DW: Rammstein, the dark gods of hard rock

Music made of nightmares

Knowing no taboos, the musicians of Rammstein have managed to include in their creations the darkest nightmares of humanity. It’s all about violence, revulsion, murderous fantasies, cannibalism and other brands of horror. They delight in crossing the line, and their provocations are celebrated by the band and their fans. Rammstein is one of a kind – and the band members are worldwide stars.

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Eastern punk heritage

The first bands of these musicians from East Berlin and Schwerin reads like a who’s who of former East Germany’s underground punk scene. Guitarist Paul Landers and keyboardist Flake Lorenz played in Feeling B; singer Till Lindemann was with First Arsch, bassist Oliver Riedel with The Inchtabokatables, guitarist Richard Kruspe in Orgasm Death Gimmick and drummer Christoph Schneider in Die Firma.

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Appearances are deceiving

They actually look like nice guys. This photo was taken in 1995 when the band was one year old. “Herzeleid” (Heartbreak), the first LP, had gruesome texts on issues like child abuse in “Weisses Fleisch” (White Flesh) and necrophilia in “Heirate mich” (Marry Me). All that to harsh guitar riffs, merciless percussion and an edgy electro sound. It reached No. 6 in the German album charts.

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God knows I’m no angel

“Engel” (Angel) in 1997 was the breakthrough. Given much airtime on music channels MTV and Viva, it was inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s shocking film “From Dusk Till Dawn.” The second album, “Sehnsucht” (Longing), went platinum both in Germany and in the US. Rammstein’s contribution to the soundtrack of David Lynch’s film “Lost Highway” kickstarted their career in the US.

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A plea for tolerance in a Hawaii shirt

Aren’t they sweet? The surf boys pose on the Californian beach with pretty bikini-clad girls and sing about the foreign element that is welcome nowhere. The happy images collide with the hard, rapid industrial beat. When “Mein Land” (My Country, 2011) comes to an end, the candy-colored beach party is over, and it’s back to familiar Rammstein imagery with fire and scowling faces.

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Nothing in common but the rolled “r”

In a crossover phase, German folk music star Heino covered well-known rock and pop songs, including Rammstein’s “Sonne” (Sun). In 2013, the group invited Heino to join them onstage at Wacken Open Air. Facing 75,000 metal fans and flanked by flames and smoke, Heino sang together with Rammstein – looking slightly startled. The periodical “Metal-Hammer” tweeted: “Did Heino know where he’d landed?”

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Heroes on screen

The film of the concert in New York’s Madison Square Garden and the documentary “Rammstein in Amerika” premiered in movie theaters on September 24, 2015 – and the DVD climbed to No. 1 in the DVD charts in 13 countries. Rammstein has conquered four of the world’s five biggest music markets: the US, Great Britain, France and Germany.

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Cultivated pyromaniac

Rammstein lead singer Till Lindemann likes to look revolting in his ugly makeup. But like the other Rammstein boys, he’s basically a nice person. And a sensitive soul: in 2002, he published his poem collection “Messer” (Knife). The 53-year-old got his physique from high-performance swimming. And what about his love of fire? Lindemann took a course in pyrotechnics in 1996.

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Nuptials from Hell

In 2015, Till Lindemann joined up with Swedish metal musician Peter Tägtgren in a side project called “Lindemann.” The album “Skills in Pills” is bloodthirsty, yucky and morbid, satisfying Rammstein fans who were waiting out the band’s hiatus last year (2015). When they go on tour now, we’ll see how the musicians put their downtime to productive use.

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Rammstein on tour

The tour starts June 2 at the Gods of Metal Festival in Monza, Italy, and ends on September 10 in Buenos Aires. They’ll hit all the major metal festivals – including Germany’s Southside and Hurricane. Unfortunately, they won’t turn up at Wacken Open Air (pictured). Tickets are sold out for appearances in Germany, with the exception of Highfield Festival near Leipzig (Aug. 19-21).

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Original source: DW
By Silke Wünsch / rf
Date: 02.06.2016

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