It’s an exciting time for fans of German industrial metal behemoth Rammstein.
The band released a brand new single, “DEUTSCHLAND” on Thursday (March 28th), ahead of a big new release cycle by the band. The single is the opening track from a new 11-song album, releasing May 17th. The new self-titled album will be Rammstein’s first studio album since 2009’s LIEBE IST FÜR ALLE DA and will be accompanied by 5 music videos.
The release is accompanied by a remix by lead guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe. Probably more prominent, however, is the nearly ten minute long cinematic music video, with a credits sequence accompanied by a piano rendition of the band’s 2001 single Sonne. The video contains strong political, historic and religious themes, set across a number of periods in Germany’s history, from Roman invasion to World War Two and the present day. Notably, Ruby Commey, a black German actress, is cast as Germania, the personification of Germany, a nation with a recent history that is dominated by issues of racial identity.
The chaotic video follows the song’s lyrical themes as a love/hate ballad to Germany as a nation. There is clearly a sense of love for the band’s native country, but entangled with a sense of shame and dislike – this is neatly summarised in the chorus: “Deutschland, mein Herz in Flammen / Will dich lieben und verdammen” (Germany, my heart in flames / I want to love you and to damn you).
There are several references to previous Rammstein songs throughout the lyrics – intentional or otherwise. The opening line, “Du (du hast, du hast, du hast, du hast)”, mirrors the band’s biggest hit “Du hast”. The backing vocal echoes in the line “Dein Atem kalt (so kalt, so kalt, so kalt, so kalt)” recalls the break section in “KEINE LUST”, and “Das Herz in Flammen (so heiß, so heiß, so heiß, so heiß)” is reminiscent of the song “Mein Herz brennt”.
Sonically, the song is very similar to Rammstein’s previous work. Instrumental sounds are almost unchanged from the established, signature Rammstein format, particularly the guitar and drum sounds which have become instantly recognisable for any fan. The keyboard sounds are broadly similar to previous examples, but the song makes particularly prominent use of backing vocals. It’s possible that the band have made the conscious decision to release the single which sounds most like existing fan favourites first, and consequently they may follow up with songs which are slightly more of a departure or development of the sound.