The chugging, industrial metal of Rammstein is a resilient beast, surviving fluctuating trends over the last 25 years.
With the German band’s much-anticipated seventh album having finally dropped last year, we take a look back over the records that built the legend.
7) Rosenrot (2005)
Originally dubbed Reise, Reise Volume Two, Rammstein’s fifth LP is a curious tome that the band didn’t even bother touring. Containing six cuts previously slated for Reise, Reise, it’s a disjointed effort glued together with some iron-clad bangers. Zerstören, Benzin and Mann gegen Mann all boast brutishly brilliant riffing synonymous with Rammstein, while Sharleen Spiteri and Bobo’s guest vocals on Stirb nicht vor mir are genuinely goosebump-inducing. Otherwise, a definite ‘fan-only’ affair.
6) Herzeleid (1995)
Now it’s just a matter of going, “So which album is less perfect?” While Herzeleid brought Rammstein into this horrible world and gave us Du riechst so gut and Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen?, their debut lacks the variety of later efforts. Still, it cemented their titanic Neue Deutsche Härte racket and proved that, despite all opposition, keyboards are cool.
5) Reise, Reise (2004)
The band could have easily just made Mutter Two but, to our merriment, decided against it. Reise, Reise expands the band’s sound beyond the confines of industrial metal; Ohne Dich and Amour are lovelorn ballads, the latter boasting a ripping guitar solo; Amerika is catchy as they come and the evil, darker-than-Dementors-at-bedtime Mein Teil documents cannibal Armin Meiwes’ disgusting exploits. Wouldn’t hear the Scorpions writing about that, eh?
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4) Liebe ist für alle da (2009)
Till Lindemann bellowing, “You’ve got a pussy! I have a dick!” on Pussy is one of Liebe ist für alle da’s innumerable highlights. Elsewhere, Rammlied’s grandiose openingassured us the four-year wait was worth it, Haifisch is just as musically cheeky as Amerika and the gorgeous Frühling in Paris borrows lyrics from Édith Piaf’s Non, je ne regrette rien. Six records in and still surprising us – now surprise us even more by dropping your seventh album next week, please?
3) Sehnsucht (1997)
The one with Du Hast on it. You know the one. Building on Herzeleid’s muscular sound, Sehnsucht delivers dollops of gothic noir alongside the usual punishment. Spiel Mit Meir’s tales of incest are laced with Flake’s perversely playful keyboard, while Klavier’s dense, epic riffing showcases a mind-set that’d be properly addressed on Mutter.
2) Rammstein (2019)
Ten years on from their previous album, Rammstein’s seventh offered few surprises when it finally dropped, but it did continue their high standards of Rammstein-ness. The band ploughed their usual furrow – repetitive, thrilling riffs, growling, horrible vocals, bursts of electronic rhythms, lyrics about alienation, emotion and (sometimes literal) consumption. It was almost as if the band were reminding themselves who they were.
Rammstein possibly lacks the energy of old Rammstein, but makes up for it in controlled tensions and excellent material.
1) Mutter (2001)
One of the greatest industrial metal albums of all time. That’s it. It’s up there with Ministry, KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails’ best. Mutter cemented Rammstein as serious contenders, proving that Du Hast was no fluke. The album’s first half is literally just singles, even the ballad-esque title-track proving a hit; Adios blesses us with the greatest guitar line ever (2:08. You’re welcome) and Nebel eases us out, back into reality. Into safety. Mutter is Rammstein’s defining statement and a record that has yet to be bested by the band or their contemporaries.