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CD Review: Rammstein

Liebe Ist Für Alle Da (Universal/Vagrant)

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Liebe Ist Für Alle Da, the latest album by German theatrical music troupe Rammstein, proves the fires of post-industrial shock-rock are still burning strong. The operatic "Rammlied" opens the album in epic fashion with a chorus that undoubtedly alludes to the first song on the band's debut album Herzeleid 14 years ago. Given the eclectic nature of their recent releases, Rammstein's current mélange of ballads, heavy hitters, masculine swaggers and even punk should come as no surprise. This time they include only two burners ("Waidmanns Heil" and the title track) and opt for yet another throwaway pop anthem ("Pussy").

More interesting is their abandonment of trademark grandiose ballads in favor of more intimate arrangements on "Weiner Blut" and "Roter Sand." Singer Till Lindemann delivers his best performance, evoking sorrow, joy and innumerable shades in between in a language alien to the majority of listeners. Paired with the band's fiery stage productions and characteristic dark humor, this album posits Rammstein as the bastard heirs to the existential operetta. As they age, Rammstein continue to use the rock album as a conceptual medium — something lost on the ADHD Rital-ed twits of the iPhone age. — Nick DeMarino

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