After hitting number one in Germany's charts in October, the band's “Liebe ist für alle da,” or “There's Enough Love for Everyone,” can only be purchased by people over 18 starting on Wednesday following a decision by the country's youth media watchdog the BPjM.
The ruling means record shops can also no longer display the album publicly.
The authorities expressed particular concern over the song “Ich tu dir weh,” or “I'll Hurt You,” and a picture in the album booklet showing a seated man about to hit a naked woman. According to deputy BPjM chairwoman Petra Meier, the album promotes unsafe sex and portrays sexuality and power in a sadomasochistic manner.
Most albums indexed by the BPjM are those “with lyrics about racial hatred or glorifying National Socialism,” said Meier. But a large share of the music banned in Germany is classified due to “brutal violence, pornographic lyrics or a mixture of sexuality and violence,” she said.
But Rammstein, one of Germany's most successful cultural exports in recent years, said they were “dismayed” over the album ban.
“There's nothing on the album that could be more misinterpreted than on other Rammstein records,” the band's keyboardist Christian ‘Flake' Lorenz told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “Why now and why this? One of the examiners presumably has a daughter who annoys him with Rammstein at full volume.”
No strangers to controversy, the video for Rammstein's first single on the album, “Pussy,” features fully pornographic scenes of band members having sex. However, the Berlin-based musicians say their provocative material is meant to have a cartoonish satiric edge.
For example, the lyrics “Blitzkrieg mit dem Fleischgewehr,” or “Blitzkrieg with the meat-gun,” in “Pussy” are meant to be a thinly veiled criticism of German sex tourism.