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Cannibal Ox: Blade of the Ronin [PA] *

Track List

>Cipher Unknown (Intro)
>Opposite of Desolate - (featuring Double A.B.)
>Psalm 82
>Power Cosmiq, The - (featuring Kenyattah Black)
>Blade: The Art of OX - (featuring The Artifacts/U-God)
>Pressure of Survival (Skit)
>Carnivorous - (featuring eLZhi/Bill Cosmiq)
>Thunder in July - (featuring Swave Sevah/Space/Elohem Star)
>Horizon, The (Interlude)
>Harlem Knights
>Sabertooth - (featuring IRealz/Bill Cosmiq)
>Iron Rose - (featuring MF Doom)
>Solar System (Cosmos) (Skit)
>Fire Rises, The
>Gotham (Ox City)
>Unison (Skit)
>Vision - (featuring The Quantum)

Album Reviews:

Spin - "Aire still has an instantly recognizable delivery unlike almost anyone else...and still crafts deliriously beautiful rhyme origami..."

Spin - "[W]ith the help of producer Black Cosmiq cloaking them in their trademark odd-future fog, BLADE reminds us how CanOx were the missing link between Wu-Tang and Madvillain."

Pitchfork (Website) - "[F]ull of offbeat and athletic bars....There are moments of resourceful coloration and melody: see, for instance, the high, mournful vocal sample on 'The Power Cosmiq'..."

Album Notes

Lyricists: T. Arrington II; S. Gardner.

Personnel: DJ Cip One (scratches).

Audio Mixer: Brad "Syntax" Theophila.

Arrangers: Bill Cosmiq; Vast Aire.

When Samurais return in the real world, it's usually with considerably less power and importance, but there's no shame in the game of the 2015 edition of Cannibal Ox, and actually, there's plenty of pure fire. Back 14 years after their debut, and with producer Bill Cosmiq filling the shoes of the departed El-P, Blade of the Ronin comes shockingly close to the sound and the excitement of their 2001 effort The Cold Vein, and offers the same kind of combination of street knowledge and sweet punch lines, all delivered over rickety yet compelling beats. MF Doom, Elzhi, and U-God top the album's impressive guest list, while Cosmiq steps aside for one cut, handing the great "Blade: The Art of Ox" over to the skilled hands of Black Milk. ~ David Jeffries


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