3. A virtual lovestory
6. Reach out
7. Tell me when I’m gone
8. Hold on
9. Cardinal sin
10. Would it be the same
Date of release: 1997
Conception is a Norwegian band consisting of talented musicians – i.a.
Kamelot’s vocalist Roy Khan and guitar player Tore Ostby, known later
from ARK. The band recorded 4 progressive metal albums, the one
described here turned out to be their last (1997).
From the very first track – „Gethsemane” – it is clear that this is the most mature album in their career. The song starts unhurriedly, cautiously, accompanied by rhythmical drums and spreading keyboard background. Then the guitar rhythm is intensified with riffs which form a steady frame for the song together with the vocalize. There is one small change in rhythm in the middle of the song – for the guitar solo and the inspired choir part which adds value and „spirituality” to the song.
The album is filled with energetic, skillfully arranged and played compositions, often built on catchy melodies („Cardinal Sin”, „Flow”), but there is also room for ballads – a potential radio hit „Cry” and „Hold On” – arranged for a violin quartet and harpsichord.
There’s a lot going on the album – the band chooses interesting keyboard and guitar sounds, but avoids overwhelming the listener with excessive affluence or solo show offs. Undoubtedly the songs are focused around melodies and are only supported by solid technical skills. You can tell that the musicians are professionals – when it comes to playing, as well as composing. Guitar player Tore Ostby is in my opinion one of the biggest underrated talents in this field – the album is packed with his finessful patterns, to which he pays special attention when it comes to solo, as well as rhythmical parts; it’s a real storehouse for musical ideas.
One drawback of the album is its mediocre production – the drums sound flat, the bass is limited to the minimum, other elements don’t stand out either. The reason behind this might be the band’s limited budget.
To sum up Conception ended their relatively short career with their most interesting album, which would probably prompt the listeners to check out their previous material. Despite poor production, the music stands the test of time because of the interesting ideas and imaginative playing. Fans of prog metal – the lighter type – will definitely find something for themselves here.
Translated by Ula Skowrońska.