This album is Rammstein’s greatest ever, a seamless fusion of the varied styles present in their previous releases. While musically it is most similar to Mutter, it incorporates the flowing melodies of Reise, Reise and the outright punch of Sehnsucht.
It starts strong with “Benzin”, a bombastic track punctuated by sirens and ending with some very sound advice about parting from things. This flows neatly into “Mann Gegen Mann”, the hardest-rocking track on the CD, very similar in tone to “Tier” from Sehnsucht.
The title track is phenomenal, dark and haunting and driven by a bass rumble that grabs you and holds on. It makes good use of the melodic side of Till’s voice, as does “Wo Bist Du?”, my personal favorite song. It sounds straight off RR, with its orchestral backing (an element of RR that is mostly missing from Rosenrot, unfortunately) and soaring and plunging vocals that span Till’s entire range.
“Spring” is both musically appealing and, if you speak German, deeply disturbing. It conveys more horror than any other Rammstein song, which is quite the accomplishment, given the previous release of songs such as “Heirate Mich” (Herzeleid).
The weakest points of this album are “Stirb Nicht Vor Mir” and “Te Quiero Puta!”. “Stirb Nicht Vor Mir” is, as Flake said during one of the chat sessions which followed the release, an embarassment. The worst of it is that it could have been amazing if the female singer had a) sung in German and b) been either Bobo or Viktoria Fersch, both of whom have contributed to previous Rammstein albums. Let’s face it: as talented as Sharleen Spiteri is, her voice does not suit German metal. AT ALL. “Te quiero puta!” is just annoying. Till’s Spanish is appalling. Good thought, though. It might have worked for a less hardcore band, as a humourous number.
“Hilf Mir” and “Feuer und Wasser” are both excellent. “Feuer und Wasser” shows, like “Adios” (Mutter), just how good Richard Z. is with that guitar. Add Till’s voice and you see why no German metal band has ever come close to the greatness of Rammstein, and why probably none ever will.
“Ein Leid” is a perfect conclusion to the album, a song about the power of music over both the artists and the listeners. It’s slow and personal and makes the music of Rammstein more intimately real.
Even if you don’t like Rammstein, buy this album. It’ll change the way you see music forever.