This year’s centenary of the outbreak of the first world war was commemorated in a variety of ways. By far, one of the most unusual was a performance by German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten in Belgium.
Entitled 'Lament', like their new album, it was inspired by testimonies of Prisoners of War. Two of the oldest musical forms – the lament and the motet – were also assimilated into the composition, along with the music of the Harlem Hell Fighters, the first Afro-American combat troop assigned to combat in World War I.
“A ‘Leviathan’ is being built on stage, huge pieces of metal with chains hanging on them, everything is dangling. And I only show cards, a bit Brechtian, or a bit Bob Dylan if you like. So I show cards with text printed on them, because I don’t want to sing it, I just want to hold it up on cards. It’s both the director’s comments about what is going on on stage and a fake German expressionistic poem about war,” says band frontman Blixa Bargeld.