It's a cliche, but it IS a return to form. After 2006's vastly disappointing Rosenrot (a collection of singles plus a ton of filler) it's nice to see Rammstein back on top, experimenting, taking risks, and most importantly, playing some seriously heavy metal. We're talking scary heavy, heavier than Herzelied heavy. "Weiner Blut", "Mehr" and "Rammleid" are among the hardest songs this band has ever produced.
Of course, it's not all New German Hardness: much as each of the band's last albums was a progression from the previous, so too is Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da. For the most part it works- but I've deducted a star for the passable but ultimately unnecessary "Haifisch" and "Fruhling In Paris", anti-Rammstein songs that feel a lot more out of place than I'd like. They're not bad songs, but they're not Rammstein songs either.
After the controversy and attention that lead single "Pussy" attracted, it's good to see the band hasn't churned out a parody, a self-mockery. Even that song is perfectly catchy pop metal, that emerges as a genuinely well crafted song after the dust of the notorious video has settled.
If you're familiar with Rammstein there'll be few surprises on here. The playing is still focused on crushing, buzzsaw riffs, Schneider's drumming as concise as ever. It is only Lindemann who has something new to offer here, his (greatly improved) singing voice juxtaposed with an often-employed indescribable shout effect that's just about the most frightening thing since the Third Reich.
Short version- the album's really good. It's not a grower by any means; it's appeal is instant, obvious. One or two detours detract from the flow, but it's still their best record since Mutter was released. Some of these songs are guaranteed concert highlights, and I for one can't wait for the tour.