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Reise, Reise

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  • Three years ago, Rammstein set forth on a voyage. Until then, they had been my one love, faithful and true, and they were missed. Eventually I came to miss them too much, and sought comfort in other German bands, Megaherz and the like. I feel shamed, dirtied, to have betrayed these musical geniuses with my infidelities. When their ship returned with the long-awaited “Reise, Reise” not only were my musical indiscretions forgiven, but they proved their love to me all over again with a triumphant album that literally sounds like nothing I have ever heard before.

    The progressive sound of Mutter is here, but taken to an entirely new level. With the exception of the heavier “Mein Teil” it’s hard to believe that this is the same Till Lindemann that simply growled out lyrics on Herzeleid. Till’s voice has become both powerful and beautiful in a way you won’t believe. The lyrical imagery is dark, but no longer in a way that evokes the idea of some personal grudge against Heaven itself. The album stands in heavy contrast to itself, alternating beauty and tension. Not one of these songs is less than amazing. I simply can’t describe the experience of “Reise, Reise” adequately, but I would be deprived without it.

    Reise, Reise: 5/5
    Beautiful. Till’s voice is amazing. My favorite song on the album.

    Mein Teil: 5/5
    Clever but twisted lyrics, extremely heavy music. Most like their previous work.

    Dalai Lama: 4/5
    After reading the lyrics on the internet, I expected this song to be a real disappointment. It wasn’t. A very well executed take-off on Goethe’s poem “Erlkoenig,” this song has a personality greater than the sum of its parts. The lyrics are enhanced by the music, and the music couldn’t stand without the lyrics. A captivating result.

    Keine Lust: 4/5
    Who would’ve thought debilitating depression would rock so hard? An interesting contrast between the fatalistic lyrics and driving beat on this song.

    Los: 4/5
    I think of this as the photographic negative of “Ich Will”. This song seems to describe the various negative and disbelieving reactions to Rammstein the media and some people have had over the years. There’s a strange feel to this song, too, almost a blues riff.

    Amerika: 5/5
    Rather than risk a flame war, let me just say that this is one of my favorite songs on the album.

    Moskau: 5/5
    Till is joined by a woman singing in Russian, for one of those songs that really gets your blood moving. This is allegedly Flake’s current favorite.

    Morgenstern: 5/5
    Another fine example of Till’s new vocal prowess. Combining a heavenly choir with a positively military beat, herein is the familiar idea of monstrous deformity. I think of this song as a thematic reprise of “Schwarzes Glas”.

    Stein um Stein: 5/5
    Rather like the lyrics of this song, Till carries innocent little melodies into dark places where they shouldn’t be and can’t escape. Prior to editing this review, “Stein um Stein” was at the bottom of my list for this album, though still well liked. With repeated listening, the delightfully perverse lyrics have really grown on me and taken a spot among my all-time favorites.

    Ohne Dich: 5/5
    The clearest example of Till’s beautiful voice. Beautiful melody. Beautiful lyrics. I can’t find a single flaw in this song. Not one.

    Amour: 4/5
    Even more extremely clever lyrics. Ever felt torn apart by love? I sure have, and the metaphor of love as an aggressive wild animal makes perfect sense to me. And oh, look, Till can still hit those low notes that you feel down in your boots!

    If you have any interest at all in Rammstein, you must, absolutely must, buy this NOW.

    Posted on March 17, 2010