The release of The Cold Vein in 2001 changed hip-hop.

Widely renowned and indisputably influential, Cannibal Ox’s debut album was a hard release to follow, for others but mostly for the duo themselves.

For 14 years, Vast Aire and Vordul Mega have been dogged with rumours of new material and releases, only for fans to be disappointed when nothing materialised.

This all changed in March, when the long-awaited second album came out: Blade Of The Ronin has been met with favourable reviews, and to support it, Cannibal Ox have taken to the road.

It would be accurate to say that their fans have been waiting for the opportunity to see their idols live for a very, very long time, which gave a drizzly Tuesday at the Haunt a surreal feel.

Unfortunately, despite being buoyed by their accompanying MC and DJ, Cannibal Ox fell flat.

Vordul Mega in particular didn’t seem committed to their performance, despite the crowd’s whoops of excitement.

Classic tracks like Iron Galaxy and Raspberry Fields held the same power as they did a decade before, but the delivery wasn’t passionate.

The show wasn’t a disaster, but it wasn’t as good as it should have been.

Three stars