Rammstein - Rosenrot [Island - 2005]Given the near four year gap between Mutter and their last album Reise Reise it was something of a surprise to see the follow up being release just over a year later. From the first blasts of Benzin itís clear that the band are continuing where they left off, with lead heavy riffs, and their trademark soaring choruses.
The single Benzin presents everything we already know about Rammstein (including the silly lyrics) to a stomping mix of sound effects and fast paced riffs. They add a little spice to the mixture with some horns during the chorus.
Mann Gegan Mann follows a similar formulae to the first track using a slightly techno intro with epic keyboards lurching into a suitably crushing chorus of massed voices repeating the title of the track. This is one of the most excited tracks on the album where Till Lindemann gets to scream a bit more than usual. The title track is a semi ballad midpaced song that has an icy atmosphere and seems to be about an ice breaker called appropriately Rosenrot. It must be said that there are some very nice pictures in the album sleeve depicting frozen wastes and the ship cutting through the ice. These sit uncomfortably with the bizarre clockwork orange on ice pictures of the band. A new level of lunacy on their part.
Spring is a full on slow ballad with lots of cod atmosphere and whispered vocals. Its saved like most Rammstein songs by the chorus and level of the production. The band seemed to have mastered Ballads now after the cringe worthy efforts on their early albums. Spring features what sound like a boys choir which with the crunching repetitive riffs reminds me a bit of Sonne off Mutter.
The following track Wo Bist Du is in a very similar tone to Spring and shows some of the bands seldom employed folk influences.
Things begin to get a bit more interesting with Stirb Nicht Vor Mir (Donít die before I do) which has an intro that made me think a Coldplay track had wormed itís way onto the CD. Itís a semi acoustic track that features female vocals sung in English. Itís pretty good to be honest despite itís overt Goth girl appeal, but itís nice to see them showing another side of their songwriting.
Hilf Mir is another stand out track that has a slight Ministry, circa Filth Pig feel, but put through Rammsteins epic pomp generator. Slow verses breaking into monolithic choruses with head banging, fist waving riffs. On Reise Reise they played homage to America and Moscow. Here they do a Latino piss take called Te Quiero Puta! that has to heard to be believed. The sound of horses hooves, the call of ďHey Amigosď, the thunder of Germanic heavy metal. Well anyway the lyrics are in Spanish, there are crazy Latino girls making strange noises in the background, they do a little vocal solo and itís all a bit silly.
The last two track Feuer Und Wasser and Ein Lied are back to reality and have nothing new to offer apart from the standard quiet intro, epic chorus, atmospheric keyboards, even more epic end formulae, but then why would they have to.
Rammstein have honed what they do down to a fine art that no one does better. There is little or no progression on this record but then they donít really need it and I guess most of their fans wouldnít want it anyway.Duncan Simpson