Can you feel the earth crumbling? Armies are headed this way, and the skies are darkening. The machines of order, totalitarian and faux democratic ones alike, are broken beyond repair and people will run, steal and kill like animals unrestrained by social order. This is the end of our time.
The harbinger of doom, the propaganda-as-art-unit Laibach does not mince words about the state of the world. As one track heralds, "Das Spiel ist aus", game over. Interpreting lyrics, especially those in German, is a dangerous thing, but according to my flawed perception, Laibach gives a rather apocalyptic comment about the future relations between the West and the so called developing world: "Barbarians are coming from the east/---/with knives in their pockets, and bombs in their hands, they'll burn down your cities and your Disneylands"(from "Now You Will Pay").
One of the many interpretations of the album title sent in by Laibach fans to the website of NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst, the independent state established by Laibach and a couple of other cultural organisations in Slovenia) was that "WAT" was an acronym for "War against terrorism". Doubtlessly this is wrong, and hopefully Laibach tells us the truth eventually, but the guess does tell us something about the album.
With thumping electronic body music beats smattering and classical choires and orchestral arrangements conveying Wagnerian grandeour, Laibach delivers an autopsy of the corpse of the 20th century and surveys the current global crisis.
What should we do then, if this terrible vision is true? Where can we turn to find consolation in a world of broken dreams? In a kind of sequel to DAF's "Der Mussolini" Laibach reaches out its hands in a hearty, nihilistic answer: "ein zwei drei vier, meine Freunde tanz mit mir". Let's dance the capitalism dance, the anarchy dance, just dance.
"Tanz mit Laibach" is pretty dancy material for Laibach, as are the other German language songs, as if the outburst of Neue Deutsche Welle - and especially DAF - retro in Germany right now had gripped Laibach as well. The guitars of "Jesus Christ Superstar" are nowhere to be heard and the sound is closer to the Laibach side project 300.000 Verschiedene Krawalle. There is little singing going on, since the vocalist of Laibach seems to have switched entirely to his unique but somewhat tiring declamatory drawl.
I was under the impression that Laibach was already on their final laps two years ago when they toured festivals with an uninspired greatest hits performance. This album seems to prove me wrong. It is no musical masterpiece, but we are firmly back in the universe of Laibach Kunst machine.