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CONCEPTION

Progressive Metal • Norway


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Conception biography
Founded in Raufoss, Norway in 1989 - Disbanded in 1998 - Reunited in 2018

A fine Norwegian act, CONCEPTION feature the impressive guitar talents of Tøre Ostby and the distinct vocals of Roy S. Kahn, a vocalist extraordinaire with a classical/opera training. Over a series of musical tryouts that evolved from Death and Speed Metal to luxuriant Prog Metal, their style has attained a spaciousness that is sometimes missing from metal bands such as the heavier DREAM THEATER or KAMELOT. Powerful without being overwhelming, their music consists of twists and sweeps rather than massive barrages of sound. Since 1993, they have released four albums and then split up in '97.

Rich in moods and dynamics, their first three cd's "The Last Sunset", "Parallel Minds" and "In Your Multitude" show plenty of variety. All musicians play exceptionally well, giving each instrument equal weight across the albums (sometimes as wisps of sound and sometimes as chunkier riffs). The combination provides a wholeness that each instrument alone cannot offer but which works marvels once assembled. Their last cd, "Flow", is a bit of a let-down, however. Although it is still quite an impressive piece of Metal, its selection is rather tame and streamlined, giving the album an overall feeling of sameness.

Highly recommended for fans of melodic Metal, particularly the first three albums.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

´See also:

- Ark
- Kamelot

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CONCEPTION discography


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CONCEPTION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 56 ratings
The Last Sunset
1991
3.63 | 71 ratings
Parallel Minds
1993
4.02 | 111 ratings
In Your Multitude
1995
3.39 | 75 ratings
Flow
1997
3.88 | 17 ratings
State of Deception
2020

CONCEPTION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CONCEPTION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CONCEPTION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CONCEPTION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.75 | 8 ratings
Re:Conception
2018
4.44 | 16 ratings
My Dark Symphony
2018

CONCEPTION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In Your Multitude by CONCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.02 | 111 ratings

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In Your Multitude
Conception Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "In Your Multitude" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Norwegian power/progressive metal act Conception. The album was released through Noise Records in May 1995. It´s the successor to "Parallel Minds" from 1993 and features one lineup change as keyboard player Hans Christian Gjestvang´s has left. He has not been replaced here, so the keyboards are handled by session musician Trond Nagell-dahl.

Stylistically the material on "In Your Multitude" feel like the natural continuation of the power/progressive metal sound of "Parallel Minds (1993)". The sound is maybe slightly more progressive in nature than the music style on the predecessor, but it´s details which set the two albums apart. And that counts for both musical style and the high quality of the material featured on the two albums. Those expecting an explosion of progressive features like complex song structures, unconventional time signatures, or longer instrumental sections, should look somewhere else, as Conception may use those elements on occasion (like on the longer instrumental section on "A Million Gods"), but they are more in the power metal camp than in the progressive metal ditto. If I should make a comparison to a contemporary act which most people can relate to, I´d mention Queensrÿche, although the influence is only heard occasionally.

The high level musicianship is one of the greatest assets of "In Your Multitude", but anyone familiar with the preceding releases won´t be surprised by that. The instrumentalists are very well playing, and especially guitarist Tore Otsby delivers some strong riffs, very well played guitar solos, and loads of intriguing ideas to the musical landscape of the album. His playing is technical but still tasteful and restrained when the songs call for it. The rhythm section are skilled too and deliver the right heavy pounding performance to back up the riffs and the many great vocal melodies performed by lead vocalist Roy Khan. The latter mentioned is a singer extraordinaire with a strong voice and a powerful and varied delivery. The keyboards are mostly used for atmosphere, but there are moments on the album when they have a more prominent role.

"In Your Multitude" features a well sounding production job, which suits the music perfectly. There is power here and there is clarity enough to hear every detail being played/sung. So upon conclusion "In Your Multitude" is just the right step forward for Conception and it´s a high quality release deserving a 4 star (80%) rating.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 State of Deception by CONCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.88 | 17 ratings

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State of Deception
Conception Progressive Metal

Review by lukretio

4 stars "State of Deception" is the first full-length release in 23 years by cult progressive metal band Conception, the brainchild of vocal powerhouse Roy Kahn (Kamelot) and guitar extraordinaire Tore Østby (Ark). Full disclosure first: this is the only Conception album I have ever listened to, so I cannot make any comparisons with their previous releases, which prevents me from being able to judge the standing of this album within the larger Conception's discography. However, the flip side of my unpreparedness is that I came to this album without any expectations as to how a Conception album "ought to sound", which ? I gather from other reviews I read online ? might have been a source of disappointment for some of the long-term fans of the band. In fact, I approached the album only because I am a huge fan of Khan's vocals and because I consider Østby one of the most talented guitar players in progressive metal (not necessarily in terms of technique, but in terms of compositional ability and creativity).

To these ears, "State of Deception" is an album of lights and shadows ? absolutely irresistible in its most inspired moments, and mildly underwhelming at its most shallow. Fortunately, the lights prevail over the shadows, as we have 5 extremely strong tracks out of 9 songs in total. One of the strength of these 5 songs is their variety. They are all different and special in their own way. We have Kamelot-esque pieces ("Waywardly Broken"), infectious hard-rock tunes ("By the Blues"), dark ballads ("The Mansion"), dynamic progressive-power metal epics ("She Dragoon"), and dreamy but groovy shanties ("Feather Moves"). The remaining 4 songs are not bad by any means, but feel somewhat less inspired, almost like if the band decided to play it safe and only made a half-assed attempt at writing them. The result is that these 4 songs flow away anonymously and without leaving any lasting impression. In truth, the opening duo "In Deception" (the obligatory instrumental/orchestral intro) and "Of Raven and Pigs" are quite good. The latter reminds me a bit of Pain of Salvation, especially the spoken vocal lines on the verse, and features a bouncy guitar riff that catches attention. But the spoken part is slightly cringe-worthy and ruins a bit the mood of the song for me.

Among the best tracks, "Waywardly Broken" is a contender for best song of the album. It has a strong Kamelot flavour, but the main guitar riff of the verse is so exquisitely upbeat that catches by surprise. The contrast with the darker, more metallic riff of the chorus is genius, a great example of why I hold Tore Østby in such high regard. Roy Kahn's performance is also masterful, here as throughout the album. His style and range are incredibly varied, passing from menacing crooning, to more aggressive metal singing, to delicate falsettos, in a continuous change of moods that keeps the songs fresh and interesting from start to finish.

"The Mansion" is a dark ballad that also features Amaranthe's singer Elyze Ryd. The duet between Kahn and Ryd is very enjoyable, although in my opinion the highlight of the song is the masterfully crafted melody of the chorus, one of those melancholic yet epic melodies that get stuck in one's head after hearing it just one time. "By the Blues" is ? well, bluesy! It has an infectious hard-rock vibe that makes it stand out relative to the other tracks of the album. The arrangements are exquisite, simple yet very elegant and with the right amount of unpredictability. In a way, given its inventiveness, this track wouldn't have disfigured on an Ark's album.

The album closes with two fantastic pieces. "She Dragoon" has again a Kamelot flavour, but with a strong progressive undercurrent. The song twists and turns, with lots of ideas thrown in the mix. The chorus is killer, it has a slightly unusual phrasing that surprises and every time makes me want to play the track again immediately after it ends. "Feather Moves" had already been released on 2018's EP My Dark Symphony, and is remastered here for the occasion. It is a sort of anomalous ballad, with a very groovy bass line and drum pattern that form the basis for Kahn's dreamy vocal lines. The chorus is very emotional, masterfully sung by Kahn. There is a great orchestral arrangements and I also like a lot the bass solo section after the first chorus, which definitely caught me by surprise the first time I heard it.

After many listens, I grew quite fond of this album, and I regard it as likely to end up in my top 10 for 2020. However, it took a while before the album "clicked" with me and I could enjoy it. One thing that at first left me cold about the album is the production. It is quite "light". The guitars in particular have a thin, dry tone and sit quite back in the mix, and it took me some time to get used to, as I was initially expecting a punchier presence. But, after repeated listens, I got used to it and now I think that the production actually contributes to giving the album that "non-metal" feel that suits very well some of its mellower songs. But it is something that can catch off guard.

Overall, this is a strong album, that perhaps takes a while to get into but that it grows with every listen and becomes one of those albums that one tends to return to every now and again. My only complaint is that the album actually contains the right material for an exceptional EP rather than a full-length release. As a full-length, it suffers from the inclusion of somewhat less impressive tracks that form nearly half of the songs on display here. But it is certainly a more than welcome return for the duo Østby-Kahn, and I very much look forward for what they will have to offer next (hopefully not in another 23 years!!).

 Parallel Minds by CONCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.63 | 71 ratings

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Parallel Minds
Conception Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

3 stars 'Parallel Minds', Conceptions second album, vastly improves upon its predecessor. The songwriting seems more confident, with more interesting guitar riffs, a good use of keyboards and vocal melodies that seems more in sync with the music.

Sadly however, despite a few highlights, it's still a rather forgettable record.

Song's like 'Roll the Fire', 'And I Close My Eyes', 'Water Confines' and the title track are all decent enough, but the truth is, this is nothing more than generic progressive/power metal. There's countless other things out there that are so much better and memorable, that I never find myself coming back to this.

It's not a terrible release, and it does have its moments, but ultimately, let's face it, the only reason worth buying this today is if you're a fan of Roy Khan, who's post-Conception career would see him garner worldwide fame with the band Kamelot.

 The Last Sunset by CONCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.50 | 56 ratings

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The Last Sunset
Conception Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars Let's be honest here, the only reason anyone actively seeks this band out post-1998 is mostly due to vocalist Roy Khan, who would achieve worldwide success with the band Kamelot after Conception disbanded. And I shamelessly joined those ranks when I tracked down this little nugget of joy; 'The Last Sunset'.

It's an alright album, though to be honest, there isn't really a lot to comment on. The music is decent enough, the playing is of a high standard and Khan's singing is good, but a lot of the vocal melodies aren't very inspiring or interesting. There's some nice exotic-sounding guitar licks which give the band a hint of their own identity, but overall, a lot of the songs seem formulaic.

'War of Hate', 'Fairy's Dance' (admittedly I really like this song), 'Another World' and 'Among the Gods' are all good tracks that make Conception's debut worth checking out, but there's just too much unmet potential here for this to be anything more than a decent outing.

 In Your Multitude by CONCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.02 | 111 ratings

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In Your Multitude
Conception Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Norwegian metal from the 1990s? Oh, OK, so this is going to be some second-wave black metal to burn churches to, huh?

Well, no, not quite - Conception were instead a progressive metal outfit who, based on this album, seem to have a power metal-tinged sound which tends towards the catchier, more anthemic, and occasionally a bit cheesier end of the subgenre. It's certainly a technically competent example of this style and I imagine that anyone with a healthy appreciation for, say, Dream Theater would get a lot out of this, but if, like me, you find this style of progressive metal to be highly hit and miss then you might find this one leaves you cold unless you are in just the right mood for it.

 The Last Sunset by CONCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.50 | 56 ratings

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The Last Sunset
Conception Progressive Metal

Review by arcane-beautiful

3 stars I won't lie. I am a bit of a Kamelot fan. How could you not love them. Roy Khan is very much one of the sexiest metal singers alive (I'm relying more on the timbre of his voice, rather than actual appearance...as a gay man, he is alright looking). When I first got into the band I was shocked to know that he was not the bands original vocalist and that before he even joined the band he was in a full blooded progressive metal band from Norway called Conception. I was even more joyous to find a copy of their first album in a second hand shop. Win win nostalgic situation.

One of the most interesting parts of the bands sound is the interesting mixture of metal and now and then flamenco guitar moments which spruce up. Mostly the band do have a pretty standard prog metal meets power metal sound. Sound wise the band pretty much have it down, but because this is a first album, you can't expect perfection.

One of the biggest problems with this album would have to be the production. Everything on this album sounds very weak and very quiet. The guitar sound especially. The riffs on this album are pretty cool, but the production just makes it sound very weak. The vocals are mixed very badly too, with Khans voice being rather quiet. It really should be against the law to have as little focus put on Roy Khans voice, cause it is very unique, even if he does sound like a pre pubescent teen on this album (which he probably was at this point).

The opening track "Building A Force" is a pretty great opener with one of the best chorus on the album. Killer riffs and some nice vocals from Khan too.

"War Of Hate" is probably one of the most heavy songs on the album. Having some rather groove metal influenced riffs the band show off their heavier sound. Sadly the production doesn't bode well with the heavy sound of this track.

One of my favorite tracks on the album would have to be "Fairy's Dance." Having some folk influences, the song's lyrics also tell of a rather comical fantasy inspired tale. Some nice guitar work throughout too.

The title track is probably one of the most interesting moments on the album. Showing off the bands more gentler side, Khans vocals are pretty stellar, with him singing some of the highest notes I've ever heard him sing.

The final track "Among The Gods" is the longest composition on the album. The first half is rather interesting, with a lot of interesting tempo changes throughout. The ending is pretty much an extended instrumental section and I believe it overstays its welcome. Bit too long, but still pretty interesting.

In conclusion, for a debut this album is alright. The passion and material is pretty much there, but you can tell this is very much a band trying to find its feet. The band would go on to do better things, both as Conception and other projects which followed.

6.6/10

Genres: Progressive Metal, Power Metal, Speed Metal, Heavy Metal, Progressive Rock

Country of origin: Norway

Year of release: 1993

 The Last Sunset by CONCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.50 | 56 ratings

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The Last Sunset
Conception Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This was CONCEPTION's debut album released back in 1993. It's true there's nothing new here or different that would set them apart, this is straight-up Prog-Metal. I don't have their final album "Flow" but I have the other three records. I have to thank Bonnek for allowing me to hear this one.

"Prevision" is the short intro track where we ge some atmosphere. "Building A Force" is built right away as all hell breaks loose with the drums crashing while the guitar rips it up. Vocals join in. It settles some 2 1/2 minutes in. Great sound when the riffs kick in followed by a guitar solo. "War Of Hate" sounds so good ! The vocals are reserved before a minute but the music isn't. A calm before 3 minutes with bass. Some Spanish guitar follows. "Bowed Down With Sorrow" is fairly heavy as laid back vocals join in. It picks up 1 1/2 minutes in. Nice. The contrasts continue. The guitar solo is beautiful 5 minutes in. I love the guitar intro on "Fairy's Dance" then here comes the riffs. It then settles with vocals but not for long. Themes are repeated. The guitar lights it up after 3 1/2 minutes. Nice.

"Another World" is some heavy [&*!#] as the tempo picks up and vocals join in. Some nice chunky bass too. An earth-shaking soundscape before 4 minutes as rough sounding vocals come in. A guitar solo comes in too. Amazing track ! "Elegy" features waves of synths as the guitar cries out. "The Last Sunset" is fairly dark with bass, drums and vocals. The guitar is relaxed. It's fuller after 2 minutes. Guitar solo before 3 minutes. "Live To Survive" is uptempo and crunchy. Vocals arrive quickly. This sounds really good. Guitar solo after 4 minutes. This is a real headbanger. "Among The Gods" is the almost 11 minute tour de force. A rampage of heaviness to open then strummed guitar and a calm takes over before a minute. Reserved vocals too. It kicks back in before 2 minutes then it settles with some Spanish guitar. An all out assault before 4 minutes as contrasts continue.

This album has been a pleasure as I haven't been listening to much Metal of late. The second half is quite strong but overall 3.5 stars seems just about right.

 Flow by CONCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.39 | 75 ratings

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Flow
Conception Progressive Metal

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars Conception introduced some new aspects such as more mechanical rhythms, lots of synths and a slightly industrial feel and vocals. While they managed to do so with grace, it's an album that doesn't measure up to the preceding ones.

The album starts ok with a couple of nice tunes such as Gethsemane, Angel and Reach Out. The sound is more polished, taking away some of the edge from this band. A Virtual Lovestory and Tell Me When I'm Gone grow old pretty quickly. There's even some alternative rock influence on Flow, which start almost like the Cure's Inbetween Days.

Halfway in, the album sinks in under its lack of ideas and daring. Cry and Hold On are ballads loaded with cliché sentimentalism. The two closing tracks Cardinal Sin and Would it Be the Same are also too tame and too derivative of Black Sabbath's period with Toni Martin (especially Cross Purposes). Conception never matches the power of Sabbath to make these songs really work.

With a limited number of decent tunes that work for an occasional listen, the album hardly registers above average. It might still be enjoyable for fans of the band but to anyone else I can only recommend to hunt after the debut album.

 In Your Multitude by CONCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.02 | 111 ratings

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In Your Multitude
Conception Progressive Metal

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars My appreciation for Conception diminished with their gradual slide into more straightforward power-metal domains. After a surprising debut and disappointing second, the band again opted for classic verse-chorus/guitarsolo metal on their third album.

The choruses are obviously meant to engage every single fan into a big sing-along. I always find those anthemic metal choruses to be something of a tour the force really. You should give it a try: go banging your head, heave your right hand up in the horn sign and hold 3 beers in your left while you queue for a hotdog at the hamburger-stall. Believe me, that takes years of practice!

Right, you get the image, catchy pounding metal at hand. And Conception does the trick very skilfully, with generally strong song material. There's little variation. Just like on the previous album the greatest variance is obtained by altering the tempo between fast and mid-paced tunes. The song quality is much higher then on the previous album though. Only Carnal Comprehension and Solar Serpent legs a bit behind the other songs, or maybe it is just that I've kind of had my fill after half an hour of metal by the numbers.

For a band with such musical competence, I sure miss some audacity in the compositions, the melodies and musicianship are good but unimaginative, predictable and a bit old-school from a 2010 perspective, Conception played it too safe. In Your Multitude is a good album but will hardly impress anyone outside the fan base.

 Parallel Minds by CONCEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.63 | 71 ratings

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Parallel Minds
Conception Progressive Metal

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars Despite my built-in scepticism towards things neo-power-prog-metal, I found Conception's debut a great listen. Unfortunately, on the sophomore effort they gave up some of the elements that made them special.

The band follows the same pattern too much, all but one song are short verse - chorus rock songs with the mandatory guitar solo. It becomes too much of a formula and as it goes with formulaic albums, it only works for as long as the material is consistently good. But that is not the case here.

I first heard Conception on my weekly metal radio program back in 1993. Roll The Fire was the track the radio station choose to play and it's not a bad choice. It's very effective and gives a good impression of what this album is about. Alas, that more or less sums it up. Some songs are a bit slower, others are faster; there are a number of power ballads and one weak 9-minute epic. The best sits at the start. The opening Water Confines is a fast and powerful slab of metal similar to Dio's solo material: fast, rocking and catchy with poignant melodic vocals. In good Rainbow fashion the music has a distinct middle-eastern flavour, both in its rhythm and in the lyrical vocals and guitar solos. And I Close My Eyes and Roll The Fire are also good examples.

This album has not one surprise in store. After a debut album that did some side steps into other areas such as doom metal and even Latin music, the band decided to stick to their guns and comply with genre-expectations. While the result is competent, it's too much easy-listening really.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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