Two years ago the unexpected reunion of Conception with “My Dark Symphony” EP caused lot had thrilled those who could remember the short but great career of this great norwegian band back in the 1990s, a career that ended suddenly when Roy Khan joined Kamelot in 1998. So, here they are, two years later, the band is in good shape with a full length album that contains 9 compositions that we wont be ashamed to put next to their old stuff.
The intro “In: Deception” fail to impress as it is just an instrumental intro so let’s move to the first real track, “Of Raven and Pigs” has some interesting drumming, Roy Khan catches our attentions and the lyrics are about the thematic of Orwell’s Animal Farm. “Waywardly Broken” lets a bit more light to get through the dark atmosphere by offering some nice leads but also some positive lyrics («The world needs a shot of love directly to the heart cause night grows darker day by day») while what pops \out here is the solo guitar by Tore Ostby (who –and this was expected- has done great job through out the album).
Although they don’t repeat themselves Ι felt a familiar warm hug by listening the album, most probably because of the organic production while the general atmosphere of the album is dark and to this helps a lot the theatrical vocals of Roy Khan, the mid tempo compositions and the numerous different keyboard layers. Along the way you will find some more heavy tracks like “No Rewind”(which is a bit Kamelot-ish), tracks that will bring memories from Conception’s past like the speedy “She Dragoon”, beautiful ballads like “The Mansion” (nice harmony collaboration of Khan with Elize Ryd) or the simple yet so nice “Anybody Out There” while “Feather Moves” at the end is just a remastered version of the one we first heard on “Re:Conception”.
So, as a conlusion I can easily say this is a beautiful work, full of strong emotions that doesn’t try to impress with cheap tricks and hopefully doesn’t also try to be a replica of the past (although I caught myself smiling in a good way with some references, some constructions that took me back to “parallel minds” and yes, the aura of the “flow” shows the way often (not much as the way they build the compositions but more as the general atmosphere). One thing is for sure, the quartet is super great like always and managed to offer us some tracks that will keep us busy for a long time. I just hope we will see them on stage too as that cancellation of their show in Athens back in the 90s was really painful for us…