Hocico – Ofensor – review
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The difference is very clear if we compare “Ofensor” with its predecessor “El Último Minuto Antes De Que Tu Mundo Caiga”. The latter one was very sharp and fast album, while “Ofensor” is heavy and more diversified when it comes to tempo… and what is most important it’s very oldschool.
Already old-fashioned synth strings of intro “Déjà-Vu Siniestro” impress with thick atmosphere known from the first efforts of the Mexicans, but the biggest surprise is yet to come. The first regular track on the album, “Relentless” isn’t fast floorfiller like “T. O. S. of reality” fromthe previous album, or ” since it’s rythm is based on mid-tempo bassline and distorted kick drum (without snares or hi-hats) the whole composition seems to stands still, and it’s definitely not club-oriented… however in some strange way it makes you move.
“Sex sick” raise up the tempo, and tension. Fat bass, distorted kick and reverbed snare – this is the basis for this heavy stomper. Vicious vocals of Erk and wicked melodies played by Racso are the pinaccle of this song, defintely one of the most heavy ones in Hocico’s career. And it’s only afther three songs, and almost 14 minutes of album when first fast track hits the speakers. “Bienvenido A La Maldad” is ferocious and mad piece of music, which – for me – recalls the floorfillers from “Sangre hirvente” era. It’s great that a video was mad for this one.
The important feature of Hocico’s albums until “Signos de Aberracion” was a big quantity of instrumental tracks, which – since “Wrack and ruin” album were less present. On first LP’s those neoclassical mini-symphonies were very important element of the whole puzzle, and “Ofensor” ressurects this good tradition. Apart from intro there are four intrumentals, and “El Destello En El Cristal” is one of them. Really chilling and sombre mixture of haunted pads and lead synths it’s a great introduction to another stomping monster – “Heart attack”. Very significant and repetitive bassline gives this song very dehumanized tune.
Can things became even more scary? It seems impossible, but there are no boundaries for those Mexicans. “I Will Be Murdered (4 Minutes Of Horror)” is one of the thickest and gloomy pieces of music in aggrotech genre made … without any drums. Those ones start to pound heavily in “Ofensor” which in my opinion can be viewed as second part of the song “Tiempos de furia”, however the way of using the samples recalls one more time “Sangre hirvente” album (for example “Sucios Pensamientos”). The synth flutes of “Mind circus”, the next track on “Ofensor” also seem to be borrowed from the late 90s. Great to see this spirit back.
After another interlude (“The 5th circle” – also very oldschool) we can hear “Auf der Flucht” – catchy, yet still heavy, and “In the name of violence” which was chosen for a single. This track is maybe most typical and modern track on the album, and I assume that this the reason it was taken for promotional use… however it’s not representative for the whole LP.
When the last tunes of outro fade the listener remains with an impression that Hocico’s pursuit for older times (most probaly encouraged by “Los Días Caminando En El Fuego” retrospective album from 2103) was a very good move. I dare say, that it’s the best Hocico’s album since many years (which doesen’t means that some were bad). It brings back the spirit of the old days, but with great ingeniousness and mastery which characterizes those talented and experienced musicians.
PS. “Ofensor” comes as regular cd, digipak with bonus remix cd, and 3cd deluxe version with remixes and three additional tracks. We don’t review those bonuses, but it’s necessary to say that they are worth to give them a listen – also because Halotan’s H.EXE is present on the 2nd disc with great black metal remix of “Black opium” (bonus track aviailable on 3d cd).