German popular music is well-represented on Spotify: from Krautrock to Kraftwerk, Scorpions to Paul van Dyk, there’s plenty of teutonic treats to choose from. But there’s one German band who are massive around the world and yet remain conspicuously absent from Spotify’s stream in most areas: Ja, meine herren und damen: das ist Rammstein!
I’ve seen Rammstein twice in concert now. Their shows are absolutely spectacular and really need to be experienced to be believed. The pyrotechnics alone are worth the price of entry, and the band themselves display a showmanship that’s rare in this age of plastic pop pretenders.
Rammstein’s musical blend of electro-industrial, heavy rock and metal isn’t unique however. The genre dubbed Neue Deutsche Härte boasts a range of bands, many of whom are there for the listening on Spotify. Here’s a selection – meine auswahl der besten!
This is as close to a Rammstein album as you’ll get on Spotify: Emigrate is the side-project of Rammstein member Richard Kruspe. I don’t think it’s as good as some of the other bands below, and with vocals in English and a slighly more radio-friendly edge it’s clear why this is a side-project. Nevertheless, there are moments in here that are instantly recognizable as Rammstein.
Megaherz have been going for a while now, seeing various styles and several lead singers come and go. They’re now firmly in the Neue Deutsche Härte camp, so Rammstein fans should definitely check them out. Spotify has two Megaherz albums, including last year’s remix album Loblieder. Both demonstrate their newer, Rammstein-like sound. Loblieder features some pounding remixes for a bunch of my fave electro-industrial acts, including Funker Vogt, Rotersand and Suicide Commando.
Formed by ex-Megaherz members, with lots of heavy guitars, gutteral German vocals, and a touch of synth Eisbrecher are another great alternative to Rammstein. Two of the four Eisbrecher albums are currently on Spotify. I don’t know this band so well so can’t recommend which album to try. But that’s the beauty of Spotify streaming: if you don’t like one, just try another!
Hanzel und Gretyl
Hanzel und Gretyl are a great example of how hardcore Germanic electro-metal can also have a healthy sense of fun. Described by the band as a “futuristic Wagnerian rock opera,” the bonkers Über Alles album recently returned to Spotify, bringing with it such wonderfully titled songs as “Transplutonium Annihilation” and “SS Deathstar Supergalactik.” This is full-on Rammstein-infused metalmania: hören sie es jetzt!
Perhaps the first true Neue Deutsche Härte band, Wolfsburg’s OOMPH! have been on serveral different record labels over the years but remain the same core trio as when they started in 1989. Five of their ten albums are on Spotify, including Truth or Dare – a compilation of some of their German songs re-recorded in English.
Finally, one of my all-time favorite bands. KMFDM were making Rammstein-like music when Till Lindemann was still in school lederhosen. These guys invented the fusion of heavy guitar riffs with electronics and brought industrial music to the masses. Mixing satire, social commentary, self-deprecation (KMFDM Sucks!) and instantly recognizable album artwork, above all I think KMFDM make some of the best electro-industrial music around. Long live the ultra-heavy beat!