Rammstein - Herzeleid review
|Release date:||September 1995|
01. Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen?
02. Der Meister
03. Weisses Fleisch
04. Asche Zu Asche
06. Du Riechst So Gut
07. Das Alte Leid
08. Heirate Mich
Herzeleid was Rammstein's first full-length album, and in the opinion of many, me included, their best. Already the opening of the first track, 'Wollt Ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen?' is a clear sign as to what awaits the listener on this CD. At first straightforward and really catchy metal riffs with a slight electronical feeling and a really strong groove greet the listener and set the mood for Till Lindemann's unmistakable voice asking the listener if s/he want to see the bed blazing. Then, a short while later, comes the first really catchy chorus of the album "SEX, is a battle! Love is a war…".
The album flows along in the same way after this strong opener, with 'Der Meister' and it's even more straightforward and catchy main riff, as well as more dominant electro influences. One song after the other pours down on the listener with electro grooves and catchier riffing than most melo death bands could ever deliver. Supported by a strong (sometimes techno) drumbeat and a very effectively-used keyboard and of course the half-spoken vocals. Of course no album with strong riffing is complete without its own slow-paced song. Here we get it in the shape of 'Seemann'. Starting very slow and soft it becomes increasingly powerful. To be honest I was completely bored by this track the first times I heard it, but by now it has grown on me so much, that it is own of my favourite tracks by the band. It's amazing how such a monotone, spoken voice can produce such an atmospheric soundscape. Apart from this one song, the variation present on this album is extremely modest, its main component being how much or how few electronical influences the current song contains. Yet variation is not at all what this CD is about, it's almost purely about rocking your body back and forth and whipping your head up and down to some of the catchiest riffs you've ever heard and listening to the fantastic lyrics.
Which brings us to the next point; the lyrics. This point has always been one of Rammstein's greatest fortes, if not their greatest. Almost every line is a metaphor, interpretable in a myriad kind of ways. Let's take this example from 'Du riechst so gut'. "Der Wahnsinn ist nur eine schmale Brücke, ihre Ufer sind Vernunft und Trieb" [„Insanity is but a narrow bridge, its shores are reason and desire"]. Statements like this, which are overabundant throughout the album, should be more than enough to keep any amateur philosopher busy for a while. In other songs though, the lyrics are more explicit, not per se in their wordings but definitely in terms of meaning. In 'Weisses Fleisch' for example, the vocalist sings about rape while he sings about incest in 'Laichzeit'.
All in all this is definitely one of my favourite CDs. Every single song is great for singing along with and each riff is even catchier than the one before it. Rammstein are a very big name in today's mainstream, but that is without doubt not undeserved. If you like catchy music and you don't mind either alternative metal or controversial lyrics, do yourself a favour and listen to this as soon as possible.
|Rammstein is a very unique band, which music has been described acquainted with so many different musical styles that it's impossible to associate their sound with something else than the name of the band itself. Using a lot of keyboards, a repetitive and obsessing rhythm perfectly conducted by the drummer and the repetitive lyrics in the mouth of their great singer. Rammstein is also one of the only German band using their native language for the lyrics and their short-lived attempt to make English versions was a call for them to continue with their smart choice. Of course, with the barrier of the language and the ambient stupidity of some listeners, the band has been and is still falsely accused of neo-nazism propaganda and other handmade stories. These theories have been widely spread also due to the complexity and weirdness of their lyrics, most of the time referring to very dark themes such as pain and suffering. As it's the case on their debut album entitled "Herzeleid".
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I've been looking for a sound like Herzeleid and never found it. The unique balance between machine sound and "traditional music" is perfect. The very deep vocals of Lindemann adds to the intensity of the lyrics an insane way to see many things. As I almost died from head banging on Weißes Fleisch and Asche zu Asche, the atmosphere changes rapidly to the beauty of Seemann. Calm, almost still, the bassist Riedell gives a wonderful performance. After Du riechst so gut, we can hear Das alte Leid with the legendary ICH WILL FICKEN!!! Then fallows Heirate Mich. The sound of the song is somewhat slower, and the "head banging" musical moments are shorter. Again the vocals make the song even madder than it already is, especially in the last few lines, when an effect is added. The last track of the album that really is different may be Herzeleid. The voice and the guitars work wonderfully together, and when Flake's Klavier solo comes in, followed by a guitar solo, it takes the song to another level. I believe that this song proves that being six members in a band is no problem, and that everybody has his place.
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