Rammstein - Sehnsucht
While their debut Herzeleid made a modest bit of noise for Rammstein, it wasn't until the surprisingly popular single "Du Hast" that theirs would be a name heard more and more, further and further from their native Germany. The single was lifted from their sophomore effort Sehnsucht (German for "Longing") and, while certainly earning the praise and heavy rotation it received, was the icing on the cake of what is otherwise an excellent record.
The seperation between Herezeleid and Sehnsucht is easily defined by the band's increased usage of electronic sampling and a more directly industrial approach overall. The combination of these elements with a heavy, thick and aggressive metal foundation have long been the bread and butter of Rammstein's sound. Tracks like "Sehnsucht", "Bestrafe Mich", "Buck Dich" and "Kuss Mich" are the more aggressive, guitar-driven moments, as is the aforementioned "Du Hast" and it's militaristic feel. Elsewhere, the band relies more on electronic melodies and craftmanship on powerful tracks such as "Engel", "Tier" and "Eifersucht". Finally, smack in the middle of the album are two forays into both the depressive and the depraved. "Spiel Mit Mir" ("Play With Me") has a very twisted lyrical approach, one that can be taken to be incestuous without much effort. These taboo and relatively un-PC topics have long been a focal point for Rammstein, and it rarely gets more seedy. Alternately, "Klavier" ("Piano") is absolutely beautiful and very wel written, in a style similar to Herzeleid's softer, more pensive "Seemann".
While I tend to rank Sehnsucht towards the back of my favorite R+ records, it's not a stretch to say it was the most powerful statement of their career. Coming off of a debut that had miles of potential but little in the way of fanfare, Sehnsucht capitalized on the underground buzz, refined and put the band's trademark stylings on full display and, with the impact of one of the album's better tracks, put Rammstein on the map in the United States and all over the world.
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