Monday, May 30, 2016

Rammstein – Mutter (2001)

Ivo Mattus

Rammstein, the industrial metal (also classified as Neue Deutsche Härte) band from East Germany. One of my all time favourite bands and because their last album came out seven years ago, I picked out their third and my favourite album – Mutter!

Like many younger Rammstein fans, I got hooked when I first heard ,,Du Hast’’ while I was just a kid in elementary school. Because their songs are mainly in German I had no idea what the song was about, did not speak any German back then (I still don’t), but the power and the simplicity of the song sounded just so awesome!

Rammstein can be described as rhythmic, energetic, powerful, aggressive and sexual. The last part is usually discovered when people look up the translations of the songs, which can create some disturbance. Rammstein has always had it’s disctinct sound that differs it from the other bands. This sound is carried by low and deep barritone voice, hard edged guitar riffs and melodic keyboard. These descriptions fit well for their third album. Although ,,Du Hast’’ itself is on the second album, there are many other tracs as good as the song that opened my...ears.

The album starts off with ,,Mein Herz brennt’’ (My Heart Burns). This symphonic song is sad and powerful at the same time, especially during the chorus, when Till Lindemann screams how his heart burns.  The lyrics speak of monsters that are creeping through children's bedrooms, but all that I can think about is how Till’s heart burns like a phoenix. A dying phoenix that screams out in pain.
The next song is quite different - ,,Links 2-3-4’’ (Left 2-3-4). Very rhythmic, chanting and aggressive like a military march, which it does mimic with the marching feet at the beginning of the song. The chorus is very catchy! The song has some interesting backround: Rammstein was accused of nazism (because every well-built German man with beared torso on an album cover is a nazi of course), so they made this song. The message comes out in the following translated lines: ’’They want my heart on the right spot but then I look below it beats left there’’.

The third song is my personal favourite. ,,Sonne’’ (Sun) is bombastic, beautiful and kind of sad. It has some memorable guitar riffs with eerie vocal samples that reminds the Snow White singing (will make sense after you watch the video). The song sounds like a countdown to apocalypse – the Sun comes and devours us all. That is how powerful this song is. The video has taken a bit different approach than my vision of it – an adult version (not porn) of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The fourth track is ,,Ich will’’ (I want). Again, a powerful song that talks about the influence of media or just some guy who wants everything. Could be both. ’’Ich will’’ is chanted throughout the song. Makes me want more things. Like maybe a new Rammstein album.

Next comes ,,Feuer frei!’’ (Fire at will!) that is the fastest paced song on this album. Like with most Rammstein songs, the chorus is pretty simple: BANG BANG Feuer frei! Simple, but effective. The meaning behind it could be connected to some antiwar topic, but it also could be about impregnation. Translated lines: ’’A sparking thrust into her womb A hot cry fire at will!’’. Typical Rammstein.

,,Mutter’’ (Mother) is the name of the next song and also the name of the album. I first heard this song when I was watching a youtube clip about ’’Aliens’’ (1986). Aliens (the creatures in the movie) fascinated me while I was a kid, especially the queen alien. ,,Mutter’’ was playing in this video and it was very fitting. Now everytime I hear this song I think about alien chestbursters ripping through flesh. How nice.

The song itself is slowly building up to a moment when Till screams MUTTEEEER. Very powerful, the song is also very sad, dark and hauntingly beautiful. Lyrics speak of a child who has no mother and was created in a laboratory. The offical video is not (sadly) about aliens.

,,Spieluhr’’ (Music box) is the seventh song on the album. It is also eerie and haunting (especially when you understand the lyrics) as ,,Mutter’’ but not so slow and heavy. The song talks about a child who is assumed dead and then buried with her favourite music box. Even without the translation one could understand, that the song talks about some dead kid, the creepy child with a robotic voice gives it away.

The next song is a bit more lustig - ,,Zwitter’’ (Hermaphrodite). Lyrics talk about a hermaphrodite who likes to have fun with his or her body. Yes, that kind of fun. The song is very catchy and energetic and gets quite heavy particularly at the end.

Continuing with the sexual theme, ,,Rein raus’’ (In out) is much heavier and more aggressive than the previous one and is even catchier. It is easy to chant REIN-RAUS-REIN-RAUS until you find out that it describes a sexual act (in-out-in-out and so on). After that it becomes even easier!
,,Adios’’ (Goodbye) could be very well the last song of this album, not only becasue of it’s name but because it would still be a strong finish. It is a fast song with interesting chorus that maybe talks about a drug addict (the translation is difficult to comprehend).

The last song of the album is ,,Nebel’’ (Mist). It is very different to the other songs of the album: beautiful as ,,Mutter’’ and ,,Spieluhr’’ but lacks the punch that every other song on the album has. It’s still good, a nice and calm song about two lovers who get departed, but it is much weaker when compared to the other songs on the album. Maybe it is just me, but I listen Rammstein because of it’s sheer force and energy that it gives. Yes the track diversifies the album BUT I still think that it is a bit ’’weakish’’ finish for the album.

’’Mutter’’ is a very strong Rammstein album and one could say, the peak of their success. It is more diverse than the previous two albums, but not tuned down (except maybe the last song). The sexual theme is still there (,,Zwitter’’ and ,,Rein raus’’) and the lyrics are simple to singe along but often with deeper meanings with some German wordplay. All in all – the album is dynamic and epic. I shall give it 9 sonnes out of 10. Would recommend.

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