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Too Bad... - 95%

SJDJ, February 5th, 2010

Conception... Better known as little more then Roy Khan's other band is much more then just that. Conception's potential to grow into one of the greatest prog/power bands ever was certainly there. It's too bad that they were relegated to nothing more then a footnote on another band's page. This album proves that much.

This album is easily one of the catchiest and powerful prog/power albums ever released. The riffs are a grab bag of a various different styles, the two main ones being a groovy style and the other is the European power metal.. It's quite easy to hear the standardized European power metal riffs (such as on the titular track) and on another song such as Angel (Come Walk with Me) or A Virtual Lovestory you can plainly hear a groovy accentuation to the music thanks to influences such as Pantera. At first some fans would balk at the very notion of "groovy mallcore garbage" being affiliated with such a high score but in this case this mixed bag of guitar styles is really what makes the album what it is. They are all well executed and spot on, they are all powerfully played and add to the atmosphere surrounding the music. They never detract from the listening experience. The sheer variation from song to song in terms of guitar playing is one of the most interesting aspects of this album.

The bass is really well done as well, and can actually be heard as opposed to many other bands. It is fairly well placed in the mix and can be heard at all times competently played and at some points in the album has some very important and interesting parts in the song as a whole, making it much more then just "another part" of the band.

The biggest reason why this band would probably get any attention at all is the vocalist, Roy, of Kamelot fame. In that band he is known as the stalwart vocalist that can do no wrong. In Conception he is ten times better. In Conception there are no limits for him, and a tone that varies greatly from his Kamelot form. He is splendid on this album, putting so much emotion into the vocals, as he is very much regarded for doing in all his works, except in a far more interesting and gruffer/distorted sound, as opposed to his high flying Kamelot power metal styled vocals.

The keys and effects on this album is abundant as one can expect of a prog/power album but they are well placed and used tastefully and do not detract from the music in any particular places except at the beginning of a couple songs where there is a spoken word intro (I am not very big on those). That is about the biggest complaint I have about this album,

The drums are once more competent, doing what they need to, complimenting the music easily and smoothly. It does not matter whether it is the start-stop music as found on some songs, or one of the quicker numbers. There is nothing that sticks out like a sore thumb, they are well placed in the mix and are an integral part of the smooth flow of the album

That is easily the key word to this album. Smooth. Everything blends together so seamlessly and smoothly that it is amazing. Whether it is the vocals, guitars, drums, bass, or keys, no one plays a singularly starring roll in this production but rather all compliment each other perfectly to create a smoothly transitioning, generally mid-paced album that can easily be listened to in it's entirety while maintaining the listener's interest throughout all the songs without any huge surprises thrown in. That is the golden element of this album.

Conception's Flow is easily one of the best power/prog albums I have ever heard. Some of the highlights are the title track, Gethsemane and Cardinal Sin. Although these three tracks are my favorite, any track on here could easily be on of your favorites because these album is track for track an amazing album. It has a great flow to it, and it is too bad that this band had to call it quits after this album.