2001 – Motor Music
Industrial/ Metal/ Goth
Mutter, the third album from German industrial rock band Rammstein, is an epically pounding piece of hard rocking Goth-schlock. Starting out with the blaringly creepy Kashmir rip-off that is Mein Herz Brent and finishing up with equally silly, yet somehow satisfying dirge of Nebel this whole record toes the line of being an acceptably bad joke and just an exceptionally mind-numbing album.
Every single track is just so overbearingly atmospheric and the militantly Germanic whispers and roars are just so laughable in their obvious attempts at rousing the listener to an angry fist-pumping. More often than not I just found myself giggling along to the crunchy guitars (which sound pretty much the same in every track) and the ‘look how tough and dark I am’ vocals (which are also pretty much indistinguishable from track to track). This, I’m sure, is not what the band intended when putting this album together, but that’s definitely what they achieved. I mean, it’s just so hard to take seriously anything that is this clichéd and over the top but at the same time blissfully unaware of its own ridiculousness.
To give credit where credit is due, however, I do have to say that, while all of the songs sound incredibly similar to one another, the riffs which are the real driving force behind the music are very catchy. In fact, as stupid as I found this record I did, on occasion, find myself banging my head along to the heavy guitar lines and the steady pounding drum beats. Unfortunately, however, these moments of metal abandon were usually cut short by the addition of some kind of stupid synth track or operatic vocal overlay. The ostensibly eerie female vocals which insidiously infect Sonne, for example, nearly ruined what was a perfectly fine track for me. They just seemed to serve no purpose apart from letting the audience know how dark and brooding the band think they are.
Really, I think that is the main problem with this album; these German industrial overlords just seem so concerned with maintaining their apocalyptic image that they don’t allow themselves to have any kind of fun at all. And when a band this full of cheesy riffs and terrible lyrics (not made any better by being in German) don’t treat themselves with a tinge of irony it’s hard for the listener to have much fun either. If one can’t laugh at Rammstein all that’s left is to actually listen to their music, and that, I’m sure, will leave you more than a little disillusioned with metal, Germany, and the whole idea that the two should ever mix.
This all said, they band must be doing something that somebody out there likes if its reaching into the top ten of the charts of at least eight different countries is anything to go by, but all the same I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe it was the Grimm Brothers style fairytale read by the singer in some kind of Glen Danzig impersonation during the beginning of Speiluhr, or maybe it was the obnoxious shouts of “Bang! Bang!” during Feuer Frei, but there was just something about this album that makes me think that all those people in all of those countries either ended up very disappointed or have no taste in music.
Really, Mutter is a pretty bad album. Each track sounds practically the same as the last, and while there are some solid riffs and beats throughout the record they are drowned out by the relentlessly unselfconscious stupidity. It is listenable is you ever feel the need and your faith in humanity certainly won’t be destroyed by the end of the experience, but you might end up feeling like you’ve accomplished nothing and your IQ has somehow dropped a point or two. Really, it’s nothing I would recommend to anyone unless they wanted an example of why Germans aren’t necessarily the toughest of metallers.
Here is the clip for Mein Herz Brennt, the opening track of Mutter, which is every bit as ludicrous as the album from which it hails.
- Feuer Frei, P*ssy! – My love of Rammstein (theapoliticaldictator.wordpress.com)
- Rammstein Sehnsucht Album Review (theeradicatorreviews.com)
- Rammstein Vow to Rock Ground in Sofia (novinite.com)
- Rammstein rock Wacken metal festival (thelocal.de)