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

Album Review – Rammstein / Rammstein (2019)

A magnificent lecture in Neue Deutsche Härte from the bottom of the flaming hearts of the pioneers of the genre.

Since the band’s inception in 1994 in the stunning German city of Berlin, Neue Deutsche Härte six-man institution Rammstein has been shaking the foundations of the earth with their unparalleled fusion of classic Industrial Metal and contemporary Heavy Metal, all spiced up of course by their controversial lyrics (most of the time in their mother tongue German), their industrial-inspired attire and their incendiary live performances. And it was just like that from their debut album Herzeleid, released in 1995, until their 2009 release Liebe Ist Für Alle Da, before the band went on an unprecedented hiatus that left their fans wondering if the band would ever get back in action to crush our senses with their wicked creations.

Fortunately for all of us, fans of the crazy and electrifying music blasted by lead vocalist Till Lindemann, lead guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe, rhythm guitarist Paul Landers, bassist Oliver Riedel, keyboardist Christian “Flake” Lorenz and drummer Christoph Schneider (a lineup that has remained unchanged throughout the band’s existence, by the way), Rammstein have just returned now in 2019 better than ever with their untitled seventh studio album, also known by many as Rammstein, their first studio album in a decade, bringing to our avid ears everything we’ve learned to love in their music through the years and more. Featuring a minimalist and captivating artwork by Rocket & Wink, the band’s brand new masterpiece offers an amalgamation of their past, present and future, with elements from all of their albums such as Sehnsucht and Mutter, without sounding repetitive or outdated; quite the contrary, the entire album simply rocks.

The album couldn’t have started in a more brilliant way than with their newborn anthem Deutschland (or “Germany” in their mother tongue), bringing forward the perfect fusion of electronic and metal music right from the very first second. Its backing vocals will definitely mesmerize you, while Mr. Lindemann leads his industrial horde in this passionate ode to their homeland. Moreover, Christian is also sensational with his keys and synths, and I’m not even going to talk about the song’s official video, which is in my opinion one of the best videos ever made in the history of music. Radio is another classic and powerful depiction of what Neue Deutsche Härte is all about, with Richard and Paul slashing their strings beautifully and putting us to dance together with the band, also featuring a chorus perfect for singing along with them even if your German is extremely rudimentary. Then it’s time for The Academic Choir and the Symphony Orchestra of the National Television and Radio Company of Belarus, Minsk to add a touch of epicness to the bold and violent Industrial Metal tune Zeig Dich (“show yourself”), where Richard, Paul and Oliver are on fire with their stringed weapons, while Christoph pounds his drums just the way we like it and Mr. Lindemann is once again flawless with his demented vocals.

Ausländer (“foreigner”) is by far the most disco-dancing song of the album, boosted by the band’s trademark riffs and beats and its acid and fun official video (which is another work-of-art). As a matter of fact, Rammstein are so good in what they do they’re capable of making metalheads enjoy dance music, and pay good attention to the song’s lyrics as they’re sung in several languages like French, Italian and English. It’s time to get heavier and more immoral than ever (something those German guys know how to do to perfection) with Sex, with Oliver and Christoph dictating the song’s violent rhythm. In the end, you’ll either crack your neck banging your head or have some wild sex while listening to it, both being highly recommended activities, of course. And the Belarusian orchestra returns for another round of majestic sounds in Puppe (“doll”), the most obscure and vile of all songs, with the vocals by Mr. Lindemann exhaling anger, fear and anguish while Christoph shows no mercy for his drums.

The romantic and enfolding Was Ich Liebe (“what I love”) is another great song showcasing rumbling bass lines, rhythmic beats and the always whimsical keys by Christian, and by far the one with the most melodic guitar lines of the entire album; whereas in the touching Diamant (“diamond”) the music remains utterly ominous while Mr. Lindemann darkly recites its lyrics, feeling as melancholic, beautiful and dense as it can be, or in other words, it’s absolutely awesome. Then Christian takes the lead in the modern Industrial Metal song Weit Weg (“far away”), where a delicate but at the same time potent background provides all Mr. Lindemann needs to thrive on vocals, with the riffs and solos by Richard and Paul bringing even more electricity to the overall result, followed by Tattoo, which kind of sounds taken from one of their previous albums. Put differently, it’s pure Neue Deutsche Härte tailored for the band’s diehard fans, with Christoph hammering our heads violently with his unstoppable, mechanized beats, while the song’s guitar riffs will cut your skin deep. Hence, I would simply love to listen to those Teutonic metallers playing this neck-breaking tune live. And lastly, Oliver makes the earth tremble with his bass punches in Hallomann (“Helloman” / “Announcer”), closing the album on a high note with the music flowing smoothly until its climatic and serene ending.

In a nutshell, anything I say about the brand new opus by the one and only Rammstein won’t be enough to describe its density, depth and energy. We’re facing the best rock and metal album of the year, my friends, there’s no doubt about that, and you can enjoy each and every song from such distinct release directly from the band’s official YouTube channel or on Spotify, and of course buy your copy of this multi-layered feast of top-of-the-line Neue Deutsche Härte from your favorite retailer by clicking HERE. As a matter of fact, I guess the best words that can be used to depict the music found in Rammstein are the ones already sung by Mr. Lindemann & Co. in the opening track of the album. “Deutschland / Mein Herz in Flammen / Will dich lieben und verdammen / Deutschland / Dein Atem kalt / So jung / Und doch so alt / Deutschland!”

Best moments of the album: Deutschland, Radio, Zeig Dich, Puppe and Tattoo.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Universal Music

Track listing
1. Deutschland 5:23
2. Radio 4:37
3. Zeig Dich 4:15
4. Ausländer 3:51
5. Sex 3:56
6. Puppe 4:33
7. Was Ich Liebe 4:29
8. Diamant 2:34
9. Weit Weg 4:20
10. Tattoo 4:11
11. Hallomann 4:11

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

Guest musicians
The Academic Choir and the Symphony Orchestra of the National Television and Radio Company of Belarus, Minsk – strings, choir on “Zeig Dich” and “Puppe”
Meral Al-Mer – backing vocals on “Deutschland” and “Tattoo”
Carla Bruhn – backing vocals on “Hallomann”