At last we have KK's Priest's second and long awaited album.
Album Review: Rammstein – Sehnsucht (Anniversary Edition)
Sehnsucht (Desire or Longing) is the second studio album by the German band Rammstein.
It was released on August 22nd, 1997, through Motor Music in Europe and Slash Records in the United States. The album reached No. 1 on the Austrian and German charts. This re-release; the Anniversary Edition, was released today, June 9th, 2023. This new version is remastered in HD sound, and it is also available as vinyl and cassette. It contains the same original 11 songs, plus another version of Spiel mit mir (2023 Mix).
With this album, the band achieved international success. They mix metal and rock with industrial elements like techno and electronic with suggestive and controversial lyrics. This genre is called Neue Deutsche Härte (New German Hardness), a German and Austrian rock subgenre, that was named because of Rammstein. On stage, they have old industry settings, and what has made them famous is lots of pyrotechnics and fireworks, leaving Kiss reduced to their minimum expression.
Throughout the album, Till Lindemann (vocalist), sounds harsh and aggressive, accompanied by a sensation of threat and dark ambiance created by Christian "Flake" Lorenz’s keyboards and synths. Topped with the distorted guitars of Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers, heavy bass by Oliver Riedel, and the powerful drums of Christoph Schneider.
On the album, each member of the band has surgical instruments on their faces, that suggest BDSM imagery and they have painful facial expressions. In the classic edition, it’s Schneider on the cover, but in the booklet it’s the rest of the band. Till in particular resembles Blackout’s album cover by Scorpions, since it was the same photographer (Gottfried Helnwein that took the photos.
The album starts with the song that gives its name, 'Sehnsucht;' a song about desire and lust, a love song, in a very Rammstein way. Very heavy with their characteristic sound and Till's low voice. It sets the tone for the rest of the album; an absolute banger.
Then, it’s the turn of 'Engel' (Angel), my favorite Rammstein song and one of their most well known tracks. It begins with that unforgettable whistling, also the female voice is the German singer Christiane "Bobo" Herbold, which provokes a great contrast with Till's harsh voice.
The song is about living life to the fullest. Not wanting to be an angel after death.
The video shows the band in a strip club and is a clear reference to the movie From Dusk Til Dawn by Robert Rodriguez. They imitate the iconic scene of Salma Hayek dancing with a snake with a dancer that then involves Flake (the keyboard player) in her performance. While two kids hang from the ceiling of a cage, the little girl lip-syncs to Bobo’s voice.
Other songs like 'Tier' (Animal or Beast) and 'Spiel mit mir' (Play with Me), both deal with sexual abuse and incest, the first with heavy music and the second one with a more sinister atmosphere created by keyboards and synth.
'Bestrafe mich' (Punish Me), is about BDSM, sexual lyrics, with slower and darker music.
'Du hast' (You Have), is their most famous song. Everybody knows this song. It is about not wanting to get married. It’s a pun of words because Du hast sounds similar to Du hasst (you hate me), and on the lyrics appear phrases of wedding vows regarding loyalty and to which they respond with an energetic “Nein!” (No).
The video resembles the movie Reservoir Dogs by Quentin Tarantino where Schneider is the protagonist. He is with a woman in a car and he’s going to reunite with some questionable guys that are expecting him. The guys were the rest of the band wearing masks, they removed them to show him that they were his friends. They drink and return to where the woman was, making the car explode with the woman; they leave the scene as a band, later.
'Bück dich' (Bend Over), is one of their most controversial songs. Especially when they played it live because it includes a performance in which Till simulates domination and sodomy towards Flake, which has led to both of them being arrested in the USA, during a show.
The tone of the album changes dramatically with 'Klavier' (Piano), a beautiful, melancholic ballad about a romantic obsession. Till sings here with passion and emotion in his voice. 'Alter Mann' (Old Man), is a heavy song where Till gives a strong performance with lyrics about growing older and becoming wiser. Another banger song is 'Eifersucht' (Jealousy), which is self-explanatory.
The album concludes with 'Küss mich (Fellfrosch)' (Kiss me (Fur frog), a potent and aggressive track about desire and lust. And then, in this new edition, they add the song 'Spiel mit mir' (2023 Mix) (Play with me).
An Anniversary Edition of a classic album, that every Rammstein and industrial fan must know and love because of its innovative sound and polemic lyrics which shows the darker side of the human condition but carried poetically.
Release Date: June 9th 2023
Released By: Island Records
FFO: Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Eisbrecher
4) Bestrafe Mich
5) Du Hast
6) Bück Dich
7) Spiel mit mir
9) Alter Mann
11) Küss mich (Fellfrosch)
12) Spiel mit mir (2023 Mix)