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Go to the Rammstein website  Rammstein - Mutter [Universal - 2001]

Buy this CD now!
The story is probably known to you already. The first album of this German band was a success in their home country, but it lasted quite a while to get the rest of the world used to the harsh German lyrics. After "Sehnsucht", the second album, things really exploded for the six piece. It went gold in the U.S., major tours followed and singles sold very well, especially "Du Hast" and "Engel". Four years have passed and nu-metal – or at least hard "rock" music – is more popular and accepted than ever. Although Rammstein is a totally different from nu-metal bands, it has every right to get its share of the success. And with their third album "Mutter" they will definitely get it too.

The recipe for Rammstein's music is simple but well thought-out: take crushing guitars and hammering bass lines, throw in some industrial beats and combine this with some strings and keyboards. Don't forget Till Lindemann's vocals, mix it for about half a minute in the blender and you have "Mutter". No seriously, Rammstein is a lot more. The opener "Mein Herz Brennt" for example, starts with a haunting intro and builds up to the tracks' shattering refrain. The next track "Links 2 3 4" is build around the German marching tune and the samples even strengthen this concept. "Sonne", the album's first single, is a somewhat smoother track with again a very catchy chorus. The softer tracks are alternated with the harder ones, and "Feuer Frei!" absolutely belongs to the latter; a devastating track that sounds almost "evil". In the track "Spieluhr" the fitting child's voice of Khira Li are used to give the track something special, which is definitely good for the variety. The album ends with the a calm ballad called "Nebel", sad and beautiful...

The lyrics are playful as ever, and of course there will be people accusing the band for writing stupid lyrics. Yes, if you translate them directly they will sound stupid in English language, but if you read the texts more carefully, there are a lot of interesting subjects to dig in. "Spieluhr" for instance, one of my favourite tracks on the album, is about a music box but you'll have the know some German culture if you want to fully understand these lyrics packed with cultural references. The words are certainly dark overall, and maybe will upset some people, but I'll leave that for the listener (or reader) to decide.

Compared to their two first albums (not counting the excellent "Live In Berlin" 2CD), Rammstein has taken a huge step forward in song writing. The band still uses their unique sound but you'll hear an obvious advancement in their capabilities and skills. "Mutter" beats "Herzeleid" and "Sehnsucht" with more catchier songs, better variety between the harder and mellower songs, and of course the production. The production is maybe the closest to "perfect" I've heard so far for a metal band. It's crystal-clear, yet very heavy and perfectly finding harmony between the electronic sounds, guitars and vocals. The band has really outdone itself this time, also considering the always excellent artwork.

Rammstein's "Mutter" is a masterpiece of industrial rock / metal and if you think you can handle 45 minutes of hard vocals in German language, this album is for you. Be sure to get your hands on the limited tour edition – recently released exclusively for Europe – which contains an extra disc with bonustracks.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Justin Faase
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