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About Rammstein

Even in a ’90s alt-rock landscape already pounded into submission by the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, and Marilyn Manson, nothing could prepare ears for the sensory-overloading assault and sheer absurdity of Rammstein’s “Du hast.” Alluring and appalling in equal measure, the 1997 single introduced unsuspecting North American audiences to the German band’s singular mix of industrialized crunch, libidinous dance beats, and operatic grandeur. And in contrast to the PVC-clad throat-shredders of the day, Rammstein’s orgy of pyro and perversity was led by the incomparably suave Till Lindemann, who looked like a banking executive cruising an S&M dungeon and sang in a louche delivery that suggested Serge Gainsbourg stage-diving into a mosh pit. By that point, Rammstein were already a Top 10 phenomenon in Germany, where their 1995 debut, Herzeleid, thrust them to the forefront of the Neue Deutsche Härte (New German Hardness) movement of domestic acts who took influence from both metal and techno. But even after their stateside breakthrough, Rammstein refused to make themselves more palatable and, with few exceptions, remained committed to issuing their crude sociopolitical critiques in their native tongue. Over the course of the 2000s, their methods turned ever more provocative, whether devoting an entire album (2004’s Reise, Reise) to re-enacting the infamous Japan Airlines crash of 1985, or promoting the 2009 single “PUSSY” with a hardcore pornographic video uploaded to X-rated sites. Rammstein fell silent for much of the 2010s, but a band this audacious wouldn’t be content with a mere comeback single: With 2019’s chart-topping electro-metal chant “DEUTSCHLAND,” they practically gifted their home country a new national anthem.

Berlin, Germany
January 1994
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