THE DARK AGES
An album by Alex Orion
Review presented by Warren Peace
Listen to “The Dark Ages” by Alex Orion
Alex Orion is an artist that remains somewhat of a mystery to us at The Write Reviews. One of his connections in music, AyaR, had an album review featured on this website recently. I’m assuming that is how Alex Orion became aware of The Write Reviews, and he contacted us about having his album The Dark Ages reviewed. Of course The Write Reviews accepted, and I decided to personally give the track by track breakdown. Let’s shed some light on The Dark Ages…
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1- The Dark Ages (Intro-Lude)
I enjoy the opening instrumental, but it doesn’t match the deep, devilish voice that opens the album. Alex Orion’s flow starts off on time with the music, yet begins to falter after the first half of his bars are delivered. More or less, Orion is welcoming everyone to The Dark Ages.
2- Total War
Orion’s flow gets back on track for “Total War”. The echo effect used is not appealing to the ears, though. The hook is catchy. Overall, Orion seems to need some work lyrically. Phrases like “tear me to Hell” just seem odd and out of place. Toward the end of Orion’s second verse he can barely be understood, which will deter any listener from the song quickly.
3- #Throwback feat. MadTatter
Here’s another beat that I really like. Alex Orion displays his best flow so far on this track, which also features a catchy hook. As the track continues, I find myself wondering what the song is actually about. Nothing in the verses seems to relate to the title of the track at all. Orion’s flow falls off again in this one during his second verse. I feel MadTatter has a good delivery to his lyrics, but either the echo or the vocal mixing sounds off and it not only can be distracting but it also doesn’t make MadTatter too easy to understand.
4- Mello feat. AyaR
Orion’s flow continues to get awkward in spots. Honestly, if this is a true freestyle session then it isn’t bad at all, but I see no evidence of it being one. AyaR grabs the mic last on the track and delivers the best verse on The Dark Ages to be heard so far.
Alex Orion attempts to pull off a heavy metal delivery with a hip hop approach, but it causes him to have the most off-beat flow delivered up to this point of the album, not really matching up with the music at all. The hook is very likeable and is well-written. Orion’s flow falls off beat during the second verse also. To Orion’s credit though, the verses in “Spaz” stick to the topic better than any of the previous tracks.
6- Marcus (skit)
This skit sounds extremely forced and staged. It continues far longer than it should. It is also obvious the person behind the skit is not drunk at all, even though he attempts to portray being entirely too drunk.
7- Hate feat. Lord Osiris
“Hate” brings back a rock-n-roll delivery. At this juncture of The Dark Ages it seems Alex Orion is rhyming for the sake of rhyming the majority of the time. I am assuming that Lord Osiris is behind the yelling vocals used in the background.
“P.T.O.T.L.S.” stands for Probably Trippin Off The Little Sh!t and is repeated an incredible number of times during the course of the track. Orion’s flow has ots ups and downs, and the last verse of the track seems completely out of place with the rest of the song.
On “Bites”, Alex Orion actually stays on topic throughout the song. He says a lot of stuff that most people would consider vulgar and dirty, but nothing too extremely or clever for that matter. Orion does make use of good imagery during the track. The vocals used in the background sometimes overpower the lyrics of the song and can be distracting.
“Girls drool like their mouths f*cking water”. When an artist spits lines like this, it causes me to wonder if they are testing the intelligence of their listeners. What is drool? It’s when your mouth produces an increased amount of saliva to the point of saliva, a water-like substance, to spill from your mouth. So of course when girls, or anyone, drools it would be like their mouths are watering. Where’s the creative and witty angle behind lines such as this? The verses have absolutely nothing to do with detoxing. During the chorus, and the only time detoxing is mentioned during the song, Alex Orion says he’s “detoxing off all these blunts”. Problem with that is, other than possibly the habit of the arm motion, marijuana has no physical addiction for humans and makes me feel like people cannot actually detox from the drug. I know there has been some debate about this, but my point is that any other drug would have had heavier weight with the audience in terms of the term ‘detox’. One more thing I would like to point out is how Orion says girls “are friends to me” then moments later says “you’re an ugly b!tch” in relation to women. Oxymoron much?
11- IDK feat. AyaR, Jarren Benton, and MadTatter
The hook for “IDK” isn’t bad but I feel like it could stand out from the music more. Orion has the first verse and makes several references to being homeless, while speaking of monsters under his bed. AyaR is up second and has a great delivery with his lyrics. Jarren Benton drops an incredible round of bars the will likely be buried within the confines of this album. MadTatter has a contagious energy that falls flat with hollow bars.
12- Stunt (skit)
In this skit Alex Orion tells everyone that he doesn’t stunt with the lyrics in his songs like everyone else does, but he’s about to.
This instrumental is bound to get the majority of listeners bouncing along with it. Unfortunately, the vocals on the entire track are extremely low and difficult to enjoy due to the amount of focus it takes to hear the words. “Lambo” is also one of the few tracks on the album in which I was not a fan of the hook at all.
14- Rainy Days
An emotional song for Alex Orion, “Rainy Days” finds his flow once again faltering in a few places, but his lyrics stick with the topic as well as any song on the album. The hook is repetitive. To the lady out there Alex Orion is speaking to within “Rainy Days”, he definitely wants you to know he hopes you’re okay even though he’s not.
15- You (Interlude)
I am not sure what to make of this interlude or what the purpose is behind it. Honestly, ot left me rather confused.
16- The Bank
This beat is really funky and probably my favorite of The Dark Ages. Alex Orion gives the audience his best round of bars on the album, and despite being a little choppy near the end of the track, he is able to be consistently on time with his flow. Orion delivers some solid punchlines as well. He definitely shows a lot of potential on “The Bank”, which becomes a Featured Track for The Dark Ages.
17- Fake Thug
Using a dubbed hook from a popular song, Alex Orion takes advantage of the energy and gives the audience a proper delivery while mixing in a rather smooth flow. “Fake Thug” is easily one of the best all around tracks of the album.
18- Outro (skit)
Orion takes this time to give some shoutouts and send some thank yous to his comrades, supporters, and motivators to conclude The Dark Ages.
19- Music Over Mind feat. Will Major (Bonus Track)
Digital copies of The Dark Ages feature the bonus track “Music Over Mind”. Alex Orion takes a shot a spitting his lyrics double time and holds his own without tripping up for the most part. I’m indecisive on how I feel about the hook. I think some people will enjoy it while others won’t care for it so much. Will Major’s lyrics don’t seem to follow the lead Alex Orion set in the first verse, which probably won’t matter much because he is not easy to understand at all with the effect added to his voice.
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THE WRITE UP
Alex Orion has his ups and downs during the course of The Dark Ages and doubtfully to the enjoyment of the audience. He should have spent more time focusing on his lyrics and making sure he had his timing right with his delivery, as these are two main factors that can make or break an artist with an audience. Fortunately, Orion shows a lot of promise and does, in fact, have the talent and capability to reach a higher level in the world of hip hop. Hard work, patience, and dedication will help him reach the plateau he wishes to be on. Unfortunately, The Dark Ages is just a mere stepping stone on his way there.
(1 out of 5 stars)
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