1. Mein Herz Brennt
2. Links 2 3 4
4. Ich Will
5. Feuer Frei!
9. Rein Raus
Bombastic Industrial, with a dash of Mediocrity – 6/10
It’s been four long years since Rammstein’s previous effort Sehnsucht. Why on earth they waited so long with their third effort is beyond me. I guess they were working hard on a new sound to depart from the basic industrial metal they created on their previous releases. But the times changed to 2001 and so Rammstein updated their sound a little. Would this band work with a different sound or did this mean the end of the band?
Yes it worked and blimey this sounds so refreshing. It’s still undeniably industrial in terms of riffs and samples. These are still riffs to dance to while banging your head and in essence this all still sounds very Rammstein. Perhaps not all songs are alike this time, but there’s definitely some formula stuck in the band’s heads again. But first the sound. Where Sehnsucht mostly featured a killer riff with some nice grooves and then the monotonous vocals by Lindemann, Mutter has a lot more depth in the songs. The use of synthesizers is a little more refined than just the samples this time. A good example is the chorus of “Links 2 3 4”. The riffs are less notable this time, but contribute more to the overall sound of the song. This combination of slightly more dominant synths and pushed-to-background guitars results in a bombastic sound. With some tracks this even leads to a slightly gothic sound, like on the choruses of “Sonne”, “Mutter” and “Ich Will”. Now, about the formula, even this formula tends to get old in terms of the band’s creativity. After the sixth track “Mutter”, the album goes downhill quickly and that’s where the mediocrity part comes in. A refreshing sound is one, but if one uses it with mediocre tracks it only gives the listener headaches.
The album opens with the bombastic “Mein Herz Brennt”, which begins gently with Lindemann’s trademark monotonous voice muttering a few words before the chorus bursts out with an evil synth melody on the lead. The march-like “Links 2 3 4” also has its verses gently with a more bombastic marching riff in the chorus. Then some new aspects to Rammsteins repertoire are the sing-along tracks “Sonne” and “Mutter”. Both have quite unimportant verses but shine in the catchiness of the choruses, which are, perhaps, even epic. “Ich Will” is another high quality standard industrial track, with some highly entertaining lyrics. One of the finest tracks would be “Feuer Frei!”, the famous hard-industrial up-tempo anthem. This is truly a great kickass song, except for the annoying vocal performance at the break. Lindemann is not a singer, he should just be monotonous and not try to sing. If he’d just do that, Rammstein can’t go too wrong on the vocal department, except for the metrics. The metrics in his vocals are often similar and formulaic, which makes many tracks from this album predictable. After “Mutter”, the album goes downhill fast. The riffs have suddenly become boring, the vocals predictable and the synths have disappeared... It suddenly lacks all the catchiness, all the inventiveness and all the quality. Maybe only the narration at the beginning of “Spieluhr” is worth a listen. Even “Nebel”, what instrumentally is not that terrible, is totally ruined because this ballad would require a singer, and when somebody who can’t really sing takes the job... you’ll guess the result. It’s a bit of a “Klavier II”.
In the end, Mutter is not a bad follow-up to Sehnsucht, but gets so damn weak after track #6 that I can’t call it good. The first six tracks on the other hand are worth checking out if you like Rammstein. The other tracks will be reserved only for those who like everything the band releases. But to new ones it’s not recommended.
Strongest tracks: “Feuer Frei!”, “Mutter” and “Ich Will”.
Weakest tracks: “Zwitter”, “Rein Raus” and “Adios”.
12 hours ago