Disclaimer: I am a huge Rammstein fan. The band has been around for 28 years and I’ve been a fan of theirs for 26 years. I’ve never once wished they sang in English instead of German. I don’t need to fully understand the language or lyrics for their music and words to hit my soul. It just does. Their transcendence above a language barrier speaks volumes on the band’s talent – musically and lyrically.
So, to say this album was highly anticipated in my world was an understatement but it was also an album that I dreaded the release of because Rammstein have been together so long, I fear with every album the band will announce it is their last.
Zeit, the band’s 8th studio album, found the band returning to La Fabrique Studio in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France where they recorded 2019’s Untitled album, often referred to among fans as Rammstein.
I have not loved a Rammstein album from start to finish since Rosenrot (2005), but Zeit has ended that. Zeit has satiated every Rammstein music craving I have ever had.
Before we dive into Zeit, song title translations are from the album’s Wiki or from Rammstein World, so please don’t hold me to the accuracy as I do not speak German and Google translate provided the same or similar translations.
Armee der Tristen (Army of the Dreary Ones) – as the song starts, my heart tingles with excitement. This is Rammstein. Till’s baritone voice, Flake’s keys, Christoph’s drums, Richard and Paul’s guitars, and Oliver’s bass. The song is what I love about Rammstein. Heavy. Intense. Anthem-ic.
Zeit (Time) – the first single off the album. As I wrote before, this song is a far cry from the guttural and driving beat of, “Du Hast”, the song that introduced the band to most of the world. “Zeit” is beautiful, quiet, soft and filled with heartache, grief, and loss. The song aligns to the likes “Frühling in Paris” and “Diamant”, Rammstein’s versions of ballads.
Schwarz (Black) – I love that Flake’s keys are the predominant instrument here. The drums, guitars, and bass don’t drown out Flake but allow him to shine. I also love these lyrics, “Geh ich vor der Nacht zur Rah, Deck ich mich mit Schwermut zu, Die helle Welt will mir nicht glücken, Muss mich mit Finsternis verzücken (I go to rest before the night, I cover myself with melancholy, The bright world does not want to make me happy, Must enrapture me with darkness)”.
Giftig (Toxic) – Flake comes in hot with synth and keys and I’m here for it. Every time this song is on, it catches my ear. It’s catchy as hell. The guitar duo that is Richard and Paul give fans driving guitars and Christoph and Oliver on drums and bass round the song out with hard driving rhythms. Add Till’s voice to the mix and you have a song that is essential Rammstein. In your face, shin kicking, and a fist pumping song.
Zick Zack (Zig Zag) – while Rammstein is known for being inspired by the headlines with the likes of “Mein Teil”, “Wiener Blut”, and “Donaukinder”, one of the things I also enjoy about Rammstein is that they take the piss on everything and are not scared to be comic or silly. Watch the super fun video. Without knowing the band, “Zick Zack” is musically heavy and has Till’s baritone voice growling as only it can do. The guitars are loud, crunchy and the bass and drums are head banging, but if one was to dissect they lyrics, this is where they would find the silly side of the band. Poking fun at the world of cosmetic and beauty. Some lyrics from the song, “Schöner, größer, härter, Straffer, glatter, stärker…Zick Zack, Zick Zack, schneid es ab, Zick Zack, Zick Zack, kurz und knapp (Cuter, bigger, harder, Firmer, smoother, stronger…Zigzag, zigzag, cut it off, Zigzag, zigzag, in a nutshell)”.
OK (Ohne Kondom – Without a Condom) – for me, this is signature Rammstein and reason 47 million I fell in love with the band. The song opens with a choir singing and then Christoph kicks you in the face with drums. He is relentless throughout the entire song. The song allows each band member to showcase their skills and instruments. The song is aggressive, loud, heavy, and a ball kicker.
Meine Tränen (My Tears) – be still my bass loving heart. Oliver’s bass in this song. To. Die. For. The bass in this song might be my favourite on the album. This song is signature symphonic Rammstein and by that, for me, I mean it’s ginormous in sound. There’s the band and Till’s voice but there is also a crescendo of symphonic strings and orchestra that pairs with the band that makes their already big sound even larger. EPIC.
Angst (Fear) – good, god all mighty, if I didn’t already love Christoph’s drum playing, this song would have solidified it. In my opinion, he’s an underrated drummer. The man is fucking magic behind the kit. Every single member came to the table and gave it all they got and it shows. Nothing in this song is weak. Till’s vocals bellow with anger and frustration. Richard and Paul’s guitars are teeming with a menacing hostility while Oliver’s bass provide a dark undertow and Flake’s keys snakes through the song with a sad haunting dying wave. I love, love, love this song. It’s the heaviest on the album and it’s a goddamn banger. This song is not for the weak earred.
Dicke Titten (Big Boobs) – Christoph once again shines yet he gives space to Richard and Paul to slap you in the face with their guitars. Just like its predecessor, this song is heavy, aggressive, and a kick to the teeth. Of course, I love it.
Lügen (Lies) – who would have thought Rammstein and auto tune would ever come together? Not this fan, but by god the gents make it work beautifully. Normally, auto tune stands out but it flows smoothly and beautifully in this song. Instead of standing out, the auto tune blends and adds a wonderful soft and broken quality to Till’s voice.
Adieu (Farewell) – this song is the perfect song to end the album and if the band announced tomorrow Zeit was indeed their last album, this song would be the perfect way to say goodbye to their fans. This song has everything – beautiful keys from Flake, heartbreaking bass and drums from Oliver and Christoph, soul crushing guitars from Richard and Paul, and the emotionally deep baritone of Till’s voice. It’s a wonderful song.
FAVOURITE TRACK: “Angst”
MUST LISTEN TRACK: the entire album
RATING OUT OF 5 ROCK HANDS: 5 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘
I love, love, love this album. As a Rammstein fan, it gives me everything I love about the band.
Photo Credit: Bryan Adams / Rammstein