I’m a big Rammstein fan; I have all three of their CDs, the “Live Aus Berlin” DVD, and I’ve also been known to buy soundtracks to get my hands on exclusive Rammstein tracks (I picked up the “Resident Evil” soundtrack just to get my hands on “Hallelujah.”) Of their three CDs, Herzeleid is by far the most angry and intense. It’s not going to appeal to all musical taste; if you want some of their more thought-provoking work, “Mutter” is your best bet. “Herzeleid” is designed to go straight for the throat.This music is designed to illicit a response; whenever I go for a run, I load up “Asche Zu Asche”, “Laichzeit” and “Du Reischt so Gut” into my MP3 player. It’s somewhat monotonous, but the beat is constant, and the band sounds angry enough to get anybody’s heart beating faster.Be warned, though, Rammstein’s lyrics aren’t going to appeal to a lot of people. “Laichzeit,” for example, means “Spawning Time.” I’ll let you use your imagination from there on out.Still, “Herzeleid” is among the best death metal on the market today. If you’re new to Rammstein, though, I suggest picking up their second album, “Sehnsucht,” first, which was their first album released in the US and has the hit “Du Hast” on it.
Rammstein, Reise, Reise
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after i got sehnsucht, i was so blown away by it i went and picked up this album. herzleid is quite a bit ‘crunchier’, andalthough it’s not any heavier than the other albums, it’s moreagressive. there’s not a whole lot i can say about it, so i guessi’ll describe the songs-1. wollt ihr das bett in flamen sehen- starts out with a coolkeyboard driven pattern that breaks into the same pattern on the duel guitars. awesome writing on this song, the way it’s puttogether. heavy, but not their heaviest. still a good song to get hooked on rammstein with.2. der meister- one of the fastest songs rammstein has ever done,it has an awesome main riff, and the vocals are wicked how themusic stops so he can sing a line then picks up the fast main riff again. cool all the way through, still not a ‘heavy’ one.3. weisses fleisch- opens with a keyboard increasing in speed,then a drum beat, then till screams “weisses fleisch!”. probablythe most morbid lyrics they’ve ever done. it’s about going intoa school yard and raping and killing people. don’t look down onthe lyrics, it’s a wicked song. one of their heaviest, and probably one of the best live. AWESOME solo from richard in it.4. asche zu asche- a sweet little diddy about crucifixion. thedude gets crucified, then comes back as a god and crucifies thedude that did it to him. main riff sounds a little like der meister slowed down. the best part of it is when the last versebleeds into the last chorus- “and i stick my finger in your…ashes! to ashes!” GREAT song.5. seemann- a ballad about a sailor. most beautiful bass lineever. the only ‘light’ ‘pretty’ song on the record. still wicked.6. du riechst so gut- “you smell so good”. as far as i can tellit’s about a stalker. really cool keyboard. another good onelive. 7. das alte leid- “the old grief”. a slow, mesmerizing song. i don’t know how to describe this one, you just gotta hear it.this one proves they don’t have to go “all out” to be brutal.8. heirate mich- “marry me”. catchies, coolest, best writtensong on the album, not to mention the one with the sickest lyrics. i love it. it’s about a dude that falls in love with a chick, she dies, and he digs up her body… the rest is history.one of the best songs they’ve ever done.9. herzeleid- best written song they’ve ever done. there is three beats, then a word, then three beats and a word, and so on.it’s actually a very beautiful song. the lyrics go along the lines of “every minute we spend together is precious, time isshort, my heartache is great”. something like that. heavy ashell, and an instant rammstein-classic. also the best song live.10. Laichzeit- “spawning time”. this song has the best music onthe whole album. it’s actually about incest, but you get used tothat. “he liebt de schwester”- he loves his sister…ya know…the keyboard in this song is amazing. if you download one song,let this be it. heavy and fast as hell, scathing vocals and lyrics. another classic.11. rammstein- another very slow, very brutal song. he says “rammstein”, then says a line of the song. i dunno what to say except “brutal”. got a GREAT solo by richard at the end. actually written as a tribute to the 90 (or so) people that werekilled at Rammstein airforce base during an air show. the lyricsare morbid and beautiful at the same time.all around, this is an amazing album. no matter what you listento, pick up this album, there is something for everyone. neverhave i seen this much musical talent packed in 1 album. trulya classic.
One thing that constantly happens in this modern world of wonder and spectacular music is that we hear music from a band we like, so we buy their album and we love it, we cherish it and then we simply just can’t get enough. We need more! The only thing to do with a band you like when you have their latest album is to travel backwards across their music evolution and get their earlier cd’s. This is always a gamble because the further back you go the rawer the sound and music gets. Thank god that Rammstein was perfect from the start and only got better (how they improved upon perfection is beyond me, I just know that they did). The first album I had of this band was “Sehnsucht”- which is great- and so I got “Mutter”- which is better- and so then I had little choice but to get their first album for more. I was blown away by it- what a debut!
1: Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flamen Sehen (Do You Want to See the Bed in Flames?): This is a great opening song for a marvelous cd. I put on this cd thinking the opening track could make or break the the album. It starts off with this catchy distorted guitar rythem and then just gets harder and catchier as it goes. A relief to me.
2: Der Meister (The Master): This song is actually really pretty during the chorus. Till does a great job singing here- but this isn’t the prettiest song on the album. Actually this cd contains the prettiest song they’ve ever made (I think) but it’s not this one. This on is super addictive and has smashing bass on it. Gotta love bass….
3: Weisses Fleish (White Flesh): Ooooh the song about… well it’s either raping a girl or something along the lines of forcing himself upon her. It’s so hard and has this clever warpy guitar solo that leads into a clever drum solo. Very addictive as well.
4: Asche Zu Asche (Ashes to Ashes): Looooove this song. It’s so freaking brilliant. It’s driving rhythm and clever words. My favorite part is where in the verse Till repeats himself as a whisper in the background, sounding more and more gruff and angsty. Angsty- that’s exactly the word for this song. “Ich komm wieder!”
5: Seemann (Seaman): Okay, THIS is the prettiest song on the cd. One reason I wasn’t too scared about getting this album is because I own “Lichtspielhaus” and saw the videos to this song and the next one after this. They were both really good and so I wanted the album for these to songs alone. I was just pleasantly surprised at how I much I love the whole album. This song is so sad and even more driving than track four- in a more earnest way instead of an angsty way. Till sound so pleasant here when he sings. Not a spoken word in this song- sung from start to end! Great guitar and bass duet too.
6: Du Riechst So Gut (You Smell so Good): This song is the most techno on the cd I think. Not that that’s bad at all- infact it has one of my favorite guitar duet/solo’s in it. Yes, it sounds like one guitar playing it but let me assure because I play guitar: there are TWO playing that damn thing! It drives me crazy- oh. Sorry, getting off subject. Um, this was I think their most popular single from this album, and if not the albums pics and theme is from it’s video. This song was re-released in ‘98 and has a GREAT music video for that version too.
7: Das Alte Leid (The Old Sorrow) My favorite line in this song is where Till screams out “Ich will F******!” Which is German for the F word and together means “I want to F***!”. It repeats and goes up higher and higher and higher until fades away.(Eeya! Thanks to Svesteli pointing out that in the background they sing “Nie mehr” so it does mean “I want to **** no more” or it can go with the last line “Nie mehr, Das Alte Leid” or “Never again, the old sorrow”) It’s really addictive as well- man if this album was an illegal drug we’d all be in trouble, wouldn’t we? It’s chorus is a brilliant mixture of being half sung prettily and half spoken (gruffly of course). It’s very good.
8: Heirate Mich (Marry Me): Oooooh! LOVE- THIS- SONG. When I saw the live performance of it on my affore mentioned DVD it soon became one of my ultimate favorite songs. This song is about odd grave robbery of a loved one. Marry me? I most thoroughly enjoy the filter on Till’s voice during the opening and ending.
9: Herzeleid (Heartache): This is my favorite song on this cd… I don’t know why, I mean, it’s not the best, but whenever I put this song on I just feel complete. The slowly spoken verses are drilling and the part where he screams out “Herzeleid” is beautiful to me for some odd reason. Like he really is in pain…
10: Laichzeit (Spawning Time): Ah, the song of raging hormones (I suppose -_-) The lyrics are both disturbing and amusing to this one. Any song that proclaims “He loves his dog” deserves special note for being different >.>
11. Rammstein: This is a song about an actual accident at the Ramstein (with one “m”) airbase. Lovingly commenting about how brightly the sun shines over the utter chaos. This song is actually very catchy when I stopped and really listened to it. It’s the PERFECT finish of this album.
So, there you have it. I’ll leave you all with a warning: Get this version here with them all shirtless and with the flower in the background. I unfortunately own a version that has wonderful pictures of their heads on a white background, but inside two of the songs lyrics (“Das Alte Leid” and “Herzeleid”) are written down in french. I saw this and was like “What the heck?!” I mean, I’m not french- they don’t sing in french- why are these two tracks lyrics in french?! There are lots of sites online with both the german lyrics and the english trans. if your like me and want to get the real GERMAN words. Honestly! So beware the white covered version (onless you don’t care).
If you have Sehnsucht, you need to get Herzeleid. Without Du Hast, this CD is still great. It’s great from beginning till the end. Rammstein combines industrial heavy metal with techno to give their own unique style of music. The lyrics are radical, but you find there is a deeper message to be given with every song. If you’re a Rammstein fan, you must have this CD. I continually choose to listen to this over Sehnsucht, because it’s harder and it contains a larger selection of styles, which makes it so much easier to listen to at any time. My personal favorites are Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen, Weisses Fleisch, Asche zu Asche, Seemann, Du riechst so gut, Heirate Mich, Laichzeit, and Rammstein. Buy it and you’ll know what I mean.
The great Teutonic goth/industrial/heavy metal band Rammstein announced themselves loudly to the world with the release of their first studio album “Herzeleid” (“Heartbreak”). What an announcement it was, and continues to be. The band, and their worldwide legions of fans, have not looked back since.
The first track, “Wollt Ihr das Bett in flammen sehen” (“Would you like to see the bed in flames”) not only kicks the album into high gear from the outset, but also vividly stamps Rammstein’s inimitable style into the psyche: like hip-hop, it consists largely of simple electronic ostinati laced with sound-effects samples (in this case, lifted from the original Doom game); the lyrics are often not sung so much as forcefully recited. Unlike most hip-hop, though, the melodies are driven by some (at times, extremely) heavy guitars, drums, and keyboards. This is solid Industrial Rock, but it’s also remarkably street-wise in its use of catchy, danceable grooves, and is even playful in a dark sort of way. Not that there isn’t some anger in there – the song ends with chants of “Rammstein!”, which not only serves to announce the band’s name, but also as a rallying cry, as it refers to a tragic plane crash during an air show at the Rammstein U.S. Air Force Base that killed a good many onlookers. I don’t know if the anger is justified, but the music certainly is: it kicks some serious ASS.
Barely pausing for breath, the album cranks it up a notch with “Der Meister” (“The Master”), which features anarchic lyrics about destruction. It’s faster, grittier, and harder. The escalation continues with “Weisses Fleisch” (“White Flesh”) – a combination that prompted many a reactionary critic to assume the band was Fascist. These people obviously don’t listen to much rock-n-roll, and/or have a tin ear for Artistic Irony. All three songs – especially “Der Meister” – are works of pure exuberance. They are dripping with cheerful sarcasm, much as Pink Floyd’s thematically similar tracks from “The Wall” (“In The Flesh (reprise)”, “You Better Run”, and “Waiting for the Worms”).
Just when you think it couldn’t get more energetic, “Asche zu Asche” (“Ashes to Ashes”) slips the album into overdrive with its speed-metal revenge fantasy that sounds like it could have come right from the Quake sound track (I’ve blasted a lot of virtual monsters to this song).
The fifth track finally allows the album to relax and breathe with “Seeman” (“Sailor”) – a remarkably spare and gentle ballad about positive change in the wake of shattering experiences. It’s in this song, with its urgent plea for sanity in the midst of chaos, that one gets a glimpse of Rammstein’s motives. They want to shake things up, yes, but to make life better. Or at least more fun. From where I stand, that’s pretty much rock-n-roll in a nutshell.
The next three songs continue the trend of diversification with a variety of styles that are all, nonetheless, infused with Rammsteiny goodness: “Du Riechst so gut” (“You Smell so Good”), another speed-metal tune about obsession; the bluesy “Das Alte Leid” (“The Old Pain”); and the black-as-pitch gothic horror-cum-dance tune “Heirate Mich” (“Marry Me”), which borrows heavily from Edgar Allen Poe’s fixation with dead lovers. But for the German lyrics, it could be a Nine Inch Nails cut. No doubt this is the one Gomez and Morticia Addams play on their anniversary. As an aside, this particular song, along with the final track, “Rammstein”, was featured prominently (and to deeply chilling effect) in David Lynch’s classic film Lost Highway.
The title track “Herzeleid” rips along next, followed by the catchy “Laichzeit” (“Spawning Time”), forming a trio of unorthodox love songs bred from an odd mix of wary realism and dark romanticism.
The last cut, “Rammstein”, exemplifies another trait of the band’s music – a kind of Spartan, poetic obliqueness in the lyrics that mostly leaves them open to interpretation. Lyricist Till Lindemann has said Rammstein’s lyrics often work on three or four levels. Quite. On top there is the literal meaning of the words, which dutifully echo the heavy-metal nihilism we expect of a rock band from the former East Germany. Below is a more philosophical (and, I suspect, politically Libertarian) subtext that speaks a sociological or political message. Below that is an emotional cross-current of dark irony. Finally, there is that tongue-in-cheek playfulness I’ve always sensed in the band’s music – the shocking, sophomoric kind of playfulness that has occasionally landed Rammstein in trouble for performing such stunts as the simulated anal sex act during the performance of “Büch Dich” (“Bend Down”) during the “Mutter” tour (and which got them arrested in the U.S. for “indecency”).
All told, a terrific album, let alone first album, for any rock band.