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[Off The Record]
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In the aftermath of their í98 smash " Du Hast, " German new-metal favorites Rammstein came under fire for their alleged popularity with both the Columbine killers and young fascists in their homeland. A little controversy never hurt a rising metal band, but the group proclaimed their innocence throughout and adamantly denounced both parties. On " Links 2 3 4, " the first single from their third disc, they take things one step farther by pledging allegiance to the left ( " links " ) over their signature militaristic beat. As on their breakthrough, Sehnsucht ( " Yearning " ), the six-piece band follow in Ministryís footsteps by favoring live drums and Wall-sized guitars over synthesized industrial beats. Frontman Till Lindemann still sings in his native tongue, spitting out consonants with a cartoonish melodrama that also carries over to the music. On the opening " Mein Herz brennt " ( " My Heart Burns " ), the group augment their Wagnerian stomp with a full orchestra and still come closer to the Puff Daddy cover of Led Zeppelinís " Kashmir " than to the original. Their bombast is more refined on the title track, which borrows its mournful lead-guitar hook from vintage Metallica. Even for an industrial band, Rammstein are one-dimensional, but thatís not to say they donít have their cold, dry moves down pat.


Issue Date: April 5 - 11, 2001

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