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ZEIT Mick Middles , July 14th, 2022 08:03

Rammstein return with an unexpected nod to the Sound of Music…

There is an unsettling roar at the back of my head. Rammstein. Their latest album, Zeit, has arrived in a flood of ferocious familiarity. This is not unwelcome. This new spread of songs – their eighth such collection – arrives with just a few gentle surprises. The band’s immense global following will not be lamenting the lack of aesthetic movement here. On the contrary, this is something to celebrate. In a rapidly changing world, perhaps we need a constant. That stated, there is no other band quite like them. For the most part, their fans have no idea what they are singing about, for the lyrical vision remains locked in Germanic delivery. Of course, this doesn’t matter at all. The Rammstein growl beckons the flock. It might even be seen warmly, as a place to hide. Behind the growl, all is locked firmly in place. A beautiful sense of precision, as if a hi-end German automobile. The irony is that those unaccustomed to this, would surely see it as loosely anarchic.Dangerous even. 

The opening song, ‘Armee Der Tricken (Army of the Dreary)’, sets an unexpected howl of contemporary angst. An unlikely dourness settles into the groove. Perhaps an abstract comment on everyday life for the past two years. One senses a world-weary forty minutes to follow. This is not to be. Not that the songs that crowd Zeit are free from a comedic edge that many might find sexist and absurd. ‘Dickie Titten’ for example, appears to be about little more than a man’s futile search for the comforts of a large-breasted woman. ‘Zick Zack’ appears to be about a man who loses his penis beneath rolls of belly fat. Perhaps it’s better not to know, to just allow this juggernaut to roll over you and watch it finally vanish in the dust. On ‘Zick Zack’ the tone lifts via an unexpected snap of synth heavy disco. It doesn’t exactly turn into Twenty Party Hits, but the hint of optimism is not unwelcome.  This continues to the closing ‘Adieu’ which offers a frisson of playfulness. Yes, it really does nod towards Sound of Music and backs this cleverly with an illuminating barrage of steely industrial noise. Of course, the album will only truly explode into life when it surges into the live arena. A lavish and unique operatic gothic party that promises, as ever, to be a scream.