"Made in Germany" (Universal Music; 2011)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

A quick glance at the reviews on this page should tell you a little something about Rammstein: The band runs hot and cold. For every "Du Hast" there's a "Liebe is Fur Alle Da" and for every "Rosenrot" there's a "Reise, Reise." As Snidermann complains about in his 2009 review, sometimes there's a little too much filler.

"Made in Germany" solves that problem by pulling all of (okay, a lot of) Rammstein's biggest songs. It's like a parade of metal marching music, from classics like the aforementioned "Du Hast" to more recent tracks such as "Amerika" and the much-reviled (but oh-so-funny) "Pussy." Any Rammstein fan can slap in this disc and hear nothing but great stuff from beginning to end ... no filler! And the CD includes a new track, "Mein Land," which fits the Rammstein profile perfectly!

Of course, the usual comments can be made about the selection of tunes (which ones belong here, which ones don't, and which ones were left off) but that's the same argument had with any greatest hits collection. What most of those other compilations don't have, however, is a Special Edition containing a bonus disc, complete with different versions of many of the same tunes, remixed by such names as Junkie XL, Meshuggah and the Pet Shop Boys (yes, the Pet Shop Boys!). And you've got to hear what Devin Townsend has done to "Rammlied," remixing it in what sounds like the Ren & Stimpy Studios, complete with whooping whistles and fart noises.

"Made in Germany" is a terrific collection of great Rammstein music. Whether you opt for the standard edition (16 of the band's best tracks) or the Deluxe Edition (2 disc set) or the Super Deluxe Edition (2 CD set with a DVD and a spectacular box) is up to you. The good news is that you can't go wrong with any of them.

Check out Rammstein on the web at www.rammstein.com.  

"Liebe is Fur Alle Da" (Vagrant Records; 2009)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Rammstein’s "Liebe is Für Alle Da" is nothing more than filler from beginning to end and does not do justice to the early days of albums like "Sehusucht."

"Liebe is Fur Alle Da" has too much just plain talking on it and not enough kick ass metal. The sad thing is we know Rammstein can can do it, but it seems their glory days are long behind them.

Most of the lyrics here are in German and all I hear is unintelligible words with mediocre music. And the first video from this recording, for the song "Pussy," is nothing short of pornography. When does art become porn? Just check out that video and you can answer that question for yourself.

For more information, check out www.rammstein.com.  

"Rosenrot" (Republic/Universal; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Rammstein has put aside the sledge hammer and picked up an ink pen. The band's new release, though often heavy and intense, focuses more on creativity than on simply kicking your ass and the end result is a far more satisfying CD than we've seen from the band in too long a time.

Haunting, hypnotizing, surprising and richly engrossing, "Rosenrot" feels like a novel told with music. I can only guess that there's any overall concept here, however, as I don't speak German and most of the songs here are sung completely in that language. There are two songs that aren't: "Stirb Nicht Von Mir (Don't Die Before I Do)," a duet featuring Sharleen Spiteri singing her half in English and "Te Queiro Puta," which is sung in Spanish. Both songs, by the way, are standouts, with "Stirb Nicht Von Mir" being a poignant "ballad" and "Te Quiero Puta"  taking the classic Rammstein sound and spicing it up with a Latin back.

The sledge hammer may take a backseat here but it's far from gone. "Zerstoren" is a driving bulldozer of a track and most of the other tracks feature Rammstein's trademark crushing guitar chords, too. 

What struck me most about "Rosenrot" was that the band was obviously trying to stretch their wings a little and wound up with a CD that's as solid and as consistent as this. It's even more amazing when you think that "Rosenrot" is supposedly made up of songs left over from the "Reise Reise" sessions. If that's really the case, then Rammstein picked the wrong batch first. "Rosenrot" is the best Rammstein album since "Sehnsucht" (where the sledge hammer was used to full force) and will serve as the perfect backdrop to Rammstein's legendary live show.

Check out Rammstein on the web at www.rammstein.com.  

"Rosenrot" (Republic/Universal; 2006)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I cannot believe that Rammstein's legendary release, "Sehnsucht," came out back in 1998. What a stellar release that was! 

All of the elements of the band's earlier work are here as I sit and listen to their latest release, "Rosenrot,"  but I do not hear any of the fire and fury that made those releases, especially "Sehnsucht," so much above par. Like many bands and artists throughout musical history, Rammstein's 1998 release went through the roof and the band has always tried to match that success. Unfortunately, rarely does that ever happen.

I guess whenever a new Rammstein CD is released, I always hope that it will be like the first one. Sadly, so far, I have always been disappointed. "Rosenrot" is slow, uneventful and simply without any of the fire that was heard in "Sehnsucht." The fact that "Rosenrot" is sung in a language foreign to me did nothing to detract from the over performance of this release but it didn't add anything either. 

I don't know what Rammstein has to do to get the passion back into their recorded music but, sadly, "Rosenrot" just doesn't have it.

Check out Rammstein on the web at www.rammstein.com.  

"Reise, Reise" (Republic/Universal; 2004)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Having skipped “Mutter” and not purchasing “Rosenrot” I picked up “Reise Reise” because I loved “Sehnsucht.” Got all that? Going on Snidermann’s review I wanted to hear what had changed by way of the orchestral rise instead of the mallet driven music I was used to. The answer is ... well, not that much. The driving guitar and pounding drums are still here but there was more ambiance than before.

What was considered a stampede from their first CD is now but a cakewalk. I raged to “Sehnsucht” and then I sat and listened to “Reise Reise.” What a shame to say Rammstein have gone away from the brutal sound that led them to a more ...dare I say?... contemporary sound. "Reise, Reise" is more of a workout soundtrack or dance music contribution.

One of the group’s members, Till Lindemann, was a hopeful Olympic swimmer but dropped out of school sports because of the discipline required. He is the lead front man from Rammstein which is considered in Germany as Tanz-Metall (dance metal).

By the way, I did a little research on Rammstein’s lyrics and I found out what they are trying to say in the song “Amerika.” It is about corporate capitalism, it’s also about America being spread all over the world (The Wonderbra, Coca-Cola, and they mention Santa Claus coming to Africa and Mickey Mouse in Paris). There is a sour tone that this song is emitting. Rammstein’s label did not release this as a single. Every now and then a band uses music to convey politics. Mostly American bands do it with the obvious exception being U2. But I agree with Snidermann - please translate your lyrics into English so I know what I'm singing to. For a full review of all of translated Rammstein’s lyrics, visit this site: http://herzeleid.com/en/lyrics. It may open your eyes ... unless you’re that baby on the cover of “Mutter.”

Rammstein: Christopher Doom Schneider, Doktor Christian Lorenz, Till Lindemann, Paul Landers, Richard Z. Kruspe-Bernstein, Oliver Riedel.

Check out Rammstein on the web at www.rammstein.com.  

"Reise, Reise" (Republic/Universal; 2004)

Reviewed by Snidermann

For the most part, Rammstein's latest release is more of their trademark, heavy, chord-based rock'n'roll and - as far as I'm concerned - that's a good thing. 

The flip side here is that this CD, unlike previous Rammstein CD's, has too much orchestration and too many ballads. If I can't understand the lyrics, then music is all you got going for you. Singing it slow and with plodding music defeats the purpose.

Frankly, "Reise, Reise" does not have any the fire of the band's 1998 release, "Sehnsucht." We know Rammstein can kick serious ass when they want to, so what gives? 

"Reise Reise" did something to me that no other Rammstein CD has: It bored me.  This CD sounds like the band is just going through the motions and there's nothing new or particularly powerful here. 

One more thing: I've really don't know what Rammstein is saying in the song "Amerika," but I've heard it's anything from raging against American commercialism to decrying America as an Empire. Whatever it is, if they've got something to say to America, it seems only right they should say it in English so their American fans know where they're coming from.

Check out Rammstein on the web at www.rammstein.com.  

Mutter" (Republic/Universal; 2001)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Rammstein has done it again with their new release, "Mutter," on Republic/Universal Records; "Mutter" is strong and powerful metal music. Rammstein's trademark thundering guitar riffs, booming bass, strange melodic keyboard and not a fucking word of English makes "Mutter" simply irresistible. 

"Mutter" actually works better with the all-German lyrics. That way, you think less about the words and more about the creativity of the music. In a word, it just cooks. 

The liner pictures in the CD case are sick and twisted, too, depicting the band in an underwater, preserved dead-like state that is like something out of "Silence Of The Lamb." There is also a cool interactive CD element that has a video for the song "Sonne" that does a Snow White-type theme that is ultra groovy. 

Any Rammstein fan that should immediately add "Mutter" to their collection. 

Check out Rammstein on the web at www.rammstein.com.  

Rammstein is Christoph S., Oliver R., Till L., Paul L., Flane L. and Richard K.B. 

rammstein.jpg (6616 bytes)"Sehnsucht" (Motor Music Gmbh/Slash; 1998)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I have discovered a gem: Motor Music Gmbh/Slash recording artists Rammstein and their recording "Sehnsucht," have bridged the gap between the European metal scene and mainstream U.S. metal (if there is such a thing anymore). These guys from Germany rock hard, with an intensity that is both refreshing and stimulating. 

They were first introduced to the public in the soundtrack to David Lynch's film "Lost Highway." The movie was pretty bizarre and the strange and twisted songs of Rammstein fit right in. The CD jacket doesn't tell us anything about the band, not even the names of the members, but the music speaks for itself. A Kraftwerk influence is readily noticeable, but also a very strong heavy metal signature sound that appeals to my basic rock instinct. 

Oh, and did I mention that all but one of the songs are sung in German? I can't speak a lick of German but that matters little, for the general coolness of this recording transcends language. I guess the fact that I can't understand a word of this CD is one of the reasons I like it so much. Come to think of it, it's almost impossible to understand the lyrics in today's heavy music anyway. Regardless, I downloaded the translation from the Rammstein web site (http://www.rammstein.de) and followed along while I listened to the CD. Believe me when I tell you it just enhanced what I already liked about the band. 

"Sehnsucht" pounds relentlessly for the entire 54 minutes with no let up until the CD is complete. Rammstein's tenacity and audacity is apparent: they play their kind of music the way they want to and to hell with anybody that thinks differently. Rammstein impressed me so much that I listened to the CD three times in a row right after I bought it. 

I applaud Rammstein, and I look forward to delving more into this wonderful recording and look forward to more of Rammstein.

"Herzeleid" (Slash; 1996)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Rammstein does it again with "Herzeleid." For those of you not acquainted with the German supergroup Rammstein, where the hell have you been? Rammstein exploded on the MTV music scene in the summer of 1998 with "Du Hast (You Hate)". The song was recorded in both English and German, and is only one of two songs on "Sehnsucht" that was recorded in English. 

Like "Sehnsucht," "Herzelied" (originally released in 1995) is a thing to experience. Rammstein uses thundering guitar riffs, pounding drums and synthesizers, combined with testosterone-laced, venom-dripping German vocals that transcends the listener to heavy metal nirvana. I don’t know a word of what they say, but I sure like the way they say it! (You can download the translation of both recordings off their web site, or if you wish to find some information on this killer group, go to www.rammstein.de). 

Rolling Stone magazine says that Rammstein is Pantera mixed with Kraftwerk and - even though I despise Rolling Stone - they hit this one right on the head. The Kraftwerk influence is readily noticeable, but with a rock hard twist. The music moves with an intensity that is electric and stimulating. The more I listen to Rammstein the more I hope these boys from Germany keep making bitchin' recordings.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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