4 out of 5 Stars!
To me, this impressive Norwegian band sounded almost like a “prologue” to the group Kamelot, and no surprise considering that the wonderfully gifted Roy Khan was the singer on all four Conception releases in the 1990s before he joined the band for which he came to be most recognized.
Therefore, Kamelot fans will probably enjoy Conception, although the band is generally less grandiose, less heavily orchestrated, when it comes to its arrangements and production. Nevertheless, when listening to hard-hitting tunes such as “And I Close My Eyes,” “Water Confines,” “Wolf’s Lair,” “My Decision,” “Roll the Fire,” and the lengthier closer “Soliliquy,” the similarities between the two groups are way too numerous to ignore.
Although Parallel Minds (the band’s second album) is probably one of my favorites, in truth, all four Conception releases are just about equal when it comes to the high quality of the songwriting and overall musicianship.
(Also, a note for Prog-Metal fans: once Conception disbanded after Roy Khan’s departure, band founder and ace guitarist Tore Ostby went on to form Ark with singer Jorn Lande, a fantastic Prog-Metal group that released two exceptional albums just around the turn of the century before also disbanding.)