The Laibach Influence
I first came across Rammstein by their song Du hast, which featured on the Matrix soundtrack. Previously I had heard about them and their strong similarity to Laibach, however there was quite a number of bands over the years that had been described as 'just like Laibach' and some actually did so along with those that stretched the imagination considerably to see any comparison. So there was no rush to check them out. Eventually a good while later, I heard Du hast and instantly recognised a fairly strong Laibach sound within, certainly the song would have a lot of appeal to those who particularly liked the Jesus Christ Superstars album. Earlier this year I heard some more material and was informed that the Laibach influence was a good bit deeper than just having a similar sound. The first thing noticeable when looking into this band is their use of the Laibach cross, not least fitting within their name.The Albums
Their sound is commercial Industrial metal, it's loud and powerful, the vocals are quite often reminiscent of Milan Fras therefore led some to see a bit of Laibach in Rammstein. The irony was pointed out that Rammstein in attempting to be Germanic were accused of copying Laibach. Although Rammstein have admitted to a Slovene magazine the large influence of Laibach, to their sound, other influences can be heard such as Kraftwerk, Einstruzende Neubauten and even Depeche Mode however the overall bombastic nature of the sound tends to highlight the Laibach elements. The band wanted to avoid the typical American rock/metal style that affects many European bands. Their image, presentation and artwork bear very little resemblance to Laibach; in the promotional photos the band often looks like a cross between Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode and on stage they're far more like the American rock stars with heavy use of fireworks. The artwork is very much the opposite, where Laibach's style for album covers has been pomp totalitarian theirs are often rather macabre and degenerative. A significant common ground that Rammstein shares with Laibach is the Nazi accusations. A band from Germany with a hard Teutonic sound, singing mainly in German and with plenty of unashamedly Germanic attributes. Inevitably there was going to be those who seek out every opportunity to indulge in verbal vandalism in quest of self-righteousness; and they're not going to wait for a direct link, any contradictory factors are conveniently ignored. However the band has brushed them aside and have gone on to become one of the biggest rock bands of Europe.
The band formed in 1994, with six members from East Germany releasing their first single and album Herzeleid the following year. They had hoped to get David Lynch to produced their video and had sent a copy of their album 'Herzeleid'; Lynch was too busy however he decided to use two tracks 'Rammstein' and 'Heirate Mich' for the soundtrack for his new film 'Lost Highway' and they were subsequently introduced to America. The second album Sehnsucht released in 1997 fuelled the continued growth in popularity. They along with the likes of Marilyn Manson were caught up in the row that followed the Colombine High School Massacre when it was revealed that the two teenage killers were followers of their music. This year Rammstein released their highly rated new album 'Mutter'.