German industrial/metal icons remain kings

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Rammstein remains a singularly deadpan musical force with dark and nuanced new album, ‘Zeit’

You don’t need to be fluent in German to understand the message behind “Farewell”, the piece that ends Weatherthe new album by Rammstein.

Singer Till Lindemann sings/pronounces Farewell, goodbye, Auf Wiedersehen in the chorus of the song, and it’s hard not to take it literally.

Will this be the final studio album from the revered titans of industrial/metal? If so, the band has yet to officially say so, but that wouldn’t be so surprising either. For decades, the band have devastated stages around the world with their over-the-top live show and thunderous, pulverizing stage presence, on equally hard-hitting studio albums of unprecedented aggression and inventiveness.

Now well into their 50s, it would make sense for things to slow down a bit, at least when it comes to recording.

Click here to pick up Weather on CD from our Rock Cellar store
Click here to pick up Weather on 2-LP from our Rock Cellar store

Or is it just a thematic “goodbye” to a juggernaut of a record showing the band’s precise hold on its own creative vision? Such self-adherence has allowed Rammstein to endure for years and across eight studio albums.

Weather is the sequel to 2019’s self-titled record, an LP that ended a decade-long drought between releases and fed “latest album?” his own speculations.

According to reports, Weather was an unplanned album that came together after Rammstein’s world tour plans were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed for unexpected downtime – and, apparently, a source of ideas for fans. Lindemann and his bandmates Paul Landers (guitar), Richard Z. Kruspe (guitar), Flake (keyboards), Oliver Riedel (bass) and Christoph Schneider (drums) to work during the lockdown.

This weather has served the group well, as Weather is a boundless showcase of the band’s dynamic appeal and unwavering ability to sound like absolutely no one but themselves.

Three years later, Rammstein is back with a record whose title translates to “Time”. It first premiered with a cinematic and particularly dramatic music video for its title track, a conceptual reflection on the fleeting nature of time and life itself. The introduction is translated as follows:

Some things should be, some shouldn’t
We see, but we are blind
We cast shadows without light

In typical Rammstein fashion, the next single shared before release day was “Zick Zack,” a more irreverent selection with a music video depicting the band members in makeup stylized to look like plastic surgery in the extreme. Rammstein has often held up a mirror to humanity at large over the years, with this latest example of the band’s biting social commentary:

By Genius, its chorus translates to:

Snip-snip, snip-snip, cut that
Tick-tock, tick-tock, you’re getting old
Your time is flowing slowly

Of course, Rammstein’s records always tend to mix dark, moody industrial/metal with accents of lighter (read: highly sexualized) subject matter, which is again the case on the song “Dicke Titten”, which translated as… “Big Boobs”:

She doesn’t have to be beautiful
She don’t have to be smart, no
She don’t need to be rich
But I would like to ask one thing
Big breasts

This dichotomy between the thematically heavy and the ridiculous gave a certain duality to Rammstein’s catalog, a calling card of the band’s singular musical identity that helped the band carve out a place for themselves on the global hard rock/metal scene. for nearly 30 years.

In the United States, the band are perhaps best known for “Du Hast”, the catchy, synth-driven lead from their 1997 album. Sehnsuchtbut for those who dug deeper into later versions, the rewards were plentiful.

To give Weather a listen once it’s available on streaming platforms to experience the band’s latest solid set of engaging and indeed disturbing compositions.

A press release also promises “a major European and North American tour in the spring and summer of 2022” in addition to the release of Weather, so stay tuned for more. Rammstein had previously postponed some stadium tour dates in North America – his first major outdoor concerts in the country.

These shows are now scheduled to start in late August, pending any further postponements:

Sunday August 21, 2022 – Montreal, QC – Parc Jean-Drapeau
Saturday, August 27, 2022 – Minneapolis, MN – US Bank Stadium
Wednesday, August 31, 2022 – Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field
Saturday, September 3, 2022 – Chicago, Illinois – Soldier Field
Tuesday, September 6, 2022 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium
Friday, September 9, 2022 – Foxborough, MA – Gillette Stadium
Saturday September 17, 2022 – San Antonio, TX – Alamodome
Friday, September 23, 2022 – Los Angeles, California – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Saturday, September 24, 2022 – Los Angeles, California – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum***
Saturday, October 1, 2022 – Mexico City, MX – Foro Sol
Sunday, October 2, 2022 – Mexico City, MX – Foro Sol
Tuesday, October 4, 2022 – Mexico City, MX – Foro Sol

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