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LAIBACH - Nova Akropola (Cherry Red Records Reissue)

Ask me which Laibach release could use a remastered reissue the most and without hesitation the answer will be "Let It Be". That one with an upgraded production and a deluxe cutout cover; Make it so and take my money!

The whole rest of the catalogue however is fine with me as it is. And the classic I definitely need the least in a new version is "Nova Akropola". So yay, thanks Cherry Records, here it is!

LAIBACH - Nova Akropola (black/silver vinyl 2LP) (1986/2023)

Now don't think that I dislike the album! That couldn't be further away from the truth. I daresay that "Nova Akropola" is among my personal favorite albums of the whole 1980's. In terms of music-historical relevance this sits right on the level of Slayer's "Reign In Blood" - or Einstürzende Neubauten's "Halber Mensch" or Godflesh's "Streetcleaner" if you want examples at least a little more closer in style and purpose.

The issue is just that the majority of its tracks have already been around so much - on "Slovenska Akropola", on live recordings or in their revisited versions. And last but not least on the album's Optic Nerve Recordings repress from 2014, coming with two posters which are stil framed on my wall.
Other than this new one that pressing also contained the CD bonus track "Decree".

So why even bother with this one now? Well, even though that track is missing, this still is an expanded edition with a whole second bonus record of very worthwhile live recordings. It begins with the notorious, but never officially released, incredibly malicious orchestral version of "Vade Retro Satanas" from 1997. The other six songs are all the radically different revisited versions, recorded on various occasions between 2018 and 2021. And given how fantastic these renditions are, this was reason enough for me to want this release.

As a bonus on top the album itself is remastered, which frankly isn't that important for me. But it also comes with a beautifully remade cover artwork (including die-cut print) and a full-sized booklet with liner notes from Laibach author/expert/fan Alexei Monroe, whose writing is always interesting and still delivers some new insights even after everything he has already published about the group.

The whole package with the contrast of the intensly harsh and cold original release and the epic, musically diverse live recordings reframes the album in a similar way as the "Laibach Revisited" box did with the self-titled debut. In a smaller and less expensive fashion of course, but still very impressive.

It's a worthily presentation of an immortal Industrial classic - naturally also a complete anomaly as a politically enigmatic album with mainly Slovenian and German lyrics released in Great Brtitain - and also a testament to how much Laibach still means and has to say today.

Die größte Kraft, die alles schafft!

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