Album Review – Rammstein / Zeit (2022)

Germany’s own Neue Deutsche Härte institution wasted no time during the pandemic and is back in action with their fantastic eight full-length opus.

Driven by a growing need to fill the void created by the postponement of their tour, Germany’s own Neue Deutsche Härte institution Rammstein began writing new music during the initial COVID-19 lockdown, culminating now in 2022 with the release of the amazing Zeit, or “time” in English, the eighth studio album in their undisputed career and the follow-up to their 2019 critically acclaimed self-titled album. Recorded at Studios La Fabrique, produced by the band together with Olsen Involtini, and featuring a classy artwork depicting vocalist Till Lindemann, guitarists Richard Z. Kruspe and Paul Landers, bassist Oliver Riedel, keyboardist Christian “Flake” Lorenz and drummer Christoph Schneider walking down a staircase connected to the Trudelturm, a monument dedicated to aerial research located at Aerodynamic Park in Adlershof, Berlin (and by the way, the photo was taken by Canadian musician Bryan Adams), Zeit brings to our ears Rammstein’s trademark sound, creativity and energy, positioning it as one of the best albums of the year hands down.

Armee der Tristen (or “army of the dreary” in English) is pure Rammstein from the very first second, with Christian and Christoph generating a beautiful, melancholic atmosphere perfect for Till’s unique vocals, and after such hard-hitting start it’s time for the band to mesmerize our senses with the dark and heavy ballad Zeit, with Richard and Paul extracting minimalist but at the same time piercing riffs form their guitars. That obscure vibe goes on in Schwarz (“black”), with the rumbling bass by Oliver sounding even heavier than before, not to mention the massive, pounding drums by Christoph; and let’s get the party started with the headbanging tune Giftig (“toxic”), spearheaded by the machine-like kitchen by Oliver and Christoph while Till is on absolute fire on vocals, resulting in a great depiction of the band’s trademark Neue Deutsche Härte. Zick Zack (“snip snip”) not only has one of the funniest videos of the year, but the music is fantastic and catchy, and the lyrics are a thing of beauty if you understand German, of course. I bet it will sound superb when played live, whereas a background choir ignites the fats-paced, electrifying OK (the acronym for “ohne kondom”, or “without a condom”), with Till delivering his usual vocalizations accompanied by the wicked keys by Christian and the industrialized riffage by the band’s guitar duo.

Back to a more serious, somber mode, it’s time for Meine Tränen (“my tears”), another solid creation by Rammstein that alternates between slower moments and heavier, more epic passages, feeling dense and grim until the very last second; followed by Angst (“fear”), by far my favorite song of the album, bringing to our avid ears the band’s hammering beats and slashing guitars, all spiced up by another demented performance by Till on vocals giving life to the song’s austere words. No one will stand still to such banger, no doubt about that. And it looks like the band will keep crushing our skulls with their Industrial Metal in Dicke Titten (“fat tits”) as if the band was playing it on an assembly line, also displaying some ethereal moments led by Christian’s keys, resulting in a multi-layered composition that will surely become a fan-favorite. Lügen (“lies”) is most probably the weakest or less intense of all songs from the album, not as powerful as its predecessors, where Christian’s keys are amazing as usual but the vocal effects are somewhat irritating (therefore stealing some of the song’s punch), and lastly we have Adieu (“farewell”), a stunning farewell by the band (which makes me wonder if this is going to be their last album ever) where the music is deep, emotive and heavy just the way we like it, and with all band members offering Till exactly what he needs to shine on vocals one final time.

Such insane album of Neue Deutsche Härte infused with Industrial Metal and Rock can be enjoyed in full on Spotify, or you can also purchase your favorite version of it by clicking HERE, adding to your personal collection another avalanche of awesomeness by the one and only Rammstein. Also, don’t forget to give the guys a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their unique videos. Just like high quality wine, Rammstein keeps getting better and better as time passes by, but always remember that time waits for no one, and instead of wasting your time with bad music simply hit play on Zeit and be a much happier person to the sound of Rammstein’s unparalleled creations.

Best moments of the album: Zick Zack, OK, Angst and Adieu.

Worst moments of the album: Lügen.

Released in 2022 Universal Music

Track listing
1. Armee der Tristen 3:25
2. Zeit 5:21
3. Schwarz 4:18
4. Giftig 3:08
5. Zick Zack 4:04
6. OK 4:03
7. Meine Tränen 3:57
8. Angst  3:44
9. Dicke Titten 3:38
10. Lügen 3:49
11. Adieu 4:39

Band members
Till Lindemann – lead vocals
Richard Z. Kruspe – lead guitar, backing vocals
Paul Landers – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Oliver Riedel – bass guitar
Christian “Flake” Lorenz – keyboards, samples, synthesizers
Christoph Schneider – drums, percussion

Metal Chick of the Month – Daísa Munhoz

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How dare you look at me in the eye?

Time to fly back to South America, more specifically to the municipality of Bariri, São Paulo, Brazil, located about 300km from the city of São Paulo (and about 700km from the city of Rio de Janeiro), to talk about another Brazilian Heavy Metal diva, Daísa Munhoz, the beautiful and talented frontwoman of Brazilian Progressive Metal band Vandroya. If you’re simply fanatic for traditional Heavy Metal, I would say she might be the girl of your dreams.

Owner of a very powerful and melodic voice, Daísa started singing when she was only 9 years old, and at the age of fourteen she was already part of a “travelling band”. Our diva said that although she never actually took any singing lessons, she grew up surrounded by every kind of musicians, rehearsals and jam sessions every single day, as her parents are musicians too. That helped her a lot in terms of getting used to how the world of music works, and she learned a lot from every musician that was close to her, especially her mother. She also plays the piano, but “in a mediocre way” in her own words, mainly because she ends up using it more like a guide during her writing and composing process, or sometimes just as a distraction or to relax a little.  Daísa said she never really had any interest in specializing herself in the piano, nor the patience or discipline to do so.

It was when our Heavy Metal bombshell was around 18 or 19 years old that she founded Vandroya, having recorded so far with the band a 2-track demo entitled Within Shadows, in 2005, and more recently their first full-length album, One, in 2012 via Spiritual Beast Records and in 2013 via Inner Wound Recordings. And stay tuned, because the compositions for the next Vandroya album are 100% finished and the recording process will start really soon. By the way, Daísa explained the word “Vandroya” means nothing specifically: it was just a suggestion from a friend back in their early years, based on a character in Avantasia who is called Vandroy. The band just loved the way it sounded.

In addition, you can also see our diva in action in many other different bands and projects. She has been performing for years, including her one time all female band called Inlakesh, as well as a Led Zeppelin tribute band named Black Dog. Not only that, she recorded the vocals on track Song of Deliverance, from the 2013 album Exodus by Slovakian Progressive Power Metal band Signum Regis, as well as the vocals as “Judith” or “Judith, The Princess” in three different albums by Brazilian Melodic Power Metal band Soulspell (a Metal Opera project created by Brazilian drummer Heleno Vale): A Legacy of Honor (2008), The Labyrinth of Truths (2010) and Hollow’s Gathering (2012), winning the Best Female Vocalist award from Whiplash.net in 2010 for her work with Soulspell.

There are so many awesome songs with Daísa on vocals on YouTube you can spend hours and hours just listening and watching to our diva kicking ass, so in order for you to get a delicious taste of her unique voice and the mighty metal music played by Vandroya, my recommendations are the beautiful ballad Why Should We Say Goodbye, the Helloween-ish Power Metal tune The Last Free Land (which I’m pretty sure will inspire you so much you’ll buy Vandroya’s debut album after the first listen), the smooth acoustic version of No Oblivion For Eternity, a live performance of one of their first songs, Within Shadows, as well as their recent cover version for the song Heaven, by Canadian icon Bryan Adams.

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In regards to her main music influences, it’s important to say that Robert Plant is her biggest idol of all time, with the way he sings and moves having a huge impact on her onstage performance, which by the way is beyond superb. However, there are so many awesome artists and bands that it’s hard to name just a few. Sacred names such as Dio, Freddy Mercury, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Russel Allen, Robert Plant, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Doro and Ann Wilson are among her biggest idols, being also highly influenced by Iron Maiden, of course, and many German metal bands, especially Helloween, with the unique voice of Michael Kiske leading her into the world of heavy music. Vandroya playing one of my top Helloween songs of all time, the classic March Of Time, is truly outstanding and an amazing tribute from Daísa and her band to the best Teutonic metal band of all time.

In one of her interviews, Daísa stated she has so many idols it’s very hard to choose just a few for a “dream tour”, but that she would truly love to be part of a festival only formed by female-fronted metal bands. It’s about time someone from the Metal Female Voices Fest invites her and the other members of Vandroya to be part of any future editions of the festival, don’t you think?

Lastly, although Daísa grew up listening to a lot of classic rock and hard rock bands, always being completely fanatic for Led Zeppelin, when asked about the top 5 Heavy Metal albums that changed her life, she listed the following ones: Pink Bubbles Go Ape (Helloween), Cowboys from Hell (Pantera), …And Justice for All (Metallica), The Number of the Beast (Iron Maiden) and Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath), I guess not necessarily in this order. Take a good look at this list and answer me if this is not enough awesomeness to consider Daísa a true badass metalhead!

Daísa Munhoz’s Official Facebook page
Vandroya’s Official Facebook page

“…I actually started to search for more female singers and I discovered a lot of amazing and brave warriors that faced this male-dominated market and won it. You know what? I just realized I know so many female singers I could write a book about their careers!” – Daísa Munhoz