If the rock band Rammstein announces a new music video at short notice, you should get a bottle of smelling salts or valerian drops from the cupboard with the medicines, you should be prepared for anything. In the past, Rammstein have dealt with cannibalism, incest or sadomasochism, dressed in fat suits for video productions, filmed in brothels with porn actresses, played concentration camp prisoners and RAF terrorists on a crash course. really lasting about German history. And then on Thursday afternoon “Zeit” will be released, the first new clip after three years of art breaks, pandemic and paper shortage, and after another six breathless minutes, you have to take a deep breath and say: It is in the horrible, marked by war and dilemmas of iron attitude March 2022 only this: the musical contribution of the hour.
The piece cannot be a reaction to events, the visible production effort is too immense, the campaign attached to the song too complex. “Zeit” is the title track from a new Rammstein album, which was also revealed on Thursday and announced for late April. The director of the video, which, as is often the case with this band, has the combined nutritional value of at least three Netflix series, four Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck movies and two Ridley Scott historical dramas, is Robert Gwisdek. , from Berlin, who was previously known for various achievements as an actor, musician and author, but not yet as such.
It’s never that easy with Rammstein, there’s always a path that leads deeper
The masterful short film begins underwater, a strange vine rising into the light, coiling like a rope or umbilical cord around the neck of one of six Rammstein members floating in the deep ocean. So everything runs backwards, then forwards and backwards and in circles. You can see the prehistory where the men run away in the storm with the lifeboat. In which they go into battle as partisans with archaic shotguns, morphing back into their own childish alter egos, playing stick warfare in the woods. They are primary scenarios of human violence, of a life that is certainly a struggle for survival, but that is always led in community.
In the video, the flow of events is repeatedly stopped by a ghostly presence in a black cloak, suddenly appearing like the monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001.” Death, one might think, but it’s not that easy either, as with Rammstein, it’s often not as easy as it sounds: porn illustrated violence, fat suits illustrated loneliness and depression (“I don’t feel like it”). , the RAF/concentration camp inmates represent the deeply German involvement in unbridled violence and guilt.
In a central scene of “Zeit,” the scythes are now wielded by Rammstein’s own people, and the supposedly dead eyes under the creepy messenger’s hood are actually more of a brilliant kaleidoscope that opens up another productive level in the film. An in-between world beyond time, in which the dust of eternity’s pulverized monuments flows through the atmosphere like a mushroom cloud and the six musicians reverse their own births by pushing themselves back into the womb as babies, and yes, here is where it really gets, really crazy. Someone will probably bring out a scandal in the next few days.
That this great dark band would give us comfort and love again
“Time, please stop, stop,” Till Lindemann sings to the music of the elegant elegiac ballad sprinkled with typical Rammstein industrial rust, “everyone knows the perfect time.” That you can read very closely and face to face, as you wish, as a small reflection on the transience of happiness. Or as a great and spacious draft of vanitas mundi, which also speaks of how useless and desperate it is to fight for all charges, heroic self-portraits, historical satisfactions and even oil prices when the essence of the human.
After two weeks of reporting on the war, that also seems to be a pretty simple message, but we shouldn’t stop believing it. If necessary, the images also help, between Christopher Nolan, “Metropolis”, the mirror of a baroque prince and a drama about the tree of life, which gives us a pop video like “Time”. A video to watch over and over again. And yes, also: he wants. And when you suddenly realize that, as a new Rammstein product, it will probably be seen at the same time in all parts of the world where people still have Internet reception, in Kiev and Moscow, Washington and Paris, in Crimea, in Warsaw, Latvia and London.
The fact that this great band gave us comfort and love one day would also have been a source of ridicule.