CD review CONCEPTION 'State of Deception'

This spring, Norwegian prog passionistas Conception add a new longplayer to their list of musical achievements. ‘State of Deception’ is the title of the new longplayer that opens a next book of Conception.

The band released some longplayers in the challenging ’90s, records that brought them quite some attention at the time. Things came to a finishing-line at the end of the last century after frontman Roy Khan left the band and signed up for Kamelot. Conception as a band disbanded in 1998.

Two years ago first rumours began to circle, also nurtured by some photos, that showed the band together. These first signs were more than only rumours since Conception announced their reunion a few weeks later, followed by the release of the ‘My Dark Symphony’ EP.

After such an appetizer it’s ‘State of Deception’ being the well-done main course. The new longplayer is the first studio album in two decades and features nine songs. Multi-layered sounds and a generally dark vibe are the main features of an album that shows Conception in good shape and form. It feels like the guys wanted to make this album to become real. Musical freedom and love to detail is what each of the songs reflects, being the main pillars for a cinematic sound architecture that sketches bigger soundscapes. They manifest themselves in soulful moments, like ‘The Manison’, a song that unveils again Khan’s powerful voice that in this case harmonise perfectly with Elize Ryd who has a guest appearance.

The starting point of the album is a shorter intro entitled ‘In Deception’ that leads to ‘Of Raven and Pigs’. The latter is an expressive track with vocals done in a narrative style. The song is dark and creates an oppressive atmosphere, while the following ‘Waywardly Broken’ builds on a same vibe but also pushes dark clouds away. The tune isn’t light-hearted but allows some extra musical sun rays compared to the previous one.

With ‘Anybody Out There’ the new record also includes a dark hymn that shows the bandwidth of Conception’s music – from drama via soulfulness to heavier moments. ‘She Dragoon’ fires on all cylinder before a remastered version of ‘Feather Moves’, originally from the ‘re:conception’ release from 2018, rounds of a well-done return of Norwegian Prog Metal icons Conception.

To wrap up: ‘State of Deception’ is an album that spreads joy and entertainment by layered songs that balance musical savvy and a greats sense for melodies. Details will be unveiled along the way while the melodies catch the listener’s attention right away. Well done and welcome back Conception.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. In Deception
  2. Of Raven And Pigs
  3. Waywardly Broken
  4. No Rewind
  5. The Mansion
  6. By The Blues
  7. Anybody Out There
  8. She Dragoon
  9. Feather Moves (remastered)

Label: Conception Sound Factory

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: April 3rd, 2020

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