this week for the weekly review, i’m listening to Herzeleid, the 1995 debut record from Rammstein, and i gotta say, the english speaking Rammstein community has no shortage of fan community sites, haha. i found this translation site p early which im trusting given that i dont know German. ive tried to get into Rammstein in the past (probably more than a decade ago, to be honest) but mostly bounced off their work – lets see how i feel about it now!

Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen Sehen (Do You Want To See the Bed In Flames?) is a v strong opener – it’s got a real electric energy to it musically. lyrically… it’s a little out there but it’s got a kind of exaggeration to it that makes it feel more like an invitation to knifeplay than a threat, haha. Der Meister (The Master) is dark in a real fun way, ngl. i love that little faded melody playing in the back, and the song of the riders of the apocalypse is a v fun premise. im not huge on Weisses Fleisch (White Flesh). i think there are ways to write songs from this type of persons perspective, but i think there’s something lost in translation or in tone that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Asche zu Asche… yknow what, i like the vengeful Jesus song. Seemann (Seaman) is, i think, the closest we can get to like a ballad here, and damn this is a v moving vocal performance from vocalist Till Lindemann, switching between the tender singing and booming metal delivery. Du Riechst So Gut (You Smell So Good) feels better to me than Weisses Fleisch, despite not being that different in subject matter – this feels more horror movie creepy to me, and i dunno why but that makes it better. really dig the opening to Das Alte Leid (The Old Sorrow), and yeah i like this track. a very nihilistic kind of hedonism. Heirate Mich (Marry Me) feels like it’s playing in the same space as Du Reichst, almost like a horror movie kind of energy to it. grim ending, but still. plus the track’s got some great licks, AND that excellent guitar solo. Herzeleid (Heartache) is a p strong track – lyrically focused and that pained cry in the chorus is probs one of the best parts of the record. not at all a fan of Laichzeit (Spawning Time). this one aint for me. the track Rammstein is a grim track about the airshow disaster that they took their name from. i might find this a little more grim than i normally would but years of listening to Well There’s Your Problem podcast have kind of blunted the brutality of some of the worst engineering disasters so sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder of how fucked up some of them can be, and it’s a fitting way to kind of close out the experience.

faves –
dislikes – Weisses Fleisch, Laichzeit

yeah i’m extremely mixed on this. musically, there’s quite a bit i like here – it’s heavy and chunky without being deeply oppressive, and it has that kind of like, willingness to go a little atmospheric in the way that like, Ghost does. it’s nice. plus Lindemann is a really emotive and affective vocalist – the record is a very nice listen, imo. even the tracks that lean a little more disruptive or oppressive feel productively so, if that makes sense? i dunno, it bugs me less and i’m willing to go along with it.

lyrically and thematically though, i’m less willing to jump on board. there’s a component of this that i found real fun, like Der Meister and Asche zu Asche, and there was stuff i enjoyed from a more introspective perspective, like Das alte Leid and Herzeleid, but there was enough of a taste of stuff like Weisses Fleisch that bled onto tracks i could otherwise enjoy like Woll ihr das Bett. dunno. i think i might just not be the target audience for this kind of lyricism.

Herzeleid – 5/10

the selection for this week’s suggestion pool is Scientist Meets the Space Invaders, a 1981 dub record from Scientist. i’ll be back next Friday, August 26 for a review, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then a pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)