Mutter – Rammstein


2001 – Motor Music

Industrial/ Metal/ Goth

mutter

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.

 

RATING: **/5

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.

 

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7 thoughts on “Mutter – Rammstein

  1. This review is a farce, the fact that you dont like the bands themes and sound is totally fine, however you’ve completely missed the point of rammstein, their entire intention is to be over the top ridiculous, epic but silly, serious but funny, if you find their industrial sound repetitive and not to your liking than thats fair enough, each to their own but you should really research a band like rammstein and understand what they are trying to achieve before you make comments like the dont treat themselves with “a tinge of irony” is just ridiculous, rammstein are all irony.

    • Okay, first of all I’m sorry if I’ve made you angry at some point here.
      Secondly, from my research (and yes I do research before I write about an album) I didn’t find anything that led me to believe that Rammstein were not being serious. It has since been brought to my attention that the band is a pastiche, but at the time I did not realize.
      I think it is mainly the music itself which gave me this impression as it doesn’t come across (to me at least) as self-reflexive or parody driven. Perhaps this is my fault, or perhaps it is the fault of the band that they didn’t get their intentions across clearly enough. Either way, I believe that many of my comments still stand true, and I will be happy to go back through the review and amend it for you.

      Thanks for the comment!
      Cheers,
      Lachlan J.

  2. You’ve totally and utterly missed the point and it seems to me you’re way out of your depth:
    “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 is a completely ill informed, ignorant comment. Scorpions? Accept? Pretty much the entire early power metal scene. Either do your research and give some time to an album or don’t pretend to be in such a position of authority to review it. Idiot.

    • Okay, first off I’d like to say sorry as it seems that I have offended you.
      Secondly I would like to say that that comment you are referring to was meant as hyperbole. I’m sure there are plenty of great German metal bands out there and I would be more than happy to listen to them. It’s just that at the time ‘Mutter’ was given to me as “something I absolutely must listen to” everybody seemed to be telling me that Germans were the greatest metal players on this earth and that Rammstein were the shining example of that, and in my opinion they are not.
      Also, on the point of my ‘position of authority’ I never claim that I am in any way an expert on metal music or even music in general. What I do have is some amount of training in the field of popular music and a passion for listening to records, and so I just call the shots as I see them. If you don’t agree with my review you don’t have to and I don’t think my review is going to stop you or anyone else from enjoying Rammstein’s music, I’m just putting my thoughts out there.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment.
      I hope you continue to read my work and join in the discussion. But perhaps next time you won’t just resort to calling me an idiot.

      Cheers,
      Lachlan J.

      • Thanks for the reply, and I take your point. The only reason I commented is that I just didn’t really see the point of the review (old album/not familiar with the band etc) beyond a bit of a cheap shot at a decidedly niche band. Totally respect they’re not your cup of tea and if they’ve been thrust on you as the paradigm of all metal then I can understand the frustration. However I do think the hyperbole was way too general and served to undermine the rest of the review. Cheers

  3. Okay, before I receive any more nasty comments I am just going to put it out there and profess my own apparent philistinism.

    I obviously did not get the joke with Rammstein, and that has coloured this review rather obviously. I am sorry if this has upset, offended, or otherwise annoyed anyone, but that’s how it is.
    From my research and reading, and also my listening to the record I did not find anything that seemed to support the idea that the band were in fact a pastiche, however, it has been brought to my attention that I was wrong.

    I will stick by my comments that the music on this album is repetitive and overwhelmingly dull though.

    Stay Snug,
    Lachlan J.

  4. Fair play mate, to be fair you write well and some of the points you make are valid, my primary issue is is that you/ or somebody on this site has gone onto the rammstein fan facebook group and posted a link to your review that is a total criticism of their work, which is inviting negative comments. As I said before their sound isn’t to everyones taste, personally they are my favourite band and in terms of their live performance your view of them being “overwhelmingly dull and repetitive” might change … considerably, as they are validly known as the best metal act in the world, and perhaps ever.
    That however isn’t relevant to your review of this specific album and as I say its nice to see a reviewer being so enthusiastic and original with how you write, that being said I still believe you’ve missed the point of rammstein, which is made worse by some of your sweeping statements that you make.
    However, thanks for being so clear, and pleasant with your response

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