The Immortal Micunion - O.R.I.O.N.      
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written by Andrew Lunny    
Over the years, many "crews" have come out of what we call the underground. These generally fall into one of two categories: a bunch of rejects coming out after one guy has mediocre success (see Ruff Ryders) or a collective of similarly minded MCs who come out at the same time (see Wu-Tang). The Immortal Micunion fall into the second category, as this group of hip-hoppers from Ohio's Deep Thinka Records. 'O.R.I.O.N.' is not really an album as such, but 5 IMU cuts, 5 singles from Deep Thinka, a remix of IMU's title track, and an intro to boot.

While the emcees all come tight, the production is the strong point of this release. Heavy drums with interesting samples laid over define the music on 'O.R.I.O.N.' and they all manage to be of a high standard. Personal favorites on here include the title track (by the whole IMU) and 'Trilogy' (by Deck of Cards). The fact that the production is done by several different guys (Tone X, Furious, Lamek and Michael The Archangel) yet still remains consistent makes it more impressive.

There is a line-up of several MCs on here. Aside from the tracks by the entire IMU, there are solo joints by Michael the Archangel and Lazarus (the excellent 'Ex-S-Ov Jargon') and also joints from the groups Ripsquad the Midnight Express, Deck of Cards (the aforementioned 'Trilogy') and Trifecta (with 'The Grenadier Gods,' another fine track). While a few of the rappers sound similar, there is a nice variety of peeps on here.

The rhymes also do not disappoint, although they are a bit unspectacular. All MCs deliver solid battle raps, but there is a slight lack of diversity in terms of subject matter. Its far from what I would call wack, but the rhymes are firmly on the average section of the scale. But like I said, the beats more than make up for this minor indiscretion, and you won't mind listening to the rhymes over them.

To sum it all up, 'O.R.I.O.N.' is a promising debut record for a collective of artists with a lot of potential. The dope beats and consistent rhymes show that Deep Thinka and IMU have a lot of talent, and should shine more with future releases. My main complaints are that most of the MCs can't stand out against the beats and that many tracks sound generic, but to be honest these are minor points. Check out the samples and definitely check this one out if you like what you hear.

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