Release date: November 23, 2018
Label: Conception Sound Factory
Roy Khan (vocals)
Tore Østby (guitar)
Ingar Amlien (bass)
Arve Heimdal (drums)
3.”Into the Wild”
6.”My Dark Symphony”
These lyrics still haunt me today, taken from Conception’s third album “In Your Multitude” that same self title song guides us with these empowering and some may say prophetic stroke of lyrical genius.
Once in my life
I could have had it all
Someone turn back, turn back the time
I’d change tomorrow, tomorrow — In Your Multitude
Boy that sounds like something borrowed out of Roy Khantatat’s life, better known by many in the Metal world as Roy Khan, former Kamelot singer, and current Conception singer. 20 years is a long time my friends, a long time gone, 8 years is a long time to be silent when you depart a band at the height of their career, when all things have seemingly fallen in place and all is well, adoring fans worshiping your every move at your altar, and then well, things bottom out and life altering changes happen, you leave what you love and while it was a hard decision, Roy insists this was for the better. Many fans didn’t see it his way at the time, after countless shattered fans, hate emails, and god knows what, internet rumors flying around that he had left the band to pursue god full time instead of fame, some folks just completely felt heart broken by his departure, including this fanboy. Point here is, we are all human, musicians are human beings too, peoples life style change, priorities change, families happen, kids happen, religious events can alter a life, etc etc. Divine intervention or not, whats in the past is done, and the fact that Mr Khan is back with his original band Conception, is a minor miracle if I may say so myself.
For fans of his work before Kamelot, would be keen to remember that most of that early Kamelot sound with Khan in the band, had some influences from his previous band Conception, while some tunes may not have been as fully developed or as mature in the writing department yet, you could see it’s humble beginnings, and it was a damn fine beginning. Conception probably heralded as an obscure band back then, they did garner early interest from labels due to their Melodic and Progressive atonement, and to be honest it was a unique sound, it fit the mold of what they we’re making. Unfortunately a lot of folks missed on these guys then, so it’s good to have them back now.
Fast forward in time, and Khan not only makes his glorious return to music, but brings back his original band, yes fans still care about you Khan, yes Conception is the perfect vehicle for you to re-surface again and yes Tore Østby is still a damn good guitar player. All welcoming signs that hopefully the Norwegians are here to stay and stick around for a while longer. Enter new EP titled “My Dark Symphony”.
“Grand Again” is the second track of this venture that explodes at you and flashes back at you in a grand way indeed at the early days of Conception. Explosive, hypnotic vocals from the maestro Roy Khan, this tune flows with ferocity and their trademark up-tempo screams with a stout tenacity. The rhythm here just presents the listener with what Conception is known for perfectly. “Into The Wild” has this very primal rhythm, a more Kamelot-esque melodic suffocation engulfs the listener, again not just stating this as a fan of Khan’s voice, but is damn good to hear him singing again period. This tune is another example of what influence he had while he was in Kamelot, anybody that checked out Conceptions early albums before Khans move to Kamelot, would have surely picked up on this particular sound there before it evolved.
What we find on “Quite Alright” sort of hints at a more evolved Conception sound and structure, a bit more driving and methodical song here provides a distinctive groove on this EP. I wasn’t too sold on “The Moment”, while it features a nice chorus by the band, I had a hard time digging this one unlike the previous songs for some reason, the mellow guitar solo at the end injects a nice virtuoso feel to the tune, again Tore Østby is a terrific guitar player, please feature him more, and if you haven’t checked out his previous work in Conception or in Ark, I suggest you do yourself a favor and do that now. The title song for this new eponymous return for Conception closes things down very quickly, as its epic intro gives way to a haunting melody that once again brings Khan into the limelight, dark, mysterious and haunting, what this man does best, solid solid exit or should I say return? go ahead lame joke I don’t care.
If there was ever a time to give thanks, this is now that time. Thank you, Roy, Tore, Ingar and Arve for bringing this band back together again, all fanboyism aside, any fan of well done Progressive Rock/Metal with a unique vibe, groovy, enticing, dark and ominous needs to check out the new EP from Conception. I urge you to check out their past albums, there is some good material there that hopefully now will attract new fans and old again.
Look forward to hopefully a full album soon, you have wet my appetite enough, please stick around for good now guys. And on a personal note, it’s only right that Khan is back making music again, most fans will agree that the Metal world is better off for it, despite your personal opinions aside on how his exit went down in regards to the previously mentioned band, a truly one of the great Rock tenors that we have had on the scene, and it would have been truly a shame if his voice had been kept silent for more. All aboard the Conception train, here here.
Written by: Shadow Editor