Album Information
Album: Herzeleid
Artist: Rammstein
Original Release: September 24, 1995
Rerelease: November 24, 1998
Record Label: BMG/UFA
Tracks: Eleven
Running Time: Forty-nine minutes, forty-seven seconds
Amazon.com Average Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Explicit (German) lyrics

This album, Rammstein's first studio release, is what I consider to be Rammstein's defining work. Nine out of the eleven tracks (the songs Seemann and Rammstein being the exception) are fast-paced and, of course, extremely headbangable. Many people listen to Rammstein for a specific reason, to expel energy. This album, moreso than Sehnsucht or Mutter, caters to that audience. The musical genre is that of industrial, which is a unique mix of techno and metal. I won't be discussing the actual instrumental content of most of the songs, because frankly, there isn't much variation. Take a heavy bass or drum beat, add lyrics at appropriate times, and mix in some whacky techno effects.

Two versions of this album were released. The first release's album cover featured the shirtless, muscular band standing in front of a large, orange flower. Two years later, the album was rereleased with different art. This release features the bandmembers' heads on an off-white background. It has been speculated that the original art gave off too much of a Nazi feel to it. Other than the album art, not much (if anything) has changed between the two releases.


Track Information
  1. Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen? {Do You Want to See the Bed in Flames?} (5:21)
    Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen?, like most Rammstein songs, is about sex. The song, even in the title, equates sex with destruction. That theme can also be seen in the following lyric, "Sex ist ein Schlacht / Liebe ist Krieg" {"Sex is a battle / Love is war"}
  2. Der Meister {The Master} (4:14)
    This song talks about the Apocalypse, Judgment Day, Ragnarok, etc. The Master is described as being quite vengeful and merciless. The song's speaker, presumably the band Rammstein, describes himself as the messenger of Der Meister.
  3. Weißes Fleisch {White Flesh} (3:40)
    Weißes Fleisch (Anglicanized as Weisses Fleisch) describes a rape. It's not done in a graphic manner, but the meaning is clear. The song's speaker has a twisted obsession with a woman's "white flesh." One lyric, "Your white flesh becomes my execution platform" further strengthens the rape theory, as the speaker will be severely punished for his deeds.
  4. Asche Zu Asche {Ashes to Ashes} (3:55)
    Asche Zu Asche heavily and blatantly alludes to Jesus. However, a slightly different approach is taken. The lyric, "I will return / in ten days / as your shadow / and I will hunt you down," leads the audience to wonder how the world would be different if Jesus were a vengeful, merciless person. One bandmember states, "I disapprove of religions which are made into rigid institutions" which helps to clarify the song's meaning.
  5. Seemann {Seaman} (4:47)
    Seemann, as best I can tell, is a ballad. I think the speaker is offering to take his love interest anywhere that boats can go. I'm sure that, in German, it has a deeper meaning. At the end it seems that the speaker failed in getting his love reciprocated.
  6. Du Riechst So Gut {You Smell So Good} (4:53)
    Read my description of Weißes Fleisch above and replace all instances of "white flesh" with "appealing scent." Quite an interesting overlying theme this band is building up. Rape, yet again, is implied in the lyric, "Stop screaming and don't resist."
  7. Das Alte Leid {The Old Sorrow} (5:48)
    This song, I believe, describes the futility of life. The song starts out with a quick description of conception and birth, passes through "Everyone knows what remains at the end", and at the end, the speaker clearly states, "Ich will ficken.". Interpretation is an exercise left to the reader.
  8. Heirate Mich {Marry Me} (4:48)
    Heirate Mich is probably the strangest song, lyrically, on the album. What I can make of it is that the speaker's wife died a year ago, but that hasn't stopped his practice of making love to her. He sleeps by her grave at night and he goes "digging every night / to see what still remains / of the face that smiled for me." There's an unusual pronoun shift in the song, and that leads me to belief that it perhaps wasn't the speaker's wife, but that the speaker and the deceased had an extramarital relationship.
  9. Herzeleid {Heartache} (3:28)
    This song has very few lyrics. It verbosely states, "carpe diem," with respect to love. The song tells lovers to not cause eachother grief, because life is short. At the very end though, the song throws a curveball. It tells the lovers to save eachother from togetherness. According to the song, love is ultimately what causes heartache in the first place.
  10. Laichzeit {Spawning Time} (4:26)
    Laichzeit, like Heirate Mich, is a very peculiar song lyrically. It describes a man's desire to have sex. It characterizes this desire as a fish. The man "loves" his mother, his sister, and even his dog. After it all, the mother, the sister, and the dog abandon the man.
  11. Rammstein {Rammstein} (4:27)
    This song is clearly about the catastrophe that occured at the Ramstein Air Force Base. Basically, there was an airshow for the public, but things went wrong and a massive amount of people died or got severely injured. From what I understand, this is a sensitive topic for most Germans. One of the lyrics, "ein Kind stirbt / Rammstein / die Sonne scheint" {"A child is dying / Rammstein / The sun is shining"}, could possibly be interpreted as humans are quite insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Rammstein   --->


Sources:
http://www.rammstein.com/
http://www.herzeleid.com/ - The source of all the translations
http://www.amazon.com/

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