Conception - My Dark Symphony

Conception - My Dark Symphony

(EP, Private, 2018)

It’s almost magical how life works sometimes because some days after I had finished the article about CONCEPTION’s “Parallel Minds” (you can check it out HERE, if you haven't already), I learned that the band had been reactivated with the original lineup. Not only this did mark the return of an important chapter in the Prog Metal history, but it was an exciting statement that Roy Khan was back in his Metal singing duties. However, welcoming Roy back should not overshadow the fact that CONCEPTION were not reactivated just for the sake of playing a couple of reunion shows (don’t we see this happening more than we would care?). Yeah, the four-piece lineup went back to the studio to work on some new tunes, and the first result is the “My Dark Symphony” EP in question.

After the short and rather dramatic intro, comes the mid-tempo “Grand Again”, and even though I underlined that Roy’s return should not be the main focus here, I would be a terrible liar if I’d claim that hearing his trademark timbre and vibrato did not cause massive shivers down my spine. Indeed, his vocals are back and I believe sound deeper but with the same expression that made him famous during his KAMELOT days. Musically, the song is exactly the type of Progressive Metal my untrained ears can understand. I mean, I cannot deal with super-complicated structures that after a couple of minutes can make you lose the sense of a beginning and an end. No, this does not happen here, and “Grand Again” has catchy melodies, dark atmosphere and an awesome guitar action. Speaking of guitars, and especially Tore Østby’s tone, I could not help but thinking of Brian May’s sound in the “Innuendo” album. In other words, CONCEPTION anno 2019 sound classic and at the same time relevant, carrying a modern twist in their sound. In case “Grand Again” is not Prog enough (for you), then “Into The Wild” will definitely do the trick getting a bit more complex with the additional percussion and all the layers that require a couple of listenings with headphones in order to peel the onion down to its heart, and trust me, you will enjoy the process doing so. “Quite Alright” speeds the tempo a bit and sounds heavier at the same time with a nice groove that makes this one a must-have on future live shows. Leaving on the side the piano-driven “The Moment” (although the combination of keyboards and Roy’s voice will give you goosebumps), it is time to drop the EP’s curtain with the darkest and most dramatic album of the bunch. The subtle orchestrations, the moody melodies served by the vocals and what it seems to me the lower-tuned guitars paint this Progressive Metal with the darkest shades of grey. Listen closely to the chorus and dive deep into its atmosphere that goes hand in hand with the gloominess this winter season is open-handedly offering.

The quality of this EP writes ‘the return of CONCEPTION’ in bold letter and is the perfect vehicle to welcome Roy back into the Metal family. Is there a full album in making? Oh, I hope it is, because “My Dark Symphony” has already created a lion’s appetite for more...





01. Re:Conception
02. Grand Again
03. Into The Wild
04. Quite Alright
05. The Moment
06. My Dark Symphony


Tore Østby - Guitar
Ingar Amlien - Bass
Arve Heimdal - Drums
Roy Khan - Vocals