Rammstein - Herzeleid
When I first came across German metalheads Rammstein, it was as most of their non-German fans did; the video for uber-popular track "Du Hast" rotating heavily on MTV. I was instantly enthralled with both their look and their sound; the former (on the video anyway) paying homage to a certain film I love, the latter paying homage to frilless, simple, rhythmatic heavy metal with a strong industrial edge. The german lyrics also captivated me, and immediatly sent me to the local library in search for a German-to-English dictionary. I picked up their debut album "Herzeleid" not too long after, and it remains my favorite of their collective discography for numerous reasons.
Firstly, the tracks; all similar yet all varied, pulsing with a youthful energy and all developed around personal themes of relationship issues. Opening with a full head of steam, "Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen" introduces the world to the power and stamina of a band seemingly breeded to sound as pissed off as possible while remaining catchy and radio-ready. "Der Meister" is more melodic and acts as the perfect set-up for the ultra-powerful "Weisses Fleisch". This is a song that demands head-banging and thrashing about. They slow it down shortly after with "Seemann", which features a smooth bassline and an honestly sorrowful vocal performance by frontman Till Lindemann, who's aggression is the sparkplug for their overall sound but who also shows some real versatility here. "Du Riechst So Gut" is probably the album's most enjoyable track as it incorporates all of the elements that Rammstein gun for in their sound; melodic soundness, brick-wall heaviness and twisted, sexually-deprived lyrics. "Das Alte Leid" ties with closer "Rammstein" as the most creepy track: you might notice some of these songs from the old classic David Lynch flick "Lost Highway". The atmosphere is certainly in-tune with that sort of film. My personal highlight is the title track, with it's single-word vocalizings and mid-paced rhythms bursting out into a thrashy, twisted chorus and then seguing into Till's wrenching shouts of "HERRRRRRRZELEID!". Still gives me the shivers.
If anyone isn't familiar with Rammstein, this is the album I always reccommend as a starting point. While the infamous "Du Hast" wouldn't come until their next release, Herzeleid is Rammstein at their most empassioned and, while nowhere near as polished as later releases, retains more of a metallic edge than any other. Pick it up even if you're trepidacious about the german lyrics; you'll probably find yourself singing along not knowing what the hell you're saying anyway.
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on 2009-02-19 SolitaryMan Said:
Haha, no, not at all. They were probably my favorite band for awhile, and I read lots of interviews they did and no, they're not evil...they're just usually in a pissed-off way when recording their music. It definitely shows, eh? People have accused them of being fascist, homosexual, etc...but it's all either misunderstanding (Yeah the singer rolls his R's like Hitler did, so what?) or gimmicks (lead singer once used a dildo stage-prop live and simulated anal sex with the keyboard player. Good fun for the whole family!). Not really anymore evil than a Marilyn Manson or someone similar; just shocking in their delivery and overtly blunt in their sound.
on 2009-02-19 dscanland Said:
I've got this weird aversion towards Rammstein. I don't know what it is. I like what I've heard and yet I won't buy/download any of their albums. Are they truly evil? Is that what my psyche is telling me?