on music by: Rammstein
an emily blunt review
It Meine Lieben...
In 'Mein Herz Brent' (My Heart Burnt) the popular, overtly theatrical, rockmetalbangthwak
style Germany-based group Rammstein's
lyrics and music are "reworked" - and oh so not in a genre you
would think of... something this musically unique and immediately captivating
hasn't been thrown on my desk in eons (Elfman & Brion soundtracks aside-natch).
Herz Brent' is traditional song cycle, like the old masters Brahms or Schubert
use to supply. But this wildly original reworking is a tad less "traditional"
in its content. 'Mein' has these flamboyant otherworldly 'Lord of the Rings'-y
apocalyptic under and overtones, complete with a raspy voice that sounds like
Gollum yelling German words with the same Smeagol slithering grapsy whisper-yell
to crescendoing notes. And yet, dare I say, 'Mein' is still reminiscent
of the masters' concert halls circa 1810 where ladies and gents gathered by horse
and carriage for an evening of trenscending music and pompanstance.
Composer Torten Rasch must be a crazy man. Why? He took basically heavy
metal scream lyrics and created a timeless masterpiece. It's an opera. Not like
'Tommy' but more like the London Symphony did with Pink Floyd's music and lyrics
a few years back - only better.
Rasch used an orchestra that prides itself on contemporary music with the traditional
accompaniments, The Dresden Orchestra. But along with the always forward-thinking
Dresden gaggle of talents, Rasch gathered a few other semi-radical musical names
of note to help him place his notes into the world; René Pape the dynamic
bass soloist (that's Operatic soloist not John Entwistle bass soloist), Katharina
Thalbach the multi-medium performer, conductor John Carewe (a bigwig in Europe's
orchestra circles) and sound engineer extraordinaire Joel Iwataki to feed the
notes properly through the speakers, each note melts or collides into our ears
and minds. Heck there's even a duduk
( played by Araik Bakhtikyan) to make sure an Armenian "theme" they've
borrowed is true in form and presence.
'Mein Herz Brent' is an incredible show of musical bravado. The ensemble
of talent has sculpted a masterpiece of the auditory kind. Each time you listen
a different world pops up in your mind. Its dusty old theater has its brass polished
and the flood lights replaced. You can almost smell the wood's fresh coat of golden
paint as the music begins to draw another world for you...if you let it.
heed though fair readers; if you're not into classic orchestrations - no matter
how much you think you love Rammstein - this may not be for you. Though the works
share lyrical bloodline, the music of the two is cellos vs. fiddles different.
It Meine Lieben...