Rammstein were formed in 1993 by an assembly of factory-weary proletarians raised in East Germany. They took their name (adding an "m") from the location of a German tragedy where 80 people were injured and killed as the result of a crash during an American Air Force air show. (The literal translation of "Ram Stein" is a battering ram made of stone.) Word of Rammstein's horror/romanticist blend of theater and music spread quickly; one-time Olympic swimmer Till Lindemann would sometimes sing entire songs engulfed in flame from head to toe. The band's first album, HERZELEID, built on the foundation created by the band's live reputation. Scaling the German charts, and remaining there until the release of the second Rammstein LP some two years later, the album also introduced the band to the world outside of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. As Rammstein's second album, SEHNSUCHT, was released, the band was headlining throughout Europe to crowds of 10,000 to 30,000 people. SEHNSUCHT entered the German charts at number one immediately upon its release and came very close to doing the same in Austria and Switzerland. Within weeks, entries on other countries' charts had SEHNSUCHT rubbing elbows with the Prodigy, Radiohead, and the Rolling Stones on Billboard's cumulative Eurochart.
From there the fever spread, transcending any perceived language barrier. MUTTER followed in 2001, hitting number one in Germany and Austria, and charting well around the wold. Three years later, REISE, REISE did just as well on the charts, and the band released a follow-up one year later, ROSENROT, which was initially conceived as a companion album. The live collection VÖLKERBALL followed in 2006. LIEBE IST FÜR ALLE DA appeared in 2009 to positive reviews; it reached number one on the charts across Europe. A limited edition of the album was packed in a metal suitcase that also housed six sex toys, one for each member of the band. ~ Ed Nimmervoll