It is quite rare to stumble upon a band that’s as intriguing as Rammstein. First off, their music is the reflection of their background. There has never been a better use of the “industrial metal” genre label as the band represents what it all means – straightforward and repetitive heavy riffs with the addition of purposefully cold and sterile vocals, as well as obligatory synths and samples. Although the formula does sound simple, no one has been able to fully replicate Rammstein’s unique style. In fact, they combine some unexpected songwriting practices in their music. What’s more, they’re one of the rare successful bands that don’t sing in English. The decision to sing almost exclusively in the German language makes their music a one-of-a-kind experience. They’re often described as being part of the so-called “Neue Deutsche Härte” movement.
But we could go on for days about the greatness of Rammstein. At the end of the day, people are pretty much familiar with their greatness and success. But what we’re going to do here is take a closer look at their work and find their most groundbreaking and genre-bending songs. Of course, these are not necessarily their best-known songs, but rather those that saw them pushing the boundaries. Here’s what we came up with. Also, Rammstein tour dates are available here.
The greatness of this song is presented in its simple and immensely heavy riff. But what even amplifies its importance is all the controversies surrounding it. Aside from the very lascivious title (translates to “bend over”), the song became famous for the in-your-face sexuality in their live performances. What’s more, singer Till Lindemann and keyboardist Christian Lorenz were once even arrested after the show in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Coming from “Reise, Reise” album, “Moskau” features Russian-speaking vocalist Viktoria Fersh. Her tender vocals create an amazing contrast with the band’s otherwise heavy music. It’s one of their rare songs that features non-German lyrics. The piece tells a story of two sides of Moscow. One represents the city’s greatness and historical importance. The other is corruption, crime, and all of the things that come with it.
German song about gasoline – how can it not be groundbreaking? “Benzin” also has an appropriating video, somewhat of a tongue-in-cheek story about firefighters and their oversized fire-engine. The song is one of the crowd favorites, especially due to all the mindblowing pyrotechnics and props they use. It’s not rare to see them lighting up a stuntman on stage.
Of course, it’s impossible not to mention their legendary 1997 hit “Du Hast.” Released as a single from “Sehnsucht,” it’s that one song that gave them worldwide fame. This is where they presented their unique style and started building their fanbase all around the globe, becoming more than just “that crazy band from Germany.”
The reason why this song is here is mostly due to its production qualities. The bass guitar at the start has a very vintage vibe to it, something that stops abruptly when the drums and the guitars kick in. However, what also makes it great is how well the music fits the lyrical themes. “Keine Lust” tackles the topic of fame and success and the ways of how it can change an individual.
Although we also have an English language version of it, “Engel” is still more powerful when sung in German. This is where they managed to perfectly combine heaviness and otherwise softer-sounding elements. Just like with “Moskau,” we have female guest vocals, this time by Christiane Hebold, also known as Bobo. In addition, we have those whistling samples contrasting these immensely heavy riffs.
Just when everyone thought Rammstein can’t impress us any more than they already did, they release “Deutschland.” After years of waiting for new material, this epic was just what the world of metal needed. The song tackles the topic of Germany and its very turbulent history. The appropriating video follows the song’s theme perfectly.
Mein Herz Brennt
For this list, we would also like to mention “Mein Herz Brennt” from the 2001 album “Mutter.” This was one of the main points of their career where Rammstein defined and further solidified their style. Once again, this is an example of how they manage to complement the lyrical theme with appropriate songwriting practices.
“Mein Herz Brennt” is a very dark song about nightmares. And we would argue that there’s no other band in the world capable of writing a song about nightmares other than Rammstein.
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