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Record 6 of 51
Band's Name:  Conception
Contributor(s):  Travis Tedesco (tnt58@lemursonmars.com), Michael Menegakis (michael@progmetal.net)
Last Time Updated:  03-Mar-2000
Band's Country:  Norway
Discography:  

The Last Sunset 1993
Parallel Minds 1993
In Your Multitude 1995
Flow 1997

State(Active or Disbanded):  Active
Biography:  From http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Palladium/1360

Conception was founded in Raufoss, Norway November 1989 by guitarist Tore stby, with Dag stby (vocals) and Werner Skogli (drums). A couple of weeks later Tore brought in his music-schoolmate and bassplayer Freddy Samsonstuen, and the band started to work towards their first demotape. In April 1990 they hired a studio for one day, and put out a 3 track demo. But as their ambitions grew, the line-up had to be changed. In June same year after only playing one show with the band, Werner had to leave, with Arve Heimdal stepping in. Arve was known to the local music scene from several rock bands. They went back into studio after a few weeks with Arve, and did their second demo, consisting of ten tracks. This was the last thing Freddy did with the band, and Conception hooked up with bassplayer Ingar Amlien in early autumn. Being a few years older than the rest, Ingar had experience from recording bands like Roquefire (with Ronni Le Tekro (TNT)), 018 and One 2 Many. The band did now feel the time was right to do a real studio recording and release a CD/LP. Instead of shopping for a record deal, they founded their own label, CSF Records, and started planning their first release. After some months of hard rehearsing, songwriting and some shows, Conception went in Gjvik Lydstudio with co-producer and engineer Nils Harald Maehlum, February 91, to record a four track EP. But the band had to face another problem. The sound of the band had been radically changed from trash metal into a melodic, progressive style. Dags vocal style did not really fit the new song material, and the search for a new singer began. After auditioning singers from all over Norway, they finally met up with Roy S. Khantatat in June. One month of rehearsals later, Conception went back in the same studio with Maehlum to do the full length album "The Last Sunset". This was very exciting for the band, since Ingar was the only one with previous recording experience. The album took about one month to record, with studio musicians Hans Christian Gjestvang and Staffan William-Olsson taking care of keyboards. Finally the band had the right line-up and a first album, -this felt very much like the real beginning. November 91, and four very proud musicians get the finished product in their hands. Now they needed to get the album on to the market, and after closing some distribution-deals, a Conception launch-party was held in a local club, on 13 December. A distribution-deal with CNR/NonStop for Norway, underground distributor Ragnark in Germany and a great export demand from Japan helped the album sell 5,000 copies, and the 250,000 NOK the boys had invested was more than recouped. Very satisfying considering that all the promotion work was done by the band. The press raved about this new unsigned band, but the few offers the band got from record companies were just not worth considering of. In Norway the songs "The Last Sunset" and "Fairys Dance" reached positions 2 and 3 in the national radio NRKs top ten playing list, and stayed for a lot of weeks. But Conception was still aware that they needed an established record company behind them, so in order to get more offers, they did another demotape in the summer of 92. At the same time they were asked by Mercury/PolyGram to record a song for a Norwegian rock history compilation, so they went back to Gjvik Lydstudio in Raufoss and recorded the song "Black On Black". This compilation was released in November with the title "Norske Riff & Tordenskrall". This track, together with "Soliloquy", "My Decicion" and "The Promiser" from the demo recordings, was sent round to various companies at the end of the year. And finally Conception got some offers which matched their ambitions. After some months of negotiating, Conception finally ended up signing with Noise Records/Modern Music. In the meantime they also took on keyboarder Hans Chr. as a fifth member of the band. New adventures lay ahead. After some more months of songwriting, the material for the album "Parallel Minds" was completed. Producer Tommy Newton (Helloween, Voodoo Cult, Terry Hoax etc.) was flown up to Norway, and after a week of getting to know the band and material, they all went down to Hannover, Germany, to Tommys Stairway To Heaven" Studios. However the drums had to be recorded in Saarbrcken at the FAR" Studios, and recording started in the first week of July 93. Shortly after, the band was back in Hannover to do the rest of the recordings. It was a new situation to work with a producer, but they quickly found out that this was an easier and fruitful way of working. At the same time Modern Music was planning a Melodic Metal Festival Tour, where Conception were to play with Gamma Ray, Rage and Helicon. This tour took place in the beginning of September, and the band had to take a short break from the studio to do their debut German gigs. The five shows were a great success, and a very pleased but exhausted bunch of Norwegians went back to Hannover to complete the recordings. A mini-CD featuring the four bands was released on Noise, including the demo version of "My Decision", to promote the tour. An audio/video live recording was arranged in Hamburg "Docks" for an upcoming release. Back in the studio, Conception enjoyed putting the last pieces for the album together. Being able to do a lot of experiments with the music in the studio was a new advantage for the band, and the boys found out that long, creative studio sessions suited them very well. At the beginning of October the album was finished, and the band headed back to Norway. On the way back they stopped in Lbeck to shoot their first video clip for the song "Roll The Fire", later to be seen on MTV and VIVA among others. Back in Norway there was not much rest for the band. A tour was already planned, and they had to meet the press in Norway as well as around Europe. The sales were very encouraging, and the album went in the Japanese national charts at no. 23. Tore goes to Japan for the first time to meet the Japanese press in December. In January 1994, a co-headline tour with English Threshold was planned. Conception had realised that taking Hans in as a regular member was a bad move, due to personal differences. Keyboarder Halvor Holter was hired, and the tour ran smoothly through Germany and Benelux for four weeks. During this tour, Noise re-released the debut album, "The Last Sunset", with new cover artwork. A double compilation live CD and video, "Power Of Metal", was also released, including four songs recorded at the Melodic Metal Festival. After just a few weeks at home, a new tour started. This time with another English band, named Skyclad. Yet another keyboarder, Trond Nagell Dahl, was joining Conception. The tour started in April, and for the first time Conception played in Great Britain. After two lively weeks in England, Scotland and Wales, the party moved on to the European mainland to continue the tour in Germany, Benelux and Denmark. A few weeks later the band went back north to do a couple of shows after another successful crusade. After all this travelling, it was time to start thinking about the next album. The songwriting started in June, and after five intensive months the material for "In Your Multitude" was completed. Because working with producer Tommy Newton had proved satisfactory, Conception went back to his studio in Hannover in December. Since the last tour, the band had been working closely with Trond Nagell Dahl, and he did the keyboards on the album as an associate member. Again the studio session went smoothly, the album was finished in March and released in April. On 20 April 1995 Conception had a release party in Buddy Holly Zelt", Hamburg, together with Gamma Ray from the same label. "In Your Multitude" was also released as a limited edition version including a 12" with the Spanish-influenced song "Sundance", recorded in Conceptions own studio during the songwriting session. A new tour is planned, but is delayed and delayed of various reasons. In June Conception was invited to play the Isle Of Calf Festival in Norway with Faith No More, Slashs Snakepit, Clawfinger etc. This would be the last thing Conception did for a while. After all the intensive work over the last years, the boys decided they had to have a break, in order to recharge their batteries and to do some other musical work. In July Tore started planning a project with the New York drummer John Macaluso (ex TNT, Powermad, Riot etc.), and Ingar his "Crest Of Darkness" solo project. Arve and Roy decided more or less to have a break from music. In October Tore went back to Hannover to help out Tommy Newton and his band Victory in the studio, mainly producing the guitars. Two months later back in Norway, John Macaluso arrived and Tore spent another two months doing songwriting with him for a future album release. In the middle of this session Conception did a local gig in order to kill the rumours that the band had split up. In February 1996, the boys felt it was time to get together again to continue working as Conception. The time out had been very refreshing, and the boys were ready to get going again. The band started an intensive songwriting phase. In May the band finally went to Japan to do their first shows in front of a very enthusiastic audience. On this tour Lars Christian Narum was on keyboards. After the Japan-tour, the boys went back to the rehearsal room to continue the songwriting. Keyboarder Trond Nagell Dahl was brought back in, and was now also taking part in the songwriting. Ingar got himself some more time off during the summer to record an EP with Crest Of Darkness" called "Quench My Thirst", while the rest of the band took a short summer holiday. Songwriting again, and more than 30 songs later, Conception finally felt they had the songs together for the next album. Early October, Tommy Newton came up to Norway again for a short pre-production, and after a week they went back to Hannover to do the third album in Tommys studio. On this album Conception chose to use more of todays advanced technology to spice up the sound, and experimented with loops and sounds with a very satisfying result, and the most theatrical album so far. The album was finished four months later, and was given the name "Flow". During this time, the band hooked up with United Talents Management, to handle the business. "Flow" was released 1 April 1997, and an extensive promotrip was done in Japan and around in Europe. In Germany alone 68 interviews were given, and again Conception was highly acclaimed by the press. Being a Norwegian band, but never having done a real tour in Norway seemed a little strange for the Norwegian fans as well as the band themselves. So after coming back from the promotrip, nine Norwegian shows were lined up. Another two weeks of pure fun on the road. After this tour, Conception did a month of songwriting, and then had the summer off. An European tour will take place in Germany, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Norway and Finland starting at the end of August. A new album release is planned for next year.

Opinion(s) on Band's Discography:  

BY TRAVIS TEDESCO:

these guys have become one of my favorites. i think it's tragic that they broke up. roy khantatat, the singer, is now with kamelot, another and not near as good progressive metal band. conception's sound becomes markedly more refined (and better) with each release. they had a very balanced sound, something i'm always drawn towards. no one instrument dominates, but all share equaly in the texture of the songs. i think they really hit their stride on flow. roy khantatat's voice was always something that drew me to conception as well, it's not the typical progressive metal voice. his range might not be like that of say geoff tate's, but the quality and tone of his voice i've always enjoyed.

Present and Past Members:  Band Lineup (as of "Flow")

Kkhan (Roy Khantatat): vocals
Tore Ostby: guitars
Trond Nagell-Dahl: keyboards
Ingar Amlien: bass
Arve Heimdal: drums

Reference Bands:  Roquefire, 018, Dark Side, One 2 Many, Redrum, Kamelot
Links related to the Band:  http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Palladium/1360

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