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Music style: Heavy metal / Industrial / "Tanz-Metall" (dance metal) / "Neue Deutsche Härte" (New German Hard Rock)
Band members: Richard "Scholle" Kruspe-Bernstein (guitar), Oliver "Ollie" Riedel (bass), Christoph "Doom" Schneider (drums), Till Lindemann (vocals), Paul Landers (guitar), Christian "Flake" Lorenz (keyboard)
Name means: Literally "Ramming stone", but the band took its name from that of the U.S. Air Base location Ramstein (with one 'n') to commemorate the airshow disaster that occurred there

The heavy metal / industrial rock group Rammstein is one of the few German bands that is recognized internationally. Founded in 1994, the group has sold millions of CDs.

All of its members hail from the former East Germany. Christoph "Doom" Schneider, Till Lindemann, Christian "Flake" Lorenz, and Landers each gained experience playing in separate bands in the 1980s, most of them bands with punk roots. Kruspe migrated west even before the German reunification and founded Orgasm Death Gimmick. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, he returned east to his hometown of Schwerin, where he played with Das Auge Gottes and eventually met up with Lindemann. Lindemann joined the then roommates Kruspe, Riedel and Schneider in 1994 to make music together. Landers and Lorenz joined them in 1995 for the taping of a demo and a band competition which they won. They signed with a record label the same year and started recording the songs for their debut album Herzeleid. Their first LP broke into the German Top Ten, a welcome success for a first album.

After touring with the German band Project Pitchfork and the Swedish group Clawfinger, Rammstein launched their first tours as headliner band in 1996. Director David Lynch introduced Rammstein to international audiences when he chose two of their songs from the Herzeleid album -- "Rammstein" and "Heirate mich" -- for the soundtrack of the 1996 film Lost Highway. Their second album Sehnsucht consequently brought the band its first overwhelming commercial success; the LP even entered the charts at Number 1. Three singles from the album -- "Engel," "Du hast," and "DAs Modell" -- made it into the German Top Ten. Bolstered by the success of Sehnsucht, the first album Herzeleid, which had already spent 29 weeks on German LP charts in 1996, climbed the charts again, reaching the Number 2 spot.

From Sehnsucht on, each of the albums that the band put out reached the Number 1 position in the German album charts. And not only that: each of the albums entered the charts at Number 1. Their selling power is a testament to their enormous fan base. Rammstein's success has not been without controversy however. Not only their concoction of guitar riffs and techno sound, but also their provocative and controversial lyrics have won them attention both at home and abroad. Their bold song texts that address socially taboo themes and their unabashed use of ambiguous symbols and images sometimes test the limits of acceptability. Some videos have been boycotted by TV music channels, and media buzz surrounding the band has suggested that they harbor and promote dangerous right-wing political views, a claim that cannot be substantiated to any degree. The only definitive position that can be extracted from their musical output is that they staunchly challenge to the notion of political correctness -- and this offends some people.

The band openly professes that they seek to push boundaries, to get people's attention, and to have fun. Their live tours have made them a reputation for their outrageous stage performances, which include pyrotechnics and outlandish behavior. Despite the on-stage antics, the band takes their lyrics seriously. Most of their song texts are in German, with just a few exceptions. Those who don't understand their German lyrics miss some of their fine word-plays and tongue-in-cheek humor.

As of 2005, the band had taken home numerous awards, including 5 ECHO awards, and their "Mein Teil" was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. Rammstein is easily Germany's number one export band.

Rammstein CDs

Rosenrot (2005) || LISTEN
TRACKS: 1.Benzin | 2.Mann gegen Mann | 3.Rosenrot | 4.Spring | 5.Wo bist du | 6.Stirb nicht vor mir | 7.Zerstören | 8.Hilf mir | 9.Te Quiero Puta! | 10.Feuer und Wasser | 11.Ein Lied

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Reise, Reise (2004) || LISTEN
1.Reise, Reise | 2.Mein Teil - Album Version | 3.Dalai Lama | 4.Keine Lust | 5.Los | 6.Amerika - Album Version | 7.Moskau | 8.Morgenstern | 9.Stein um Stein | 10.Ohne Dich | 11.Amore

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Lichtspielhaus DVD (2003) |
DESCRIPTION: While fans enjoy hearing Rammstein, the faithful know that seeing Rammstein is an entire experience unto itself. This DVD is packed with 3 hours and 30 minutes of Rammstein videos, live performances from 1996 to 2001 with the band's characteristic pyrotechnics, and documentary footage on the making of the videos.

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Mutter (2001) || LISTEN
TRACKS: 1.Mein Herz brennt | 2.Links 2 3 4 | 3.Sonne | 4.Ich will | 5.Feuer frei! | 6.Mutter | 7.Spieluhr | 8.Zwitter | 9.Rein raus | 10.Adios | 11.Nebel

REVIEW: This German industrial-metal machine has proven itself to be quite popular, with their engaging, potent brand of electronic-enhanced guitar rock and outlandish stage shows appealing to everyone from young teens to fortysomethings. (Their last studio release, 1998's Sehnsucht, went gold in the U.S.) On their third studio album, Mutter, the sextet augments its propulsive sound with a live string section and a soprano on a few tracks, while offering two mellower tracks to show their soft side. Even if they're not breaking down major barriers with their latest release, the enigmatic Rammstein should still continue pleasing numerous musical insurgents across the globe.
~ Review by Bryan Reesman

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Live aus Berlin (1999) || LISTEN
TRACKS: 1.Spiel mit mir | 2.Bestrafe mich | 3.Weisses Fleisch | 4.Sehnsucht | 5.Asche zu Asche | 6.Wilder Wein | 7.Heirate mich | 8.Du riechst so gut | 9.Du hast | 10.Bück Dich | 11.Engel | 12.Rammstein | 13.Laichzeit | 14.Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen | 15.Seemann

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Sehnsucht (1997) || LISTEN
TRACKS: 1.Sehnsucht | 2.Engel | 3.Tier | 4.Bestrafe mich | 5.Du hast | 6.Bück dich | 7.Spiel mit mir | 8.Klavier | 9.Alter Mann | 10.Eifersucht | 11.Küss mich (Fellfrosch)

REVIEW: There's not a big precedent for German bands succeeding in the United States, the 80s bombast-rock of the Scorpions notwithstanding. Rammstein, however, may be the macho men to get the job done, at least in a concert setting. Decidedly Teutonic and militant in sound and lyrics -- they sing in German and their commanding semi-industrial metal is compelling -- Rammstein garnered rock-radio airplay for the catchy sing-along "Du hast," which bears a striking musical resemblance to the Golden Earring tune "Twilight Zone." While Sehnsucht's 11 songs are solid, it's the live shows where everything gels. There, KISS pyrotechnics and disturbing NIN-like images, for example, complement Rammstein's forceful music. Without the visual stimuli, Sehnsucht (which means "longing") is still a strong effort, but live is where the album's Germanic gems really shine.
~ Review by Katherine Turman

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Herzeleid (1996) || LISTEN
1.Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen | 2.Der Meister | 3.Weisses Fleisch | 4.Asche zu Ache | 5.Seemann | 6.Du riechst so gut | 7.Das alte Leid | 8.Heirate mich | 9.Herzleid | 10.Laichzeit | 11.Rammstein

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Interesting Facts About Rammstein
• The band derived its name from that of the air base Ramstein, the site of an airshow accident. The band uses a double "m" spelling in its name, however, creating a word that also means "battering ram."

• Competitive swimmer Till Lindemann represented East Germany in the European Championships when he was a teenager.

Rammstein Weblinks

Rammstein [German / English] - Official webpage
Rammstein Area [German] - Fan webpage with news, band info, FAQs, more [German / English] - Fan webpage with news, forum, FAQs, lyrics translations, more
Rammstein Austria [German] - Fan webpage with up-to-date news, band info, releases, fan forum, more

BACK to INDEX of Contemporary German Music Artists


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