"Mein Herz Brennt" (Universal Classics; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Okay, now this is some weird shit.

Described on the front cover as "A song cycle based on the lyrics and music of Rammstein," "Mein Herz Brennt" is the work of famous German composer Torsten Rasch. With this CD, Rasch has taken Rammstein's heavy metal marching thunder and transformed it into a bizarre soundtrack to an opera that will forever haunt you ... assuming you can ever get through it.

It's nine tracks and over 65-minutes of some of the most depressing music I've ever heard.

Is it true to Rammstein? Hell, I don't know. The vocals here, like on a Rammstein CD, are all in German. And the music is virtually unrecognizable. No scratch that. The music is literally unrecognizable. While Rammstein is the world's heavy metal marching band, "Mein Herz Brennt" is old school opera mixed with a horror film score. Deep voiced male vocalists sing tales of what sound like utter gloom and doom. An evil woman's voice takes over on others. The music plays out at a funereal pace and with a deathly tone.

Track 2 is a really strange one -- it sounds as though the music of Bernard Herrmann ("Psycho") was married with vocals by Gollum from "Lord of the Rings."

Definitely not for everyone, "Mein Herz Brennt" is a unique re-visioning of a metal band's sound. Don't think of this as those other "symphonic" representations of bands like Metallica and Pink Floyd. This is nothing like those. There's still some connection to the original material on those CDs. There is nothing left of the original here, except for maybe a title or two.

Is "Mein Herz Brennt" enjoyable? I certainly can't say that. To be honest, I haven't even made it through the entire recording once through yet; it's just too damned depressing. Listening to this CD is like sitting outside in the rain on a grey, cold day and counting the days until you die.

For all I know, there's a cover version of the Ramones' "Beat on the Brat" hidden at the end of the CD to pep things up. But if there is, I'll never find it. It takes too much out of me to ever get that far.

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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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Jun 2024 13:03:50 -0400 .