Rammstein – In Amerika

Rammstein in amerika

Rammstein fans have reason to be optimistic. Frontman Till Lindemann confirmed this year that they have started work on a new album (anticipated to arrive in 2017) which will no doubt prompt a world tour. I’m already exited by the prospect.

In the meantime, you can whet your appetite with In Amerika (Spinefarm Records), a concert film of their triumphant 2010 show in Madison Square Garden and features two extras – a 21-minute short showing the making of Liebe Ist Für Alle Da and the star of the show: Rammstein In Amerika – a 2-hour rockumentary chronicling the career of this famously private band.

Following the a well-established rockumentary formula, the most surprising thing about it is its duration. It genuinely doesn’t feel like 2 hours and never once gets boring. This suggests some serious skill on the part of the director, and quick check on IMDB shows that Austrian Hannes Rossacher is an old hand at documentary and working with bands. Indeed, he has worked with Rammstein before (in 2003, on Lichspielhaus – a collection of videos, gig footage, featurettes & TV ads) and deftly delivers a story that’s true to the band’s culture and endearing in its portrayal.

The story starts with the band members in East Berlin, covers their meeting and formation of the band that was to become the Rammstein that has remained unchanged (in terms of members) since 1994 and takes us through the apprenticeship of their early German shows and the release of Herzleid.

The origin story, however, (this is “In Amerika” after all) is treated as preamble. The film’s meat begins with the recording of Sensucht and the band’s first US tour in 1997 with fellow Germans KMFDM, follows their journeyman phase, explains their 10-year absence from the Land of The Free and culminates with their masterful return where they sold out The Garden in less than 30 minutes of pre-sale.

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The outstanding quality of the engaging film-making provides extra colour and depth to the band for existing fans and serves to expose some of the cerebral and emotional qualities of Rammstein that’s hidden from those less familiar behind the shock-rock stories and stage hype. It’s not all about the pyromania.

Wisely avoiding overuse of purpose-shot band footage, Rossacher relies heavily on the band’s own archive footage and interviews from an array of well-known (and not so well-known) faces. This serves to keep the piece grounded and prevents it from becoming the self-parodying fluff that many music DVDs become. Excellent.

In Amerika is available on DVD or Blu-Ray and has the following tracks:

Disc 1 – Madison Square Garden

01 Rammlied

02 Bückstabü

03 Waidmanns Heil

04 Keine Lust

05 Weisses Fleisch

06 Feuer Frei!

07 Wiener Blut

08 Frühling in Paris

09 Ich tu Dir weh

10 Du riechst so gut

11 Benzin

12 Links 2 3 4

13 Du hast

14 Pussy

15 Sonne

16 Haifisch

17 Ich will

18 Engel

 

Disc 2 – Documentary

01 Rammstein In Amerika

02 Making of Liebe Ist Für Alle Da

 

8.0/10

PHILIP PAGE

Metallica – Through The Never

MV5BMjQwNjk5MTk4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTgwNDA5OQ@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_The common view of Metallica’s 3D IMAX movie seems to be tainted by misconceptions. Maybe in the attempt to avoid giving spoilers, or simply due to fans’ uncertainty towards the band following the, um, misguided ‘Lulu’ album, the message seems to have been lost.

See, Through The Never is being marketed as a movie about lead character Trip (the clue is, perhaps, in the name…), played by(Chronicle) and his, well, trip through the never on an errand for the band. But the storyline and movie part serves only as an extended promo video would, cleverly linking in events to the songs being played on stage.

Almost as if Trip is watching the gig, and the anarchic events are playing out in his head like some kind of hallucination…

But what Through The Never actually is, is Metallica proving without a shadow of a doubt that they can lay a genuine claim to being the greatest metal band of them all and an essential live act.

After the obligatory cringey “Metullz!” first 3 minutes, Through The Never gets down to business when the single greatest intro track, ‘Ecstasy of Gold’ pricks those neck hairs. The band prepare to, and then take, the stage, ripping into a feisty ‘Creeping Death’. ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ follows, sounding as vibrant and classic as at any time during their career, aided by a simply monstrous and superbly captured live sound, before a breakneck ‘Fuel’ leads us back to Trip and his mission.

With a set focussing on their 80’s beasts, a venomous jackhammer version of ‘Ride The Lightning’ and the epic juggernaut of sinewy riffing that is ‘…And Justice For All’ are the standout tracks. As you’d expect, the concert footage is expertly shot, showcasing a spectacular stageshow of descending coffins, pyros, a giant electric chair getting zapped by lightning, pyros, a sea of crosses arising from the floor during a momentous ‘Master of Puppets’, pyros, Doris being rebuilt and destroyed again, pyros, video accompaniments and other tributes to stage shows past (flaming roadies, collapsing lighting rigs and a “garage” version of ‘Hit The Lights’) all capped by a magical version of ‘Orion’ during the end credits.

Old dogs with new, very visually impressive, tricks, Through The Never is a must-see that will reinvigorate your forgotten love for the very best. I just wish it was longer.

9/10

Steve Tovey