Volkerball: The People's Ball

Rammstein are known for their frequent pyrotechnic use.Image via Wikipedia
Fans of Rammstein rejoice. Not only has the German band’s Volkerball been released on DVD, it is also out as a double-live album CD. Cover your ears and walk away if you’re put off by very loud music, namely large crunchy riffs and even louder drums. Mix that with almost ghoulish sounding percussion, a dash of electronica and German lyrics (delivered by Till Lindemann, a very loud and very German lead singer), and that’s Rammstein — what do you expect from a band whose name literately means “battering stone”?

Volkerball is the closest Rammstein will ever come to a greatest hits album, simply because this band plays some of its best music live, and what better way to collect your greatest hits than on a live album? Tracks have been collected from their first album, Herzeleid all the way to Rosenrot, and each of them have been given the Rammstein live treatment.

Genre-wise Rammstein are essentially a hard rock/industrial band, but what very few people know is that they’re foremost a live band. They are at their best live, where they even change some of the song harmonics, giving the tunes fresh sounds. This remarkable live sound, first heard on 1999’s Live Aus Berlin, has been repackaged, this time with tracks most notably from the Mutter album. Songs like Sonne, Links 2 3 4, Feuer Frei!, and Ich Will, come off brilliantly. Engel and Los are good examples of how the band uses a ballad-esque tune and gives it the Rammstein treatment — complete with Lindemann’s gruelling vocals and those scary percussions provided by Christen Lorenz.

The downside to this double album is that the true essence of the live show is lost, as this is an audio only effort. Rammstein don’t just sound good live, they put up an amazing display of pyrotechnics and other acts on stage, something that even a DVD could not do complete justice to. For example Feuer Frei! takes on a whole new level when it is accompanied by streams of pyrotechnics by the band on stage. Another minus for the album are the newer tracks, like Amerika and Benzin, which are very weak and repetitive compared to the older songs.

Nonetheless, this album is sure to please industrial fans everywhere, and is a good buy if you’re interested in the genre or just Rammstein in general.
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