ammstein (apparently German for "Ramming Stone"; unknown if there is any relation to the Ramstein) is a rare example of a non-English speaking band to make it big outside of their homeland. With the membership of Till Lindemann (vocals), Paul Landers (lead guitar), Richard Kruspe-Bernstein (rhythm guitar), Oliver Riedel (bass), Flake Lorenz (keyboards) and Christoph Schneider (drums) they launched their debut, Herzeleid, in 1995 securing themselves with the major subsidiary 'Polygram'. Although the first release went relatively unnoticed internationally, their second effort, Sehnsucht (1997), got them worldwide acclaim and tours with fellow German acts including KMFDM. The English translated video version of Du Hast (German for "You Hate") got heavy rotation on MTV. Other tracks like, Seinsucht and Engel, got acclaim as well. What Rammstein sold was solid, heavy duty rhythmic thrash metal with perfect timing precision and controversial lyrics; not a note was wasted. Their German engineered music was note-for-note perfect and got them worldwide acclaim. Live Aus Berlin (1999), the recording of their live show in Berlin from the previous tour, followed. Their third studio effort, Mutter (2001), although competent, did not receive the notoriety of their sophomore effort, likewise for their 2004 effort, Reise, Reise. Rosenrot (2005) followed.
From the get-go Rammstein achieved fame for their over-the-top stage show, featuring extensive use of pyrotechnics fans have coined the motto, "Other bands play, Rammstein burns!" to (a quip at Manowar's "Kings of Metal" lyric, "...other bands play, Manowar kills"). Following an accident at the 27 September 1996 performance in Berlin where some burning decorative parts fell, the band started using professionals to handle the pyrotechnics. Lindemann would later become a qualified licensed pyrotechnic technician; he often now spends entire songs engulfed head-to-toe in flames. He has suffered multiple burns on his ears, head and arms, as a result however.
The band took a break in 2006 for a year. The recording process for the follow-up reportedly took two years. In July 2009, the title track of that new album, Liebe ist für alle da was leaked onto the internet, along with promotional materials. This led 'Universal Music' (owners of 'Polygram') to take action against certain fan sites. The resulting 11 track album, Liebe ist für alle da would arrive in 2009.
On 5 November 2009, that sixth studio album, Liebe ist für alle da, was placed on the "Index of the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien or BPjM" (Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons), making it illegal in Germany to make the album accessible to minors or display it where it can be seen by people underage, effectively banning it from stores. According to the official statement of the BPjM, the depiction of lead guitarist Richard Kruspe holding a woman wearing only a mask over his knee and lifting his hand to strike her back side has given cause for offense, as well as the lyrics to the Ich tu dir weh track itself, which supposedly assist to spread "dangerous" BDSM techniques. Furthermore, the advisory board has taken into consideration the alleged promotion of unprotected sexual intercourse in the lyrics to the track Pussy.
In 2010, the band settled out of court against Apocalyptica's former record label 'Sony Music Entertainment GmbH' as the successor of the by now defunct affiliated label 'Gun Records' for using Rammstein's logo in marketing Apocalyptica's 2007 album Worlds Collide, which featured a duet with singer Lindemann. The legal action apparently did no harm to the relationship between the bands, since Apocalyptica were seen on stage with Rammstein during the song Mein Herz brennt in February 2012 at Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland.
Rammstein released the greatest hits album, Made in Germany 1995-2011 in 2011. Among its listing was two previously unreleased track, Mein Land which was released as a single a month earlier, as well as Vergiss uns nicht, that was released at a later date.
Rammstein, minus Lindemann, performed The Beautiful People with Marilyn Manson at the Echo Awards on 22 March 2012.
On 22 November 2012, Rammstein announced via Facebook that they would release a video collection featuring all music videos entitled Videos 1995-2012. Untitled (2019) followed.
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Rammstein playing "Engel" in Madison Square Garden (11 December 2010).
Photo by: KinkESizemore
CC BY-SA 3.0
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