After a decade long absence of new material, German industrial titans Rammstein have re-emerged with their self-titled seventh album.
Delivering their unique brand of dark dance floor anthems, the record takes on a muscular form of previous releases, with an aggressive undercurrent pushing the sleek production to another level.
Opening with lead single, ‘Deutschland’, keyboardist Christian Lorenz delivers breakneck melodies against the doom inspired chords and frenetic tapping guitars. Using a push and pull technique, vocalist Till Lindemann glides between low croons and commanding barks against the militant rhythms of Christoph Schneider. Showing off their trademark sound with welcome flourishes, the track kicks off the record on a strong note.
After 25 years, there is an expectancy of the record’s content, and, for the most part, Rammstein deliver. Not that this is a negative, as each track is layered with stomping riffs, strong hooks and soaring choruses, produced with an untamed intensity.
‘Radio’ see guitarists Richard Z. Kruspe and Paul Landers inject melodic refrains over the pummelling drumbeats of Schneider. Following on from this is ‘Zeich Dich’, a track that juxtaposes choral melodies alongside thrash riffs and galloping kick drums.
As the record progresses, the group take deviations. ‘Puppe’ is a deceiving number; it imbues country acoustics and soft synths, allowing Lindemann‘s vocal inflections to shine before delving into unhinged barks that drive its catchy chorus.
The more tender side of the group is revisited with ‘Diamant’, an acoustically led composition, that leans against the vocal hooks and tense string additions. Dynamically subtle and melodically strong, it shows that the group can move out of their comfort zone successfully.
After a moment’s rest, ‘Weit Weg’ plays with modulating synth, spikey guitars, and audio abuse to deliver a raucous track that picks up the energy. Following straight through, ‘Tattoo’ delivers chunky and broken riffs reminiscent of their ‘Sehnsucht’ era, tearing through swinging drums and dominating synth leads.
Bassist Oliver Riedel leads the charge on album closer, ‘Hallomann’, holding down the fort against swelling pads, snapping drums, and Lindemann‘s sinister drawl. Playing with space and tension, by the time Kruspe delivers an aggressive solo, the strengths of each member is on full display.
As the record ends, it becomes apparent that ‘Rammstein’ is a new chapter for the group. Whilst admittedly it’s played safe, it still delivers worthy additions to their expansive and impressive catalogue.