Our Last Enemy-As Within So Without EP review by Mark J. FFO: Crushing, intelligent Industrial Metal with all the bells and nasty whistles.


Our Last Enemy-As Within So Without EP review by Mark J. FFO: Crushing, intelligent Industrial Metal with all the bells and nasty whistles.

Sydney's brilliant Industrial Metal demons Our Last Enemy have consistently put out wicked releases since their formation and this EP is the second part of killer recording sessions that resulted in the previous dazzling 2021 EP As Above So Below and this as the band said is the final piece of the puzzle. But unlike the annoyance of doing a puzzle, this like its predecessor is a gem and will blow your eardrums and mind.
Our Last Enemy confidently adds a unique flavour to their Industrial style, and there is everything from slide guitar to trip-hop to metalcore influence on this utterly memorable classic release. As Within So Without is one of the year's finest metal releases. Strap yourself in, because this is a ripper of an EP.

Hex Design opens up the pit in the strangest and most entrancing manner with a slide guitar like at a country dance or old man blues session at a dive bar. But this ain't no hoe-down brothers and sisters, this is a hectic and intense song. Think Ministry in an MMA match with Pantera, or Jesus Built My Hotrod remixed with Dimebag Darrell. Don't be concerned, like every track on this release-we are talking clever songwriting and brilliant execution of pure artisan-type metal. Being quirky is not the goal here, but this is a dynamic rager with skilful vocals, intense riffs and off-the-chain synth action. Solid start to a classic EP and the video is a ripper.

Then the band take you on one of many left turns. Bless the Fall, is not only one of the band's heaviest tracks ever-it blends the ferocious tempo of peak Ministry/FLA/Fear Factory with almost Death Metal intensity. Pace is frenzied and the 90's melodic harmonies run deep on this banger. The track demands you snap your neck until it breaks, but at the same time is a solid stadium or huge festival vibe with the main riff and radiant vocals that remind me of both Marilyn Manson and Sepultura. Impressive, huge anthem and so intense.

Still Breathing introduces the lucky listener to another layer of this stellar band, abrasive Industrial Metalcore with a Deathcore superstar, CJ McMahon of Thy Art is Murder on guest vocals. Now one thing I pretty detest on most guest vocal additions is they mostly have a guest doing one line a few times, like wow so exciting eh. But CJ adds flair and psychotic style and obvious brutality by integrating himself into the song, mixing it up and really maximising the call-and-response mode that works well in metal. This has the extreme values that legends like The Amenta do so well, even with a raging cheesy solo thrown in for great measure. The track also has an electro-industrial/gothic edge to it vocally in many parts with I completely worshipped. A monstrous highlight of the release. Plus bonus points for adding both pig squeals and using the word maniacal in a song(previously I was impressed by them using the word asunder in a track, yes this band is a bunch of clever bastards).

Slay for Me is the track that has so much going on it is suffocatingly glorious.Catchy guitarwork, searing and hallucinating vocals and it is as grim as it is danceable. The synth work is demonic and there is even a damn epic section with trip-hop beats FFS, again don't be alarmed it works incredibly well. There are many layers present, but the main selling point is the singalong nature of the song which reminds me of Skold etc. The samples are well-placed and the tension is so shrewd and grim. This one is begging for a wild club remix without a doubt. Ripping track that will be a setlist standard for ages. The video is essential, as is every video that this band drops tbh.

Ad Undas (or To the Waves in English) is atmospheric, acerbic and corrosive as hell in its industrial electronica focus, it reminds me of various gothic meets industrial projects I adore as well as Godflesh's Justin Broadrick's more eclectic projects that are top-shelf weirdly brilliant. This track and indeed the whole EP basically showcase that this band are a super-talented creative force and masters of so many hard-to-achieve skill levels. The moody and monstrous tone is really epic and the cinematic nature speaks to multiple avenues this band could jump into. Movie soundtracks, video game background sounds etc., the world is this band's oyster. Impressive is an understatement for this release and is a testament to the band's robust catalogue. The band deserves to be playing huge festivals in Europe and the USA. 

As Within So Without is a band at its peak and the future is very bright for a band so damn talented, heavy as fuck and a creative beast. All worship Our Last Enemy!. 
The production is super dynamic, punchy and very focused on a live-type sound, but the mixing is aggressive and well-balanced. This is one to blast out loud all hours.

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Check our interview with the band out tomorrow.