Till Lindemann (Rammstein) and Peter Tägtgren have combined their individual talents to bring forth a mammoth of an industrial metal collaboration.
This dynamic duo agreed to begin writing for a new project after a 2013 music festival headlined by Rammstein and after running through countless name suggestions, Lindemann was born. Tägtgren’s description of the project’s sound as “a baby between Rammstein and PAIN” couldn’t have been more accurate. The two seemed destined to molest the ears of industrial metal fanatics as a team and have done just that with Lindemann’s 2015 debut, Skills and Pills.
If Lindemann’s Rammstein relation is any guide, one can safely assume a healthy dose of NSFW lyrical content… prepare thy headphones.
The album’s title track ‘Skills and Pills’ gets the ball rolling with a straight forward four-to-the-floor driven rocker and follows with ‘Ladyboy’, enough said? The draw for this album will undoubtedly have much to do with Till Lindemann’s penchant for his lyrical lewdness but there is more dimension to be had.
Tracks ‘Fat’ and ‘Home Sweet Home’ demonstrate the use of a symphonic bed for heavy riffs. ‘Cowboy’ is a standout track that is more upbeat and danceable than previous tracks on the playlist; a definite non-skipper. It should be noted that all of the songs are sung in English as opposed to Till Lindemann’s native language, German.
Big name collaborations and “super groups” often run the risk of overselling and underwhelming, such is not the case with Skills and Pills. What this album excels at is managing to not create conflict between what can often be a chaotic marriage of industrial metal mush and sheer musicality as evidenced by special edition bonus track ‘That’s My Heart.
At times the over the top nature lyrics can distract from what otherwise is a surprisingly enjoyable listen throughout. Aside from the loyal fan base of Rammstein, PAIN, and Hypocrisy already willing to lend an war, fans of Deathstars and perhaps, Deadstar Assembly have something to latch onto here.