Music and lyrics by Rammstein: Christoph Doom Schneider, Doktor Christian Lorenz, Richard Z Kruspe-Bernstein, Till Lindemann, Paul Landers, Oliver Ridel. Produced by Jacob Hellner with Rammstein. Mixed by Stefan Glaumann at MVG Studio, Stockholm, Sweden. Recorded at Studio Miravel, France. Engineered by Ulf Kruckenberg, assisted by Myriam Correge. Mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk Corporation, New York. Pre-production at “Haus Weimer”, Heiligendamm, Germany. Additional recordings at Galaxy Studios, Belgium and Nukleus Studio, Berlin, Germany.
Almost all metal bands, regardless of where they come from, choose to sing in English. Sepultura come from Brasil, speak Portuguese, sing in English. Opeth come from Sweden, speak Swedish, sing in English. Kreator come from Germany, speak German, sing in English. I think the only two bands that I have in my collection who do speak in their native tongues are Su Ta Gar whose lyrics are in Euskera (Basque) and this one: Rammstein.
I was surprised when I went to rip this album to MP3 to listen to it for this project that I already owned it. I fetched the other CD copy from my shelves and sat them side by side on my desk: two little twin babies. My other little twin babies, who are now nearly five, wandered into the study. “What’s that?! Oh… we’re twins,” he said with some delight.
I can’t remember when I first got into Rammstein. Probably while I was living in Edinburgh and had ready access to MTV on Telewest cable. I discovered Muse then too (sorry!) and N.E.R.D. (it was really just the one track, honest!). They are #39 on my all-time Last.fm chart of most-played bands with an impressive 559 tracks. By the end of this review they will likely have climbed to #37.
Theirs is a melodic, industrial sound. Wikipedia classes them as Neue Deutsche Härte (new German hardness); Encyclopedia Metallum doesn’t even list them, which seems a bit harsh. Whenever I listen to them I can’t help but visualise their stage show: all flames and power tools and ridiculously comical stunts. Their show perfectly matches the darkness and humour and hardness of their music.
Mutter is Rammstein’s third album and… well, just like all their others, I really, really like it. I have no idea what they are singing most of the time, but it sounds strong and metal! Some of the songs are obviously—despite the language barrier—tongue-in-cheek and suggestive: “Rein Raus” (In Out).
The album, however, closes with one of the most heart-breakingly beautiful songs I’ve ever heard: “Nebel” (Fog):
They stand with their arms tightly around each other
a mixture of flesh, so rich in days
where the sea touches the land
she wants to tell him the truth.
But the wind eats her words
where the sea ends
she holds his hand, trembling
and kissed him on the forehead.
She carries the evening in her chest
and knows that she must wither away
she lays her head in his lap
and asks for a last kiss.
And then he kissed her
where the sea ends
her lips, delicate and pale
and his eyes tear up.
The last kiss was so long ago
the last kiss
he does not remember it any more.
A solid album from a fabulous band. It scores almost full marks from me.
Review score: 95%