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Rammstein - Mutter Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 April 2001


format: CD
label: Republic/Universal Records
release year: 2003
performance: 8
sound 8.5
reviewed by: Dan MacIntosh

ImageTake one part Mahler and another part Rob Zombie and inject a healthy dose of German pride and you’ve got cutting-edge, Euro death-rocker Rammstein. Rammstein broke through with their MTV hit "Du Hast" two years ago and are back with a hard hitting Deutschland rock record with delusions of grandeur and musical overtures that are reminiscent of Bob Geldof’s Pink character’s Cult of Personality scenes towards the end of the feature film The Wall.

Make no mistake, Rammstein is a nouveau heavy metal band with lots of production polish. Refreshingly, they skip the oh-so-popular temptation to employ seven-string guitars and primal screaming. Rammstein keeps their tunes way clean, as they are one seriously tight band. I’d like to see Rammstein vs. Metallica in a battle of the bands. Rammstein is so much more edgy and hard-hitting that I think they could take the aging rockers from San Francisco with their pure-bred power.

Musically, Mutter is gives you a lot to sink your teeth (or ears) into. "Ich Will" shows the band working the dynamic window in a way that enables them to go from subtle string arrangements to crowds of a 1000 chanting with the growl of tightly distorted guitars, eerie ghost-like sounds and other sonic oddities dancing in the mix. The intro cut "Mein Herz Brennt" is a huge production with everything from acoustic guitars to gigantic orchestral string sections. The chorus, while seemingly very angry (god only knows what the heck these guys are saying) is catchy and well-timed, despite the harshness of the Germanic language. The most Rob Zombie moment on Mutter is Track 8, "Zwitter.". The guitar riff is bright-sounding and like a fuse burning down to a bomb ready to explode. Once again, the use of keyboards adds to the complex production that makes Mutter more than just some candy-ass Glam band – these guys are the real deal. My favorite track on Mutter is "Adios," which would be the tune that I would pick to sound more like Metallica than the real Metallica does at this point. The guitar riff that the tune builds up to is incendiary, leading to a most definite mosh insanity at a live show. The tempo is nothing short of breakneck and the tune never really relents. The other killer on Mutter is "Feuer Frei!" and insane jam that absolutely explodes into a free-for-all of German metal goodness. I am not sure what they are talking about is good (or bad), but the tune is downright evil-sounding and pushes the limits of my Wilson WATT Puppy loudspeakers and my Revel and/or Sunfire subwoofers to their limits.

Mutter is more than a creative new rock record. It is recorded exceedingly well, considering its genre and the other similar records currently on record store shelves. Ramstein’s use of orchestral arrangements is not new but it is rare when it is used with such convincing results. I will warn you that this record is sung completely in German, which makes for some awkward vocal moments. Ramstein can get downright silly from time to time, as the record does not possess the cool factor of Rob Zombie. With that said, Mutter is likely to be the heavy record of the year. Fire it up in your car and take out your road rage while phonetically singing the angry lyrics of Rammstein.

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