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Saturday, October 24, 2009

CD Review: Rammstein - Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da

Rammstein - Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da
2009 Universal Music/Vagrant Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.



Sixth time around and Berlin exploratory metal pundits Rammstein are back in the saddle with a new studio slab following a four-year layoff. Delivered mostly in German, Rammstein’s latest offering Liebe Ist Fur Alle Dais hell-bent on engaging their audiences with updated schools of thought to their frequently dance-oriented stamp metal. Some have been wondering if Rammstein ever intends to match the full-on chug-strut of their breakout hit “Du Hast,” much less the shake-your-nu-metal-groove-thang of “Engel” or even the steadily-thumped antipop of “Amerika.” Well, not exactly on Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da, but the album is entertaining at times.

Parts of this album deliver energetic, pounding industrial metal, which should satisfy longtime devotees such as the heavily throbbing “Waidmanns Hell” and the stoic march ode, “Ich Tu Dir Weh.” Other parts are commendable left-of-center tryouts such as a two-step tempo and cabaret piano twinkling on the verses of “Haifsch,” a song bellowing with pure bravado once it reaches the choruses. Rammstein even takes a plucky stab at a swirling ballad, “Fruehling in Paris” which might’ve made fans cringe if not for a booming chorus and cacophonous electronics clanging atop Till Lindemann’s petitioning croons. Yes, folks, it works like a charm.

Have fun trying to figure out what “B*****” stands for. Guitarist Richard Kruspe states the intended phrase isn’t what you’re thinking; rather, it’s the Germanic “Buckstabu,” translating as “whatever you want.” One thing’s for sure, it swings with plodding mass and snarling vocals as the heaviest tune on the album, along with the angry-as-fuck “Weiner Blut” and the trigger-happy title cut, the latter of which grows thicker and faster with each bar, ala KMFDM at their meanest.

The opening number "Rammleid" is perhaps Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da's only real weak moment. It begins stoically with a blaring choral sample along with rousing intro call from Lindemman, yet it plods in so-so fashion with cliche riffs and astray keys. Afterwards, Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da becomes consistently entertaining.

Though nowhere in the same league of issuing dense tonal crushes as their previous albums, Rammstein now appears more interested in expanding beyond the band’s expansive frontiers tapped on Reise Reise and Rosenrot. Then again, don’t expect things to be a full departure from Rammstein’s button-pushing past, most especially from the brainless yet undeniably hooky “Pussy.” Blatant, juvenile shenanigans from a band previously squirting audiences with pretend jizz from Till Lindemann’s waggling dildo; makes you wonder how they’ll encore such groined shock tactics this time. Of course, he might not need a gimmick here, since "Pussy" speaks for itself with its insanely perverse chorus, which will have you repeating it stupidly in your head hours after play.

If you gander at the sprawled nudity and fantastical nihilism of the album's foldouts, you'll understand Rammstein is here to push the envelope as far as society will sustain it without getting jailed for common indecency. Alienating a broad audience with their album title alone, Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da is nonetheless a largely fun, thumping record with more than a few changeups to their militant-sounding metal stamps.

Rating: ***1/2

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you gave this album 3 1/2 stars.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

hahahaha, welcome back!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah I love to check out how bad this blog is on a constant basis,it would be nice to read about something I'd actually like to buy and listen to.Keep Rockin'

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

always a pleasure to nauseate you, Waldorf...glad you're such a sucker for punishment

Anonymous said...

I loved your blog. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

From listening to the iTunes samples, my impression is that the album sounds a little "punk" to me. Is that a fair representation of the sound or has Apple just chosen the worst intervals for their samples? And before fans of Billy Bragg or the Sex Pistols descend upon me, I should point out I don't understand punk at all, and it's simply not to my taste.