My friend Chris over at Eclipse Records sent me a copy of Pariah, the latest from Australian band OUR LAST ENEMY. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really impressed on the initial scan. But this is why I never write anything till at least three full spins because you just never know. Well now that I have done my homework I’ll say this: Pretty, pretty, prettttay good, guys. The music is as fresh as anything coming from the industrial/melodic death/progressive genres today. I say this because there are elements of all of those in OUR LAST ENEMY’S sound. As far as the vocals go, I would personally have liked to hear at least SOME clean singing on the heavier parts. Oliver Fogwell is screaming throughout the whole album but he does it with conviction. Still, across 13 tracks it can be a bit much.
As far as the songs go “Wolves of Perigord” is the best of the bunch, with “10,000 Headless Horses” a close second. These two have the most biting riffs and hookiest hooks and were the ones that warrant repeat listens. Opener “Devour the Sun” is also very good, but not my choice for the way to kick things off. I think “Perigord” would have been better suited for that spot. Ahhh, what do I know? You might detect a bit of THROWDOWN in “Internus Diablos Verni” which isn’t exactly a bad thing since I’m a big fan. This is also one of the more in-your-face tracks.
There are a couple on here that I thought were okay, but I didn’t go wild over them. “Low” is one such song. Another one is “Pariah BC”; it’s all over the place and just not my cup of tea. In comparison, the companion piece “Pariah AD” actually flows better and has a driving riff that I could get behind. “Don’t Look Now” unfortunately sounds like a bad combo of KORN/MARILYN MANSON so I was NOT a fan, but “Carrion” definitely perked me up, holy shit!! This should be the song that the technical peeps flock to, no question.
Sometimes less is more. That’s the tactic that the band employs for “Decoy” and that’s what makes it such a standout. Just a simple bash-your-head-in pummeling; sometimes that’s all we need, right? Right after this though is “What You Say” another ho-hum number that didn’t do anything for me. “Ants in the Palm” has some fearsome bass stuff going on and the drumming and time changes combined with the jazzy breakdown made me look at the screen in disbelief. It comes from out of nowhere, but kudos to them for throwing that in. There’s a very atmospheric quality to closer “Into the Light”. There are traces of it throughout Pariah, but more so here. It’s an interesting way to finish up and not a bad tune.
Overall there’s not much to dislike about OUR LAST ENEMY. There’s a little something for most of us on the album, so check it out and let me know what you thought. Pariah is available now via Eclipse Records. I look forward to hearing your opinions, guys.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Ants in the Palm”, “10,000 Headless Horses”, “Wolves of Perigord”, “Decoy”, “Carrion”