It may have been three years since the German hard-rock act Rammstein scored platinum stateside success with the cathartic Sehnsucht, but time has not changed much about the band—including its

It may have been three years since the German hard-rock act Rammstein scored platinum stateside success with the cathartic Sehnsucht, but time has not changed much about the band—including its hyper-aggressive attack. Mutter shows the sextet continuing to mine similarly harsh, guitar-seeded soil, while occasionally delving even deeper into dark, edgy terrain. Perhaps most striking is the decision by the band and producer Jacob Hellner to keep the studio tricks to a minimum. Instead (save for the creepy electro-symphonic flourishes of "Mein Herz Brennt"), the listener is offered raw, live-sounding tracks that prove that the group has the technical chops to match its undeniable passion. Ultimately, it's that high degree of passion with which Rammstein's fans connect, since the band continues to record exclusively in German—proof that sometimes kids aren't susceptible so much to words as they are to intense sounds. And Rammstein offers those in spades.—LF