Rammstein - Völkerball [CD/DVD]
Record Label: Universal Music Group
Release Date: November 17, 2006 (Europe), September 18, 2007 (U.S.)
Live albums tend to fall into two categories: a blatant cash-in for a successful band to appease their fan base or a cash-in for a successful band to appease their fan base that shows the majesty of the live show. In the case of Rammstein's second live album, Völkerball, the record is firmly in the second category in that Rammstein's live show is something that must be put onto a visual form. The show and subsequent live disc do a solid job of bottling the band's pure emotion as well as showing off their frightening look, which matches the terror of songs like "Du Riescht So Gut" (in English, "You Smell So Good").
Beginning formally with "Reise, Reise," Völkerball is a guttural experience, and the thrash of dense and dark chords passes through the first third of the album and through hallmark Rammstein tracks like "Feuer Frei." The record naturally dips in aggression and amps up on pure passion on tracks like "Mein Teil" and "Morgenstern," but they still hold interest due to the pure pyro exploding madness of the technical show.
Still, the record could do with a few more touches on the vocals of Till Lindemann. While he shows his amazing skills as a vocalist through the mixes in tone throughout the CD (especially his pure singing on "Keine Lust" versus his shout-laden nature on "Du Riescht" and "Mein Teil"), some bits like the famed shouting of "benzin" on the song of the same name is done with too much drone. The shout is an example, because the high points of many of Rammstein's songs are the emphasis of certain phrases, much like the "Du / Du hast / Du hast mich" in "Du Hast." In the case of "Benzin," the song single handedly relies on the power of the central phrase, which isn't felt nearly as much on this recording.
Also, the record suffers from the typical live record problem of not holding up after a few listens due to the live performances not being radically different from the original versions and the visual imagery of the band's bombast and terrifying look only appealing for so long. But the record does at least succeed in the purpose of showcasing a band in the live setting in a way that makes Rammstein look amazing to their fans. Völkerball will likely not make new fans to Rammstein, but it at least serves as a great postcard to their fans and adorers.
'Du Reichst So Gut,' in German, means, 'You Smell so Good'.
My view is slightly biased, (I'm a new-found Rammstein Fanatic, because I watched Volkerball and Live aus Berlin ... in one day,) but, Till Lindemann's use of his vocals work really well for the music Rammstein makes. And Mein Teil is a very violent, hot, psychotic song. The energy naturally calms when the slower songs are sung, but it's a reserved energy, building up for Ich Will.
I love Rammstein, maybe I shouldn't be replying to your post, it was a fair review.
I laughed when I saw this album had been reviewed. I bet 90% of ap.net members have never heard rammstein. Ever since I saw their music video for Mutter when I was 15 I've been captivated though. Hopefully they'll come back to the States sometime soon and I'll get to see what looks like an awesome live show.