Rammstein-Live Aus Berlin (2001)

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Released 1-Nov-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Booklet-Good quality pictures of band members
Menu Animation & Audio
Multiple Angles-Tier; Du Hast; Rammstein-Six angles
Featurette-Interview with band members
DVD-ROM Extras-Trivia Quiz about Rammstein with bonus track as prize
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 91:07
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (82:11) Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Hamish Hamilton
Jacob Hellner
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Richard Kruspe
Paul Landers
Till Lindermann
Flake Lorenz
Oliver Riedel
Christophe Schneider
Case Super Jewel
RPI $36.95 Music Rammstein
Nicholas Lens


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Audio Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles German Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Mildly irritating
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Rammstein-Live Aus Berlin was filmed in August 1998 at the Parkbuhne Wuhlheide before 17,000 fans. Formed in 1994 from six East German musicians, the band's musical style could be described as an industrial grade of heavy metal. However, the robotic, mildly homo-erotic presentation,  mixed with a sprinkling of the bizarre and sado-masochistic, conceals sensitive, passionate songs played by a tightly integrated band of talented musicians. The band comprises Till Lindermann (Vocals), Richard Kruspe (lead guitar), Paul Landers (rhythm guitar), Oliver Riedel (bass), Flake Lorenz ( keyboards) and Christophe Schneider (drums).

    I had not heard of Rammstein before this review despite their having appeared at the Australian Big Day Out festival in January this year. However, as their music has been included in the music soundtracks to Lost Highway, Matrix and Mortal Kombat, some of the tracks sound familiar. My appreciation of quality rock music meant that I quickly warmed to the band and appreciated the superb live stage show replete with lighting and pyrotechnic effects. Subsequent repeat playing of the set with German subtitles enabled and translations of the songs courtesy of the 'Net enabled me to appreciate the passion and poetry of the lyrics. I have never considered German a particularly lyrical language but the power and expressiveness of the lyrics deeply moved me. To even consider an English dubbed version would be an abomination so thank goodness the lyrics are in German with German subtitles. The chorus line Bestrafe Mich from Track 3 sung in deep guttural German would sound pitiful in the wimpy English equivalent "Punish Me!".

    The 17 tracks are taken from the albums Herzeleid (Heartache) and Sehnsucht (Longing) and the single Wilder Wein (Wild Wine). The music provides a refreshing change from the usual Heavy Metal fare of a monosonic thrash of guitars and incomprehensible vocals. Weisses Fleische carries a thunderous drum intro with Dante-esque guttural vocals followed by a wild lead-guitar break and a macabre dance by the keyboard player, Flake. The wistful Engel (Angel) introduces us briefly to the heavenly voice of guest singer Bobo who, trapped canary-like in a flame-wrapped birdcage, counterpoints delicately the demonic growl of Till. Tier (Animal) displays the rapport that Till Lindermann carries with the fan-faithful who, obligingly, to the question "Was bist du ?" (What are you ?) - condemn incest with their reply "doch nur ein Tier" (just an animal).

    The concert is extremely entertaining with an impressive display of pyrotechnics such as spraying a flamethrower over the audience, burning mike stands and Till ascending Phoenix-like from a fiery pit with his costume ablaze! The lighting stage and effects are extensive and impressive - no laser beams but good 'ol fashioned stage lighting effects. The barrage of tube spotlights bristling from the stage are reminiscent of the armaments of the 'Death-Star' whilst the robotic visage of the guitarists and the back-lit industrial fans and spot-lit smoke bring back memories of Bladerunner.

    After the main set of 12 songs are played, the band return for an encore with a further 5 songs, finishing with the melodic and memorable Seeman (Sailor) that proves that Till really can sing .. and how! There is no action after the credits on Track 18.

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Track Listing

1. Spiel Mit Mir
2. Herzeleid
3. Bestrafe Mich
4. Weisses Fleisch
5. Sehnsucht
6. Asche Zu Asche
7. Wilder Wein
8. Klavier
9. Heirate Mich
10. Du Riechst So Gut
11. Du Hast
12. Engel
13. Rammstein
14. Tier
15. Laichzeit
16. Wollt Ihr Das Bett in Flammen Sehen
17. Seemann

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a good video presentation considering the difficulties of filming in an outdoor location with the full range of lighting levels from night sky to pyrotechnic explosions. The editing mix is superbly presented augmenting the excitement and feel of being at a live concert.

    The transfer is presented in a widescreen ratio of 1.75:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The video is mostly sharp although the telephoto shots necessitated by filming a live concert limit the depth-of-focus on close-ups of the band. Shadow detail is reasonable except in some crowd scenes eg 32:22 but there is low level noise apparent in the night sky shots throughout the video.

    The colours were mostly muted but appeared to be an accurate depiction of the location and lighting effects. Skin tones were particularly good. Some of the brighter pyrotechnic explosions caused minor oversaturation and surrounding colour noise.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Mild aliasing is apparent throughout the whole video, but is mostly not distracting. More noticeable aliasing occurs on the night sky spotlights at 38:52 and bass guitar neck and strings at 85:42. As the concert appeared to be filmed in video, there were no film artefacts apparent.

    The subtitles are in German and considerately placed out of the picture frame in the lower 'black bar'. They appear to be an accurate depiction of the spoken German.

    The disc is RSDL-formatted with a transition at the end of the 16th track at 82:11. The transition is brief and inoffensively placed in the trailing end of a song.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This is a superb audio transfer and mix with an accurate recreation of  the atmosphere of a live concert.

    There are two audio tracks present on this DVD, with the default being a surround encoded PCM channel. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 track and also the PCM track in both Prologic and stereo modes. There were no sound artefacts apparent. There was a discernible improvement in clarity of recording in the PCM version (eg bass arpeggios in Track 17),  presumably because of  higher bit-rate encoding, although the live presence of the band was augmented in Dolby Digital 5.1. I personally preferred the PCM channel in Prologic mode. Rear surround stereo effects were minimal, so both PCM and Dolby Digital encoding were effective in recreating monaural crowd effects.

    Dialogue quality was clear at all times and audio sync was not a problem with this transfer.

    These guys are excellent musicians who never dropped a beat or missed a note. Musical styles, rhythms and effects are varied constantly to avoid the tedium associated with some HM music. The music was at times melodic, tuneful, powerful, sometimes grating but never boring. The passion evident in the music was at times reminiscent of opera.

    In both the 5.1 and PCM tracks, surround effects were used well to recreate the feel of a live concert with mostly crowd effects relayed to the rear surrounds. There was only one instance of gimmicky rear surround usage for a rotating synthesiser effect.

    Subwoofer usage in 5.1 was complementary to the music and did not distract from the main focus of the soundstage

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    A reasonable selection of extras are available and accurately listed on the back cover of the case.

Menu

    A functional non-animated menu appears after a pyrotechnic intro.

Multi-Camera

    Three songs: Tier, Du Hast, and Rammstein are presented with 6 angles; Director's Cut, Guitars, Drums, Bass & Keys, Wides, and Vocals.

Interview

    An 11 minute interview with the band members in German with English, French or Spanish subtitles. Low key but of interest.

DVD-ROM

    Link to concert video.

    Trivia game - 9 out of 12 correct answers leads you to the music video for "Stripped".

Booklet

    This contains good quality photos of band members with production and music credits.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Information on the R1 version of this title is sparse, but it appears as if the R1 version of this DVD features additional subtitles in Spanish, French and English as well as the German as present on the R4 version. The video is listed as 4:3 letterbox, which presumably means widescreen non-16x9 enhanced. Hence, we get the slightly better deal with PAL and 1.75:1 non-16x9 enhanced widescreen.

Summary

    This is an excellent rendition of one of the most exciting contemporary live stage acts and re-creates the atmosphere of the live show well. The audio mix is superb on both PCM and Dolby Digital channels with not a lot to choose between them. The video is let down by low level noise and mild aliasing but this won't bother Rammstein fans or those  interested in watching a great live rock concert. It was well worth the effort to delve into the web for translations of the songs to discover the depth and poetry of the lyrics - it would have been nice to have these included in the somewhat limited extras. I'm a Rammstein convert!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Lancaster (read my bio)
Sunday, October 14, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-900E, using RGB output
DisplayPioneer SD-T50W1 (127cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersB&W 602 front/rear. B&W LRC6 Centre / Solid (AKA B&W) 500 SW

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