled tales – almost never to materialise into anything other than fervent dreams. Though I can’t speak for the quality pertaining to Tool’s new album, Rammstein sternly proclaims an artistic broadening that’s fresh and emotional, yet understandably retrospective.

The production in particular is a really positive draw for the record, largely down to its bright and powerful presence. These are big, grandiose compositions that are shaped by crisp, vibrant drums, guitars that cut through with blinding clarity and an overall focus on dynamic that’s as dense as it is intricate. That said, it’s blatantly obvious something is different here and it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out why. This is the first album in the band’s career to ditch their long-time producer, Jacob Hellner, in favour of Richard’s rhythm guitarist in Emigrate. Olsen Involtini has recorded all of Emigrate’s albums and for what it’s worth, he brings a really distinct signature sound to his production. For better or worse, it’s a fresh perspective on Rammstein’s sound that brings more wealth and payoff than problematic handicaps. The symphonic undertones really come into their own on here; taking the likes of “Was Ich Liebe” and “Zeig Dich” to new heights in terms of their lavish classical influences. The synth is handled masterfully throughout the album as well: the ominous clouds which soak into the driving and thrash-y verses of “Zeig Dich”; Flake’s leading melody embodies “Deutschland” and becomes the linchpin of the entire song; and the retro EDM samples for “Radio” really showcase Flake’s passion and keen expressiveness for this project.

It’s just an all-round fun album to listen to. You can tell Till has had a lot of fun recording this album, drawing from a wide array of emotions and styles. “Auslander” has a europop vibe to it with one of the most cathartic choruses of 2019; it’s cheesy, it’s full of beans and it’s one of the best songs on the album – it’s simply wonderful to sit through. “Puppe” sits in the same territory as “Auslander” for its no-holds-barred approach to songwriting. The minimalist build-up soon reaps its rewards with an untameable juggernaut of a third-quarter, hearing Till let loose with the most unhinged vocal performance he’s ever done, sat on top of exploding drum work and buzzsaw guitars. But even with these more interesting elements being taken out of the equation, melodies throughout Rammstein are top-notch. The band have a keen ear for gorgeous and catchy melodies, the likes of which closing piece “Hallomann” and “Sex” contain. You’ll have a lot of these songs stuck in your head well after hearing them, which clearly shows the band’s abilities as writers, but it’s certainly indicative of how on-the-ball Till is with his contributions as a singer.

Rammstein comes as little surprise to me; the band has always pushed its creativity into new areas and they always succeed without losing their core fundamentals. However, this is probably the first time we’ve seen the band push themselves into a space that might put a few purists off. Essentially Rammstein is an odd amalgamation of Rammstein and Emigrate. Sure, it successfully pushes the band into new pastures, but its clinical presentations might disappoint some as a result. It lacks the signature grime of Hellner’s takes and it’s a perfectly understandable criticism to share: Hellner was effectively the unofficial seventh member of the band and it becomes a smidgen disheartening to know that he wasn’t involved in what could be Rammstein’s final venture. Another nitpick is the absence of their metal edge. The Emigrate comparison resonates louder when you listen to the album’s intentional shift into industrial rock over industrial metal. The likes of “Sex” sounds like a riff straight out of the Emigrate vault; the stadium-stomping riffage associated with Emigrate is omnipresent here and it makes songs feel less hostile when compared to previous Rammstein efforts. Those looking for their heaviest album to date will be disappointed, this is the most lucid we’ve heard the band but it’s not necessarily meant as a derogatory remark. The band have found a weird sweet spot that sheds their brazen, shock-rock antics for a more rounded journey. It’s an organic shift that occasionally leaves moments yearning for a really heavy section to take hold, but it’s not enough to derail the songs entirely.

It’s this approach to the entire package of Rammstein that highlights their age. After a 10-year studio silence, Rammstein have returned with elegance and grace over shock value. They’re older and wiser, but they continue to provide the same unwavering work ethic they always have. This is a fantastic return that shows the artistic thrust we’ve come to expect from the band, but it’s done in a way that sheds their controversial desires for good, honest songwriting. It’s probably the most vastly experimental offering to date, next to Rosenrot, but it makes sure to add a trove of tasteful elements from previous sounds while it’s doing it. Most bands that have been out of the game for this long fail to succeed in their broken silence with a satisfying resolve, unsurprisingly Rammstein flick the pressure off their shoulders with ease and present a mature evolution in sound. It might not be the best album they’ve ever produced, but considering what it was going up against, it comes as a resounding success. If this is the last matchstick to be lit by the German titans, it’s a send-off most will be satisfied with.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: DELUXE CD/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶/̶/̶D̶I̶G̶I̶T̶A̶L̶/̶/̶

PACKAGING: The 'Deluxe' edition of the CD contains no bonus material – the extra money goes entirely towards the album's packaging. A DVD sized 12-panel case, with various pieces of artwork on each panel.

SPECIAL EDITION BONUSES: N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://shop.rammstein.de/en/catalog/visuals-sounds/cd.html




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user ratings (304)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Scheumke (4)
Mein Herz in Flammen...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Scheumke
May 17th 2019


1114 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude, you blew my review out of the water. Amazing write-up my man! I can take some lessons from this ;)

Digging: Moron Police - Boat on the Sea

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 17th 2019


15644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

cheers man. I'll get on to reading yours now i've finished this. judging from your rating I think we're on the same wavelength though ; )

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

hadeserbonfa
May 17th 2019


226 Comments


Loved the nod to Twin Peaks.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 17th 2019


15644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

< 3

TheNotrap
May 17th 2019


11818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, the first paragraph and last sentence are particularly interesting.



I still have to listen to the album more closely, but the first impression was good.

Digging: Vitriol (USA) - To Bathe From the Throat of Cowardice

BigPleb
May 17th 2019


59800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love the rev, Gonzo! Mindpos.



I’ve had Auslander’s and Zeig Dich’s chorus stuck in my head allll day.

Rowhaus
May 17th 2019


2670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album indeed

Digging: Why? - Alopecia

Toondude10
May 17th 2019


14041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that soundcloud audio is sped up btw



sweet review for a sweet album

Tomstein
May 17th 2019


112 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is definitely going to have to be a grower on some people.

rc239
May 17th 2019


265 Comments


it's so weird that i find myself enjoying a rammstein album in 2019

Matthias812
May 17th 2019


106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Enjoying this album much more than I enjoy most of their other stuff.



Solid review!

Digging: Ecstatic Vision - For The Masses

LoLifant
May 17th 2019


1542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

As a rather casual Rammstein fan I maybe can judge this from a more neutral perspective and I actually think they copy themselves a lot in here. "Zeig Dich" is very similar to Zwitter for instance. Or they reuse that alarmish sound from the bridge in "Keine Lust". In general Rammstein is a fun band and so is probably the album, but they are sort of a pop band within the metal genre. The songs are very basic and simple in almost every way. Nevertheless, fans will love this for sure. Tims vocals on "Puppe" slay hard.



Also I'm curious how non german speaking folks listen to their songs. Do you open up a translation of the lyrics the first time you listen to a song?

DominionMM1
May 17th 2019


18346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

depends on the song. i can get the jist of some of their songs if i just read the lyrics. sometimes i have no idea what they're talking about but i never really look for a translation

Tomstein
May 17th 2019


112 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just say fuck it and listen just like the other bands like Ruoska Tanzwut Kypck In Extremo. lol somestimes I'll will look up the lyrics. If I'm curious enough.

Ikarus14
May 17th 2019


1358 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ten years later and they're still feckin' awesome. I think this might be one of my favourites.

Skoj
May 18th 2019


1805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album fucks.

judgedeath2
May 18th 2019


68 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

> Also I'm curious how non german speaking folks listen to their songs. Do you open up a translation of the lyrics the first time you listen to a song?



No. My first listen was straight through, no translations...focus on the instrumentals, groove of the songs, and how Till is doing his delivery. In subsequent listens, I go track by track with translations.



And speaking of, Puppe.....goddamn.

DominionMM1
May 18th 2019


18346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

puppe is killer



weit weg sounds like a cheesy 80s power rock song put through the ol rammstein filter. dig the fuck out of it.

kevbogz
May 18th 2019


1463 Comments


"it’s cheesy, it’s full of beans and it’s one of the best songs on the album" lmfao I'm sold.
so glad these dudes are back, but are they still banned from the states?

kevbogz
May 18th 2019


1463 Comments


dawg PUPPE rips holy shit



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