Rammstein is a German Neue Deutsche Härte band from Berlin, formed in 1994. The band consists of members Till Lindemann (lead vocals), Richard Z. Kruspe (lead guitar and backing vocals), Paul H. Landers (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Oliver "Ollie" Riedel (bass guitar), Christoph "Doom" Schneider (drums and electronic percussion) and Christian "Flake" Lorenz (keyboards). They are widely accepted as part of the Neue Deutsche Härte scene, alongside bands such as Oomph!, Eisbrecher, and Die Krupps. Their songs are usually in German, but they have also performed songs entirely or partially in other languages such as English, Spanish, French and Russian. As of 2009, they have sold over 15 million records worldwide. Rammstein's entire catalogue is published by Universal Music Group. Since their formation in 1994, Rammstein has had no changes in their band line-up nor have any members left the band. They have become known worldwide for their live shows, pyrotechnics, and other effects. The pyrotechnics are widely accepted as among the world's best, and the lead singer checks them all himself before the shows begin.
Rammstein takes their name indirectly from the German town of Ramstein-Miesenbach, the site of the flight show disaster on 28 August 1988. The band's signature song, "Rammstein", is a commemoration of the disaster. In a short period before the band became well known, they performed using the name "Rammstein-Flugschau" (literally meaning "Rammstein-Flightshow").
Although Rammstein is often generalized as Neue Deutsche Härte, their music spans a variety of related styles, including heavy metal, doom metal groove metal. The band is primarily influenced by Oomph! (who were strongly influenced by groove metal acts like Prong) and the image and the deep voice of Milan Fras of Laibach.
The band has a flair for costumes of all sorts, both in live shows and in videos. In the "Keine Lust" video, all members of the band except Flake were dressed in fat suits. In the "Amerika" video, all members of the band wore space suits. Live, the band experiments even more with costumes. In the Völkerball concert, among others, Till changed costumes between songs, dressed accordingly for each. For example, in "Mein Teil", he was dressed as a butcher, in "Reise, Reise", as a sailor. The rest of the band each wore their own preferred costume, but none as outlandish or themed as Till's.
Rammstein's style has tended to divide critics, some of whom have responded with memorable comments. Jam Showbiz (April 2001) described Mutter as "music to invade Poland to". New Zealand's Southland Times (December 17, 1999) suggested that Till Lindemann's "booming, sub-sonic voice" would send "the peasants fleeing into their barns and bolting their doors", while the New York Times (January 9, 2005) commented that on the stage, "Mr. Lindemann gave off an air of such brute masculinity and barely contained violence that it seemed that he could have reached into the crowd, snatched up a fan, and bitten off his head." Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic commented that "their blend of industrial noise, grinding metal guitars, and operatic vocals is staggeringly powerful." "We just push boundaries", said Till Lindemann in an interview with rock magazine Kerrang!. "We can't help it if people don't like those boundaries being pushed."