Rammstein’s Zeit: What You Need to Know
Formed in Berlin in 1994, Rammstein’s rise to prominence during their early years was as much a result of their legendarily raucous live shows as their sharp brand of Neue Deutsche Härte metal. Their Family Values tour, in particular, lives on in infamy thanks to the onstage antics of frontman Til Lindemann, whose theatrical use of a large prosthetic phallus landed him in jail on more than one occasion during the tour’s American leg.
Always loud, often outspoken and a consistently political voice among the landscape of Germany’s expansive metal scene, Rammstein have carved out a unique groove for themselves over the course of their three-decade career. They’ve not always been the most prolific among their peers, delivering a modest seven albums since their 1995 debut Herzelied - including a decade-long layoff between 2009’s Liebe ist für alle da and their most recent, Untitled album, which followed in 2019 at the end of a long hiatus.
Thankfully though, the enforced downtime of the pandemic has led to some more spontaneous recordings and this week Rammstein return once again with their eighth full-length offering, Zeit, which lands on the shelves in our stores on Friday (April 2019).
Here’s everything you need to know…
A little background…
The band began writing new material when the first lockdown in the native Germany forced the postponement of a planned tour, with the band instead gathering material and leaving open the possibility that it could become a new album. By September 2020, the band had relocated to France to begin recordings, with keyboardist Christian Lorenz noting that the enforced downtime had given them “more time to think of new things and less distraction"
By February 2021 the recordings were finished and in October last year the band premiered one of its tracks via the unusual medium of astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who was sent the track to play while he was onboard the International Space Station. Oddly enough, that isn’t even the first time something like this has happened to Pesquet; he was also given the honour of premiering Coldplay’s recent hit ‘Higher Power’ while floating around the Earth last year. What a life…
Who’s producing it?
Olsen Involtini, who worked on the band’s 2019 album, returns to man the controls on Zeit, co-producing alongside Rammstein themselves.
Any special guests?
Nope. Neither Rammstein or the metal genre in general have ever really been big on guest features so it’s no real surprise to see that it’s just the band themselves here.
What does it sound like?
Rammstein have often blended electronic elements with their powerful guitar riffs and driving rhythms, more so in recent years, and that continues here in spades, the various textures on offer calling to mind the likes of Nine Inch Nails, at one end of the scale, and Gary Numan at the other.
The driving ‘Zick Zack’ is among the highlights, as is the verging-on-power-ballad title track, which offers one of Zeit’s more anthemic numbers. It wouldn’t be a Rammstein album without a little vulgarity, though, which is amply catered for on the not-too-subtly titled ‘Dicke Titten’, which we’ll leave the non-German speakers among you to translate for yourselves (although maybe don’t Google it in the office…)
Does it deliver?
What’s not to like? You know what to expect from Rammstein by now and its delivered in spades here, which is likely to please the fans who waited so long between their last two albums. It’s good to have them back in all their mad glory so soon.
Zeit is available in hmv stores now - you can aslo find it here in our online store.