Onoe Caponoe - Invisible War album review
Step inside the mind of the self proclaimed Exotic Rapper as he whisks you away and into this Invisible War for a wild ride..
Replay Value8.1
8.2Overall Score

On his second release in consecutive years following last year’s Surf or Die, the enigmatic High Focus Exotic Rapper Onoe Caponoe lures the listener into an eerie world to enter into an Invisible War. Composed of mystical sounds and emitting an ethereal aura, Onoe further stamps his residence as one of the most unique artists currently doing it, and he continues to carve out his own lane:

Welcoming visitors into this mystical world, opening track The Awakening lo-fi banger Jungle sets the tone quick and aggressive as Onoe jumps out from the vines, like he’s Breaking Out the Mist to metaphorically swing from tree to tree with his relentless quickfire delivery. Jungle has all the makings of an absolute live riot, certain to humidify the coldest of dancefloors. Making way for the spacey production boasted on Starlight, the shift in tempo and intention feels as though you’re entering into a new realm – or section of Onoe’s world.

As if stuck in fifth gear, Onoe often spits at a ‘trip over your own laces’ pace and does so with incredible poise and a finessed dexterity that’s second to none. This is further emphasised and perhaps most evident on second single from the project Wild in the Streets:

A consistent feature of the album is the minimalistic moments of mist lingering at the end and beginning of tracks; these segments serve to lull the listener into a sense of safety and calm, before being viciously slapped seemingly out of nowhere as Onoe springs back to life ecstatically.

While Onoe is highly known for and revels in utilising a breakneck speed pace and often delivers this intensity, he shows his class further with his ability to slow things down making for smoother jams, like Lamp of Lust. This ebbing flow spotlights one of the biggest strengths of the project – Caponoe’s diverse nature shines through on the smoother cuts when he graciously decides to let his foot off the pedal and coast for a minute. The placement of these tracks is just as impressive as the vibe switch itself, and such juxtaposition serves to increase the impact of more hype tracks, where there is just no stopping Onoe.

Rising and falling in tempo for the endurance of Invisible War the flow of the album emanates a visceral – and quite literal – trip trawling through the mind of the artist, revealing gems and gravestones aplenty. At times you feel you need to watch your step and tread carefully, at others you race forward gleefully free of any constraint and taking it all in.

Brimming with energy, a prevalent proponent of the project is found in the positive and assuring messages that in today’s society can be all to easy to lose track of, such as the simple but extremely true repetition Onoe elicits of “Don’t lose yourself” in a dreamy but forthright voice on penultimate track The Message.

Conceptually strong, Invisible War powerfully takes the listener on a candid journey through various nooks and crannies, showing various sides to the character of Onoe Caponoe that have been extrapolated and translated into a musical form with due care, and it really shows.

Invisible War

Invisible War is out via High Focus on Friday 31st January and available here.

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