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Hugely successful German industrial metallers with a taste for the theatrical

Taking German industrial metal into the mainstream is no mean feat. But through a mixture of sleekly insidious grooves and a literally explosive live show, Rammstein progressed from a uniquely German proposition to the country’s biggest rock band to international chart toppers.

While rumours circulated that their name was a misspelling of Ramstein, the site of an airshow disaster in 1988, the band have focused more on its literal translation: stone battering ram, an apt description for their music’s pummelling assault. Rammstein first got together in the early ’90s in East Germany, Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers (guitars), Oliver Riedel (bass), Christoph Schneider (drums), and Christian Lorenz (keys) forming behind the intimidating physicality of frontman Till Lindemann.

Their debut Herzeleid arrived in 1995 and the band’s popularity received a boost when Trent Reznor included two of its tracks on the soundtrack to David Lynch’s film Lost Highway. As word of mouth was spreading about their intense live shows, the band capitalised with their second album Sehnsucht in 1997. The single Du Hast became the Rammstein’s international calling card. In its wake, they toured with industrial giants KMFDM, found a slot on the Family Values tour alongside the likes of Korn and Limp Bizkit and earned themselves a Grammy nomination.

Sehnsucht was a tricky act to follow but Rammstein leaned into their success, going bigger and darker with 2001’s Mutter, which incorporated orchestral flourishes into their industrial metal sound. The stage shows and videos got bigger and more elaborate too, including the Snow White-themed Sonne, which got regular airplay on MTV.

The band branched out further with companion albums Reise, Reise and Rosenrot, released a year apart and featuring diverse stylistic deviances such as a collaboration with Sharleen Spiteri of Texas, a song in Russian and a Mariachi-meets-metal duet with Carmen Zapata. The band went quiet for a period after, not releasing another album until 2009’s Liebe Ist Für Alle Da. That album would become their biggest yet, topping album charts all over Europe.

It took ten years for Rammstein to release new material, but when they did, it was with their typical combination of panache and controversy. The single Deutschland ruffled a few feathers in their homeland but not enough to stop it from going to No.1. The album Untitled arrived later that year and became their highest charting release in the US and the UK, peaking at No.9 and No.3 respectively.

Rammstein announced UK tour dates in support of the new album but these were rescheduled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In March 2021, they confirmed that their shows in Coventry and Cardiff were being rescheduled to June 2022.