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ALBUM REVIEW: Our Last Enemy ‘Pariah’

Promotional picture of the band Our Last Enemy

When I first clicked play on Australian industrial metal band Our Last Enemy I wasn’t impressed. It seemed as if I had already heard the song “Devour the Sun” before and not from the groups upcoming album Pariah. It just seemed like all other music of the genre: melodic rhythm guitar over a shredding lead riff with a few breakdowns with some vocals croaked over top. Kind of like Korn and Static-X had a child from New South Wales. But as “Devour the Sun” turned into “Wolves of Perigord,” Our Last Enemy began to hit me.

For starters, front man Oliver Fogwell does more than croak lyrics, he delivers them with a diction and voice that is very much a mix of Korn front man Jonathan Davis — but dropped down an octave or two — and former Static-X front man Wayne Static. Which is convenient because Our Last Enemy toured with Static-X for the 2011 Tearing Down the Empire Tour.

Aside from Fogwell, guitarist “Bizz” finds a distinct voice of his own by shredding his six-string with not only intricate guitar solos but eardrum crushing hooks and riffs as well.

Back to Paria though.

After “Wolves of Perigord” comes the track “10,000 Headless Horses,” a track that showcases the skills of both Fogwell and Bizz along with some tight drum skills from Zot Cillia. Although the track was released with a video back in 2011, it’s just now appearing on an album from the group. The track has some awesomely quotable lyrics that will leave you trying your hardest to reproduce Fogwell’s delivery.

“I will not kill my brother/I won’t be torn asunder/I will not fear the other/I will not kill my brother”

That’s the chorus, now try and sing it like Fogwell. You want to, but you can’t. If you can, leave a comment with a link to a video because I would love to see it.

The video to “10,000 Headless Horses” can be viewed below but a shiny new nickel to whoever can tell me who or what the humanoid in the suit is. You’ll see him.

After “10,000 Headless Horses” comes a trio of songs, “Internus Diablos Verni,” “Low,” and “Carrion.” Although these tracks don’t particularly stand out by themselves, these songs kept me listening long enough to hear the second part of “Carrion” and “Pariah BC.” “Pariah BC” is an interesting song not only for it’s instrumentation but because it gives the listener the first taste of the “atmospheric” quality of music the bands bio alleges it to have. An ethereal noise fills your ears before ripping into a tasty riff and some more of Fogwell’s awesome voice.

After “Pariah BC,” there are four more really solid tracks: “Don’t Look Now,” “Pariah AD,” “Decoy” and “What You Say.” All four are songs that, much like the earlier trio of songs, provides an entertaining and riveting segue into “Ants in the Palm,” an amazingly inventive piece that grabs the album and the reader by the face and violently shoves it in a completely different direction.

The song starts out with an awesome bass riff that left me wanting more and more but it didn’t come. That does anything but ruin the track, however, as the song slowly starts introducing the listener to the groups more produced and industrial tracks like “Into the Lights” and the final three tracks which are remixes of “Internus Diablos Verni,” “Devour the Sun” and “Pariah AD.”

These last three tracks do everything Asking Alexandria‘s Stepped Up and Scratched album tried to be. The band and Mortiis, Team Cybergeist, and Travis of Divine Heresy took three of the album’s most solid songs and effectively remade them with added audio effects, tracking and restructuring. Although I feel it best to leave the listener off with one of the best songs on the album, these three remixes allowed me to go back and rethink about the earlier tracks while also enjoying a very new piece of music.

Despite the added production, these last few tracks further exemplify the vocal talents of Fogwell. It’s during these tracks that his inner Jonathan Davis comes out and the inner Wayne Static kind of takes a back seat.

The praise for Fogwell should not be taken as a slight or a snub to the rest of the band members, however, Matt Heywood provides some serious bass and backing vocals skills while Craig Byrnes does an amazing job handling the the keyboard and effects.

Pariah  is set to drop March 11, 2014. Purchase a CD or buy concert tickets, here.

Our Last Enemy album cover

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Zachary Sweeney

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