Anticipation can cloud over artistic impact. After the best part of a decade, single ‘Mein Land’ and live opener ‘Ramm4’ are the only glimpses of new material the world has seen from the mighty Teutonic titans. Since 2009’s stellar Liebe Ist Für Alle Da (Universal), the world has held its breath in baited wait for a seventh Rammstein studio album. Does this towering decade of monolithic expectation dull the impact of brand new single, ‘Deutschland’?
The song opens with a swirling electronic refrain that forms the cornerstone of the song. It’s a technique Rammstein fans have come to know and love; the way in which Christian ‘Flake’ Lorenz turns the humble synthesiser into a hulking linchpin of industrial mayhem. He is joined by Paul Landers and Richard Z. Kruspe’s crushing power chords – again a Rammstein staple – before a wiry, spindly guitar line adorns the top of the synthesised lead. Now here is something the mighty ‘Stein haven’t done before; allowing a vulnerability in their mechanical sound.
Frontman and global heartthrob, Till Lindemann lends his ever pleasant and dulcet tones to the song after the building intensity of the introduction. His stoicism and almost monotonous delivery speaks one thousand commanding words in this militaristic march. His performance speaks to one of restraint not often seen in Rammstein music; excess is their raison d’être, whether its the flammable or the perverse they outdo everyone.
Till’s restrained and impassive delivery is emblematic of the song as a whole; in ‘Deutschland’, Rammstein aren’t here to have fun. This is a far more serious and far darker tone than the band have taken on Surf Rock send up ‘Mein Land’, ‘Asche Zu Asche’ or even ‘Ich Will’. There’s something wry and sardonic about the delivery of ‘Deutschland, Über Allen’ that speaks to Rammstein perhaps returning to the relative vulnerability and bleakness of 2005’s Rosenrot (Universal/Republic) for this latest and as-yet-untitled album.
‘Deutschland’ is a bombastic, militaristic look at the darkness of Rammstein homeland. It is a serious and unwavering side of the band that has been rarely seen before, and may inform the tone of the upcoming album. If this is the case, then we can expect something wonderful on our hands, but something dark and difficult to penetrate. After a decade of build up There’s an initial feeling that the songs falls short of expectations. However, Rammstein’s music is far more complex than they are given credit for, and while ‘Deutschland’ may not be a dance floor filling rager on first listen, deeper exploration unveils its glory.
8 / 10