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It took 10 years for Rammstein to release a new album. Their last album was "Liebe Ist Für Alle Da" released in 2009. Rammstein were always good at provoking with their songs, videos and imagery, and this time, with the promotion of their new album, they did it again. A little before the first single "Deutschland" was released they uploaded a video teaser of the promotional video. A scene in the video depicted the band dressed in concentration camp uniforms which immediately provoked Jewish groups and politicians condemning the video, saying that the band went too far with the use of Holocaust imagery. In the epic proportions full-length video, Rammstein assume different roles during famous eras of German history and features scenes from Weimar, Nazi and communist East Germany. Throughout, they sing about a love-hate relationship with their German identity. As a result, the video became viral from the very first day. Promotional wise, they achieved their goal.

Back to the album now. The homonymous titled album "Rammstein" is their seventh studio album. The opening track is "Deutschland". A dynamic start with synth arpeggios (reminiscent of Anne Clarks "Our Darkness") before the electric guitar power chords come in. Then we hear Till Lindemann’s vocals with their characteristic Germanic pronunciation sounding their best especially at the powerful chorus. It’s an instant classic of a song. Up next is the second single, the melodic "Radio". Again here, Rammstein follow familiar ground to previous work. A crossover of electro and metal with Christian Lorenz’s signature quirky synths (sounding here in some places a little like their old hit "Du Hast"). Third track "Zeig Dich" begins in an epic way with a choir singing just before the hard metal guitars burst in. On "Ausländer", the band gets more humorous delivering a power pop track with a groove, while on "Sex" they just rock it out. With "Puppe" we have a shift in style. Here things become a lot darker, music wise and lyrically, with Lindemann delivering in a very effective way the dark and nightmarish story.

The second part of the album stats with "Was Ich Liebe", one of worthwhile songs of the album (that isn’t one of the obvious singles standouts), followed by the acoustic ballad "Diamant" where Lindemann showcases his strong captivating vocal. Things keep interesting with "Weit Weg", a mid-tempo track before they go off with "Tattoo" and have their hard rock moment. The album sums up with "Hallomann" another classic Rammstein style track with the essential gravity to it and emotional tone.

The production, as on all Rammstein records, is state of the art with crystal clear sound. Nothing here is left to chance. Overall, it is a good sounding album with quite a few great moments. We don’t see them evolving or pioneering something new, like in their earlier days where they first blended electro with goth, industrial and metal, but they have achieved making another remarkable album, “safe” but once again remarkable.

Review by Nick Drivas

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