Review | Orion – The End Of Suffering

Independent Release

Every once in a while, you will be flabbergasted by the twists life throws at you. Ever so often these twists will reveal how much you, as Being in the present, been carried across a vibration evoking a deeper spiritual enlightenment bringing you unexpected richness and wealth. To me these presents are manifesting inside and connect me to the present as I embrace the presence of listening and jotting down my ideas for later reference.

Reference to why music strikes me so deep, and why things evoke such memorable reminiscing conveyed outside in, resonating with my core Being. Words I unite as part of my feeling towards and album and music, especially with musicians reaching beyond.


Ben Jones is one of them. His Orion project brings the mind boggling ‘The End of Suffering’ forward, which unites his personal struggles and circumstances found as a musician and human. Discontinueing his regular job in order to redefine the beacons in his life, Jones delved into Eckhart Tolle’s inspirational book ‘The Power of Now’, reigniting his previous creational streak composing this conceptual album, 20 years in the making. Once a known session player, Jones picked up his instruments to set sail and bring us an album that is woven together by life and the concept of embracing the present… the last, he took literally creating this exceptional piece of art.


Unlike many concept albums in prog rock and metal today, ‘The End of Suffering’ strongly leans on a thematic melody that is boasted on the opening instrumental ,,Now”. The song smoothly builds its melody to break it to us with supreme power. Dynamic drum and guitar interplay, sturm und drang, urge on progressive manner. Piano tingle quivering with guitars intensifying in varied alternating chord progressions. A fingerlicking-opening pitching high, with ‘musical’ improv as a virtue.

Incorporating Tolle and his personal story, Jones falls back on Mitch Albom’s ‘The Time Keeper’ book, displaying Ben’s intriguing approach in dissolving past and future in the light of the present. The song ,,In the Beginning”, enrolls with interesting dynamics, reminiscent to Echolyn’s finest, while Jones himself breathes life into the lyrics.


He isn’t a real singer, but with the story and lyrics close to heart, he utilizes the right amount of appeal. The rhythmic shuffle is intense, with guitars atop crunchy and pointy, especially ‘round the solo. Bass ploughs like a vibrant machine and with its rolling drum rolls it pulls seamless  into ,,Tomorrow”, addressing childhood as the root of life and development, with minimal impact to the world instead of direct surrounding. The theme reverts back with piercing guitars as keys start raining and Jones belts out more agony and reflection. The 7-minute mark passed, the song displays Jones’ nod to the English classic prog rockers with Yes radiance over modern metallic stance. The drum rhythm is repetitive and unsettling, the backbone of the song’s spear heading dynamic drive.


,,The Hurricane” sees the Jones’ biographical Being caving in to the burdens of life, caught between the pain of the past and the suffering to future expectation. Only in between you can find solace of living in the present, an essential turning point in the concept with a harsh resonating riff, slapping funky sections and brisk poise. The vocals are matching the lyrical content with its doubled down effect resonating desolation. The dense song is produced with ‘open transparency’ and the propelling bass lick resonates with a tedious growl for the riff to be brought back to the front.


Breaking the album is ,,Yesterday”, following the elemental urge of ,,The Hurricane”, the song oozes an epic prowess recollecting the memories (and melodies) of the past and missed opportunities. Guitar and keyboard interplay are on point here, with jazzy drum patterns and loud fills adding to the creation of this sonic canvas. Jones echoes his vocals before he comes to the point where he realizes things start spinning ‘out of control’ as he moves into ,,Out of Time” rounding up the three-piece hinge on which the story rotates forward.

Reflective the song strums forward with melancholic accolades. Subtly orchestrated towards the powerful chorus, the song has Jones powering up on vocals, guitars and drums while maintaining the pulse he injects with the intricate bass lick. Ending with a collapsing drum break and echoing guitar, it bridges perfectly to the strumming opening of ,,Myself and I”. Distant chanting, piano and guitar, the theme returns one minute in and has the distant chants of Jones pulled forward to the lyric expose over urging interplay. The bridge embraces the gap between past and future, beseeching Tolle’s ‘The Power of Now’ as a religion for searching oneself in the present amidst shadows casted.


,,Out of Time pt. 2” reverts as wordplay back to the previous song while fusing lyrical content of ,,The Hurricane” and ‘The Time Keeper’-book, with time as the concept of boundaries casted for expectations and future rift. The dynamic drum rolls of the albums first section return to the fold and Jones’ vocals start to uplift in rouse. Though tinged somewhat melancholic, the message conveyed is deepened by the reflective state of the presence.


Culmination of the story is the album’s Magnum Opus ,,The End of Suffering”. Themes return dominantly with the piano opening and the drums reverting in drum rolls and scattering fills. The fluent implementation of themes and previously visited musical accolades find laurels in the depth of the 8:26 minute epic outline of the song. The glorious and monumental chorus is epic and nesting, with urging drums rolling dynamically underneath the growling bass licks and intensifying guitars. Ben displays his fine feeling for vocal drama while maintaining the dynamics of the song. Neo-progressive sections chockfull of Threshold reminiscent hooks are tied to intense dynamics of Marillion and the punchier modern prog metal bands like Vanden Plas. Going out with a bang, the album calls for second and third spins instantly. With the artwork exactly on par, the album is a menacing wonder of creativity, complete with flaws and musical variables.


Orion is a one-off project leaning on the gigantic shoulders of classic prog bands and progressive metal bands of the past present, while incorporating intense lyrical content and glorious prolific text and impressions of Tolle’s work and personal life-experiences. The outcome of Orion is overwhelming, with ‘The End of Suffering’ being a wonderful and joyous piece of art. A must hear for fans of the genre.

Aren’t there any critical words to this one-man-band experience?

Well of course, there are!

Orion would certainly benefit from a vocalist with a wide and more colorful range, as well as it sonically benefits from a producer that turns the knobs into a unified whole for its sonic experience.

On the other hand: who would be able to bring across the exact amount of dispairity and agony, or mix the album’s transparency and manages to convey the turmoil and tragedy radiating through?



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