Album Review: Laibach – Spectre

After over 25 years of career behind them, Laibach’s legacy of martial imagery and ironical war chants is now part of music history. Respectful of that tradition, it is stomping over Europe that they release their new album, Spectre.

Spectre is all at once a continuation of their martial joke of music on which they built up their identity, while paving the way to a more commercial, melodic type of songs, a turn probably initiated with the Iron Sky soundtrack.

Indeed, while keeping their acid satirical tone in the lyrics, the songs have progressively become much more listenable than say, most part of 1987’s Opus Dei. If you take a song like “Eurovision” for example, it is hard to deny how catchy this dark tune is.
Lyrics wise, not so much has changed, it’s as binary, primitive and enjoyable as ever, the military kitsch fetish is still reigning supreme over this grandiose atmosphere.

Spectre is however refreshing in the fact that it is an all-new songs album; for although Laibach’s popularity got pumped up by their bombastic, manly fetish-fueled covers, they also have the ability to create one of a kind original material, that sounds and feels like Laibach only. And their previous – non-soundtrack – album Volk in 2006, being a collection of national anthems adaptations, one could say we did wait long enough for Laibach’s grand come back to original songs.

“In the absence of war, we are questioning peace”

The album feels like the the soundtrack of conquest, a retro-futuristic vision of a fictional Cold War where the East would take over the West, on a happy stomping rhythm. The lyrics are extraordinarily nonsensical “We are Laibach. And you will be assimilated. We are Laibach. Resistance is Futile.”, and sometimes disturbingly relevant “In the absence of war, we are questioning peace (…) Europe is falling apart”, the songs progressively create a feeling of modern 40s, in black and blue colors, all this running over magnificent mid tempo electronic sounds. It’s slow, hard, merciless. It’s the sounds of rioting and Order all at once.

In short, this liver-based assimilation of an album feels like a fetish club on the east front in the future (would such a thing ever exist), and it sounds fantastic, new and thrilling as hell.

The Whistleblowers
No History
Eat Liver!
We Are Millions And Millions Are One
Walk With Me
Resistance Is Futile

Review by Marie Lando