Today is the day. A day 10 YEARS in the making. Rammstein have released a new album. So lets go in, song by song, and review the return of the titans of Industrial Metal. This review will be done literally as we listen to the tracks for the first time, so get ready to see some first true impressions. Ladies and gents - "Rammstein".
Track 1 - Deutschland
The first released single of the new album, the spark that released the absolute bomb of hype. Not only is it one hell of a great track, it's a perfect album opener. With the almost guaranteed stomping drumline, which we can already see Till thumping his fist on his knee to, breaking in after the electro repeating keyboard line, it's classic 'Stein. A hit when it was released and sure to be a staple for the upcoming shows, if not a show opener. Plus, the music video is epic as all hell.
Track 2 - Radio
The follow up single to Deutchland, Radio takes the techno factor up a notch for the crew. I've always stated that Rammstein make exceptional use of breaks and silence in their music and personally this track highlights it for me. That pause before the chorus breaks in to separate Till's trademark whispering into the almost sing-a-long (surely intentonial for a track titled Radio) is simply perfect the first time and being replaced with the drum fill the second time around just shows the fluidity that these guys produce.
Track 3 - Zeig Dich
With a movie-esc orchestral choir introduction, Zeig Dich breaks into the tempo of the album, with the vocals seeming to even increase in FINISH THIS. As we break out of the introductory verse, it's the first track that can showcase the vocal prowess of the lead singer we all love, with beautiful choir-esc coming through. But the real highlight here is the bass line. Oliver Riedel is somehow noticeable from the get go as the song breaks, but is truly given the spotlight with a haunting solo towards the tail of the song, transitioning into a painfully sweet howl from Till. However much it may sound like it belongs there, don't play this in church.
Track 4 - Auslander
More techno? God yes please. Flake is really giving it his all on this album already. It almost feels like the start of this could be sampled into a song bouncing in Ibiza. No screw that, the whole song could be played in any club around the globe. They've truly managed to create a 'banger'. It has everything you need, drops, a damn tasty hook and beats. And it's PERFECT Rammstein. Even though it's a step away from the usual for them, you can't listen to this and think it's not them. How they've done this I don't know, but if I got dragged into a clubnight and heard this, I wouldn't be surprised. It's tied with the bow at the end of the chorus with Till trilling off 'C'Est La Vie' and it's going to get stuck in my head for a long time.
Track 5 - Sex
Oooft, it's bass groove time. Not only that, but it's another chant song, with the chorus having Sex belted at the start of most lines, the crowd is already being lit up in my mind for when Till shoves that microphone out for everyone to shout it. It's got the usual Rammstein tendencies scattered around (a similar that takes me back to Keine Lust actually), it's a good song but nothing outstanding about it for me, just what I'd maybe call as a 'filler' track. But pretty sure it'll be a great crowd pleasure and a perfect tune for some antics on stage.
Track 6 - Puppe
Now this is outstanding. The two minutes or so of Puppe is haunting, showcasing how well Rammstein do quiet and lullaby-metal. A repeating plucking guitar line over vocals that make your hair stand, slowly drawing in with the slow addition of the bass line and touching of drums, an odd sound effect dropping, it keeps it low, but the tension builds. Until somehow with just a drum change to start with, we're dragged into a hell away from the simplicity of it all into a raw brutality of a vocal line and ragging nasty guitar lines. The tempo doesn't go up, because it doesn't. The agression and desperation in the singing pairs with the feel of the song to a tee and when it's over, I'm feeling violated, scared and alone. Damn these guys can nail these tracks.
Track 7 - Was Ich Liebe
Was Ich Liebe pulls us out of whatever hole Puppe left us in, back into the world of typical Rammstein. Great guitar work for the spoken verses into a chorus that breaks between angelic-esc singing and beat heavy growling. I'm not sure if it's because I've still got Puppe sitting heavy, but this track doesn't jump out at me. It's not bad, but I feel like it's just a Rammstein song I've heard before.
Track 8 - Diamant
It's quite a task to show the German language as beautiful, but time after time these kings of Deustch lyrics seem to pull it out the bag. The harshness is completely gone here, with a song that could even be played at a wedding. It's typical that the lyrics probably are a little twisted (as per most soft tracks from 'Stein), but they are always spot on with giving dark lyrics such a touching sound. I haven't yet visited the translations yet, but I caught the last line, Doch nur ein Stein, which is memory serves, finishes with 'But Only a Stone'.
Track 9 - Weit Weg
Seriously they have let Flake loose with the techno vibes this album. There's an almost 80's futuristic feel to the kickoff of this track, but we're pulled back into the fray of pulsing guitars and heavy drums. Personally for myself, this is the track so far with a stand-out solo. It's not technically outstanding, but it's placed perfectly within the song and gives a screech that adds another great layer to the track.
Track 10 - Tattoo
Here we go again, another track I can already see making it onto the live setlist. A drumline that'll echo across any festival field, plenty of moments that would suit pyro and some excellent harmonic moments on the vocals. There's a downbeat gap which brings Till in nicely, tied with moments of solo keyboard bites scattered around the song. We're towards the tailend here, but nothing is showing signs of weakness.
Track 11 - Hallomann
Hallomann is one hell of a way for an album to finish and frankly, I can see this being a set-finisher. There's even the lines 'Sing fur mich, komm, sing' beckoning the listeners and audience to give the band what they want. It's a little on the calmer side, but in the same way 'Weiner Blut' was from LIFAD, with it picking up towards the end. There's great bass work, the vocals are outstanding, screeching guitars and the piano line echoes like a haunting touch throughout. This doesn't just show off Rammstein, it shows off each member.
So it's been 10 years in the making. Was it worth it? God yes. Rammstein have for us personally done everything right here. If you took their catalogue and distilled it down, step by step, to make a pure product, it would be this album.
If you need a score, it's a 9/10. It's so close to being a full score, but something is holding me back. Maybe let's re-visit the score after more listens and seeing them hit these tracks live.