By Nick Hughes
In the metal world, there are bands that release albums every few years and do well for themselves. There are also bands that started off strong with releases but then started to slow down. Tool is a great example of a band that has not released new content for quite some time but still have a massive fan base. Another such band, while not as sparing in their album releases, has only come out with one album in the past decade. Rammstein is a German industrial metal band that released their last album in 2009.
Ten years later, Rammstein released a masterpiece. To hype up their upcoming album, Rammstein released a video for the song, “Deutschland.” The video takes a hard look at Germany and its history and future. This includes the horrors committed by the Third Reich in World War II. Issues with this song predate the release of the actual song. But, as a teaser to the song the band members are seen wearing clothing reminiscent of Jewish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.
As a usage of shock, it is effective, but heavily misguided. The band released the song hours later, but the damage of the teaser was already done. Rammstein is a band that is historically controversial, but this took it too far for my comfort. I love Rammstein, but the teaser has a bad taste. That being attached to the music video.
The song itself is fantastic and what I come to expect from a band like Rammstein. The video also features gore and violence, which is another frequent feature for Rammstein. “Deutschland” is looking at more than Germany’s past. It is looking towards the future of the country. Uncomfortable at times, the video does a great job of making the watcher think critically about how they perceive the German history that Rammstein lays out.
I understand that the band wanted to shock to get fans to watch the newly released video, but it is a trivialization of the Holocaust. I agree that we need to look at our history and learn from it, but the teaser was unwise in the very least.