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Reviews

Rammstein: Reise, Reise

15/06/12  ||  BamaHammer

Rammstein is one of those bands that metalheads (at least in America) either really love or really don’t give a shit about. The whiners will tell you that they don’t dig it because they don’t speak German or whatever, and they can suck a flamethrower. As for me, I think the band is fantastic. What they don’t bring in terms of complexity in the realms of song structure or technical musicianship, they more than make up for with the sheer catchiness of tunes and the undeniable fun they offer with every album. “Reise, reise” is a prime example of what Rammstein does so well, and it’s their best album to date. Yeah, so fuck you, “Mutter” fanboys.

While it’s not really a perfect album, “Reise” does not offer a single track that isn’t enjoyable to some extent. The reason for that is simply because the band know their niche and how to create tunes that fit it, and they keep hitting that niche time and time again with excellent songs that can really only be described as pure Rammstein. There’s not a thing wrong with that, it’s just the way they are.

That being said, RR has always seemed to be a bit of a different album for Rammstein in my opinion. It has always sounded a bit more accessible and artsy than something like “Sehnsucht” or “Mutter”, and it lacks that hard, sharp edge that the sound of their previous work brought. The result is one of the band’s more easily digestible and catchier offerings.

The guitar work is as lame technically as you’ve come to expect from Kruspe and Landers. It’s a healthy dose of modern rock/metal drop-tuned dumbassness, but the riffing is as groovy as you’ll find anywhere in this type of music. Many of the riffs like “Mein teil” or “Dalai Lama”, for example, sound instantly catchy from the first listen basically because they’re just so damned simple. Coupled with the bass lines which follow and mimic the guitars like a young puppy, the guitars lay down quite a song backbone and sturdy foundation for the band.

As for the vocals, Til Lindemann (the man, the legend) really demonstrates his extraordinary prowess with the microphone on this album more so than any other of the band’s releases. Everything but a few lines of “Amerika” (which are in English) and the title of “Amour” (which is French) is of course in the traditional Rammsteinian German, which is awesome since Til sings in that epic huge-balls bass tone of his. Lindemann manages to give a wide variety of emotions that follow the feel of the music perfectly even if they fall questionably into tune at times. He can give you a maniacal craze in “Mein teil” and then sing along with an acoustic guitar on “Los” and then absolutely pour his heart on tracks like “Stein um stein” or “Amour”. It’s just a great performance from a very charismatic vocalist.

My personal favorite part of this band is the drumming of Christoph Schneider. He sounds like a robot and his style is basically ice cold and devoid of any emotion, but that type of percussive attack is exactly what makes Rammstein sound like Rammstein. It’s just a merciless pounding (and you know you like merciless poundings) with very few fills and no flash or showmanship whatsoever. It’s straightforward, by-the-book drum-beating, and it works.

So is this album worthy of this much praise? Absolutely. It may lack the flash and style in the technicality department to put it over the top, but it’s simple, catchy hard rock that’s easy to get into and easy to love. It just so happens the lyrics are in German. And this album even inspired me to teach myself the German language, which I’ve done over the past few years, and I’ve even gotten pretty decent at it. Thanks, Rammstein.

9

  • Information
  • Released: 2004
  • Label: Motor Music
  • Website: www.rammstein.de
  • Band
  • Till Lindemann: vocals
  • Richard Z. Kruspe: guitars
  • Paul Landers: guitars
  • Oliver Riedel: bass
  • Christoph “Doom” Schneider: drums
  • Flake: keyboards
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Reise, Reise
  • 02. Mein Teil
  • 03. Dalai Lama
  • 04. Keine Lust
  • 05. Los
  • 06. Amerika
  • 07. Moskau
  • 08. Morgenstern
  • 09. Stein um Stein
  • 10. Ohne dich
  • 11. Amour