Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

1000x1000In honor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup ending this past Sunday with a German win, I decided to review one of my favorite German metal bands to celebrate the win. No, I am not talking about covering the Scorpions, Accept, Kreator, or even Helloween, I am talking about Rammstein. The band is described as Neue Deutsche Härte or simply translated as dance metal. The genre combines all the characteristics of metal and combines it with industrial and techno with the vocals being mostly in German. Rammstein who is made up of Till Lindemann (Vocals), Richard Z. Kruspe (Lead Guitar), Paul H. Landers (Rhythm Guitar), Oliver Riedel (Bass), Christoph Schneider (Drums), and Christian “Flake” Lorenz (Keyboards) have gained quite the notoriety around the world with their intense brand of metal. By the time the band was recording their seminal second album Sehnsucht, Germany had just won their final major trophy (Euro 96) and little did the world know what was about to hit them. The album cover which features Till Lindemann with forks over his eyes as sunglasses was designed by the same man that did the Scorpions Blackout record in Gottfried Helnwein. Sehnsucht is the first and only German speaking album to be certified platinum by the RIAA in the US and it was released on August 25, 1997.

MI0002357957The techno-metal madness of the title track kicks off the album in a track about a man who is yearning (what Sehnsucht translates to) for his lover to be in bed with him. Engel (or Angel in English) is the next track that continues the dance metal theme with some whistling  and guest vocals from Christiane “Bobolina” Hebold. Tier (or Animal) is the next track and it’s a little dark as far as the lyrics are concerned as it deals with a father who abuses his own daughter to a very upbeat tempo. Bestrafe Mich (Punish Me) has more of a dance feel than previous tracks rather than the techno-metal side while the band dives in the S&M world in the lyrics. The techno metal, let’s pop some E madness of Du Hast (You Have) is up next and it’s a track that Americans everywhere ate up and over played for years. I always loved the track for the sonic fury of the guitars that melt your face off mixed with the keyboards and the symphonic layers. Bück Dich (Bend Over) is one of the more controversial songs on the album because it’s lyrics deal with the topic of anal sex. Spiel Mit Mir (Play With Me) starts off with a Jaws like build up, some laughing in the background with some incredible keyboard playing with punishing machine like guitars in a track that seems to be about a girl who sleeps with her brother to help her sleep and it contains a killer guitar solo. Klavier (Piano) starts off with the piano playing in a track that is very romantic yet tragic in the lyrics about a man that is so in love with a woman that he kills her so she won’t play for anyone else. No worries because there are the parts with the chorus that get heavy with the band coming in.

rammstein_sehnsucht_2Till once mentioned that Alter Mann (Old Man) was about being trapped on a lonely island in this fusion of techno and metal madness. Eifersucht (Jealousy) starts with the european disco club sounds before the guitars chime in a military like cadence sound about the all the different types of jealousy that man encounters. Küss Mich (Fellfrosch) (Kiss Me (FurFrog)) features some great sampling and great guitar riffs while it’s lyrics are kinky and brilliant in a track about what we can assume is oral sex. If you have never listened to Rammstein before, this is a great album to introduce yourself to and then you can dive deeper into their catalog. Rammstein is one of the few bands from that Nu-Metal era to still contain every original member of the band. I am going to give this album four stars out of five for a final grade.

718lmBKw4IL._SL1061_The Scorpions were a German metal band that had been around since the early 70’s and you had to be a die hard fan in order to have known the early years. Love At First Sting was the first album that I had ever heard from the Scorpions mainly for their most popular hit of all time Rock You like A Hurricane. It wasn’t until I decided to dig deep into their catalog that I found this gem in Blackout with it’s iconic cover with the self portrait of Gottfried Helnwein with the bent in forks. The band had completely changed at this point then what fans were used to in the 70’s. The band was made up of Klaus Meine (Vocals), Rudolf Schenker (Guitar), Matthias Jabs (Guitar), Herman Rarebell (Drum), and Francis Buchholz (Bass).  Just before the release of their eight album, lead singer Klaus Meine had to undergo surgery on his vocal chords and the band wasn’t sure if he was going to return so they demoed some songs with Don Dokken, but those never made the cut and Klaus returned. The album was produced by Dieter Dierks and it released on March 29, 1982 and it was certified Gold by June of 82 and Platinum on March 8, 1984.

blackout 3The album’s first track is the title track and it starts with that iconic riff that is hard charging from beginning to end which sees that the band has a knack for writing pop/rock tunes that are catchy as hell. Can’t Live Without You borrows elements of punk to make this generic rocker stand out a little, but it does contain an amazing solo. No One Like You was a song that was originally written in German before it was translated into English to make this a certified pure arena rocker that still stands the test of time. You Give Me All I Need starts sounding like a ballad with the clean channel guitars before they turn it up to make a power ballad. Now! is a super charged hard rocking blues tinged blitzkrieg the band unleashes that reminds me of early AC/DC in the riffs. Dynamite would kick off side two of the vinyl in an unbelievable fashion as the song kicks complete ass. Before the verses, the sonic assault shreds your face off before the band let’s you relax with only Kalus and the drummer during the verses. The beginning of Arizona and the riff sounds like a modified version of Rock You Like A Hurricane. I think the band recycled this riff to record Hurricane.

blackout 2China White comes next with it’s bass heavy beginning before the guitars come in cadence and then after a certain amount of time it’s heavy metal heaven from that point on. When The Smoke Is Going Down is the last track on the record and its the ballad of the album. I think it was a risky way to end an album, but the Scorpions can do whatever they want because the song is amazing after all. As I had said before, the band would go on to record their album that put them on the map with Love At First Sting which peaked at 6 on the Billboard Top 200 while this one peaked at 10. I still love this record just as much and that is why I think this is definitely one to pick up if you want to learn about the Scorpions. That is why I am giving this album 3.8 stars out of five.