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For over thirty years now, the Slovenian musicians known as Laibach have been challenging our expectations of popular music with their unique approach, mixing traditional and popular tunes with industrial and avant-garde influences. The first noticeable thing about Spectre, their first new release since Volk, 2006's brave attempt to reversion various national anthems, is that this time their political statements are direct and clear. In the past, ambiguity over their politics has led them to be accused of being either far right or far left, but now they say that "they are politically engaged as never before."

This is their clear intent from the beginning, with the ultra catchy whistled refrain of 'The Whistleblowers' intended as a follow-up to Colonel Bogey but which actually comes across as the theme to something like the Magnificent Seven, underlined by the massed male voices which join Milan Fras's familiar guttural lead vocal. The rousing refrain is unambiguous ""From North and South / We come from East and West / Breathing as one / Living in fame / Or dying in flame." The track ends with a fanfare, alluding "to the heroism of the 'digital' Prometheans of freedom - Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange."

After such an epic opener, they revert to their uncompromising industrial jackhammer beats on 'No History', with Fras's female foil Mina Špiler sharing the vocals as they spell out their manifesto and call for "leaders of a new political faith."

'We Are Millions and Millions are One' is a genuinely surprising track. It is mostly a duet that could be a fantasy Bond theme, complete with an orchestral arrangement. It makes you wonder if Ian Fleming was an inspiration for this album, as Spectre was the fictional global terrorist organisation led by Blofeld in several James Bond stories.

Uptempo tunes like 'Bossanova' and 'Eat Liver!' infuse the album with a kind of nervous energy, though the latter's puzzling message and strange vocal (is it a female or has Fras pitch-shifted his own voice?) adds that familiar Laibach sense of ambiguity. They rarely lose sight of a good tune though, and the strong melody and propulsive beats of confusingly titled 'Americana' could sit happily beside Kraftwerk's Tour De France.

Some dark-wave influences and sense of dread are still present from their earlier work. The slower, more sinister, 'Eurovision' builds to the ominous refrain "Europe is falling apart," and some inspired subtle touches - subtle not always a word you would associate with Laibach - are unnerving. The opening of 'Resistance is Futile' where a child's laugh is coupled with a voice announcing "this is blitzkrieg" tends to linger in your head long after the track has finished.

After all this, closing track 'Koran' which can best be described as a delicate piano-led ballad, wears its political heart on its sleeve again, with lines like "I believe in brotherhood, equality and freedom/ I believe in happiness for all." The title presumably refers to the Arab Spring series of uprisings, and the music rises and falls yet it somehow hangs in the air at the end, like a question unanswered.

Laibach have nailed their colours to the mast with this album, and it is refreshing to see someone attempting to make intelligent political music these days. They may not have the answers either, but with Spectre they have at least recognised that this is a world that needs change. It is sad that there isn't more music being made with this level of political engagement at its heart, but it is encouraging that Spectre exists.