Conception
Parallel Minds


4.0
excellent

Review

by scissorlocked USER (35 Reviews)
March 5th, 2011 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Eden lies obscured

Formed in Norway during the late 80's, Conception was a progressive/ power metal band which started with great potential of becoming a force to be reckoned with. They may haven't achieved a further recognition -the band is still considered criminally underrated-, but they have attained an almost cult status. What's even more exciting is that Conception is the band in which Kamelot's Roy Khan made his first steps, as well as Ark's gifted guitarist, Tore Østby. However, far from being the ex- band of Kamelot's talented singer, the Norse power metallers demonstrated songwriting maturity, technicality and a rare diversity within their genre, which at the beginning of 90's was giving us some undisputed diamonds.

Released in 1993, Parallel Minds is more than a straight power metal record with supersonic elements and proggy licks. With no need to showcase their musical abilities, a good sense of how a powerful song is structured and the unique voice of Khan, Conception shaped their second album with craftsmanship. And with Østby as the conductor, the result was doomed to be a work of high quality. Maybe, the most important thing here is that Parallel Minds has the ability to transcend its' genre and successfully include elements which add variety and break the repetition that seems to be a permanent curse for such bands. Such elements can be heard at the closing " Soliloquy ", which despite its' 9 minute length, demonstrates a solid and excellently executed vision of how an epic metal song should be. Such colorful guitar solos' like the ones after the first minute of the song are hard to find, while the rest of it displays raw riffing alongside with synth additions, climaxing just at the right time. "Water Confines" and "Roll the Fire", the two opening tracks, are great examples of straight and solid songs with Khan's voice really shining. Østby deserves equal credit here for shaping the songs in a way that Khan could develop his singing. Equally crushing and ardent is the guitar work in the title track, while there are also milder moments, like " Silent Crying", the record's acoustic ballad.

Although the album is generally powerful, there are specific points that prevent it from being a truly memorable work. Together with the solid rhythm section, the guitars display a sharp viciousness that's catchy in the first listens, but slowly wears off. And that's maybe the weakest point of the album: while it cleverly incorporates many elements in its' sound, the quite plain songwriting somehow lowers the final quality. It's like there's something more needed, like a spark of catchiness. The choruses which are of great significance in such song structures, are well sung but seem like nothing special at all. This can be seen in tracks like " And I Close My Eyes" or " Silver Shine", where it's almost evident that the band could do better (and specially when compared to ones like the opener ). Furthermore, the lyrics are quite stereotyped, and thus boring, never exceeding the classic power metal boundaries.

Parallel Minds is definitely what we can call a regal power/prog metal album. It stood out as the band's greatest work but never flourished properly, and that for many rather mysterious reasons. What we can do is approach this well hidden gem with admiration and respect, not only for its' undeniable quality, but also for helping Khan and Østby thrive on their continuous musical journey.



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user ratings (26)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
scissorlocked
March 5th 2011


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so underrated and unknown band

this should be checked from all the Kamelot fans

lostforwords
March 5th 2011


446 Comments


I always felt this band was overrated, especially in our country. This record is nothing really special, a 4 for their best record tells us as much as we need to know.

Other than that the review is very good, I like that it's relatively short (yet descriptive enough), thus easy to read.

scissorlocked
March 5th 2011


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks man!

I totally agree with you that it's kinda overrated in Greece. strip away the myth and you'll lose half the record.

vanderb0b
March 5th 2011


3473 Comments


Review is pretty good. Listening to this as I'm in need of some good power metal, this is really enjoyable so far.

scissorlocked
March 5th 2011


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks vanderbob! Happy to see that this satisfies you power metal needs!



WashboardSuds
March 5th 2011


5010 Comments


I've never heard of these guys before, but you make them sound pretty interesting.

very well-written review scissor, here's a pos from me to you

Digging: Gas - Nah und Fern

scissorlocked
March 6th 2011


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thank you man

it feels kinda strange, I'm the only only who rated this. Not much people know the band here

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2011


6105 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tore Østby . However

fix the period



omg this didn't have a review?

very well written, have a pos.


"Roll the fire" is a superb song and while Conception is a power/prog act, the guitars in here are soooo heavy...


I have their last two albums, In Your Multitude and Flow, in which they became (or they tried, at least) something more than just a very good power/prog metal band.

Too bad that they disbanded themselves after those two albums.


Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

Tyrael
March 6th 2011


20876 Comments


Interesting, I will check this out. Nice review as always scissorlocked.
I'm hoping for that Bruce Dickinson review!

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

scissorlocked
March 6th 2011


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks Voivod and Tyraelxy!

Expect to see that Dickinson review during the week man.

Dreamflight
March 6th 2011


1760 Comments


Yeah dude, this was well written. I didn't really like "in your multitude", maybe I'll end up liking this. Kahn rules.

scissorlocked
March 6th 2011


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks dreamflight, I personally enjoy this more than In Your Multitude

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2011


6105 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

now that i re-read the review, it reads more like a 3.5.

and that, in the light of the fact that The Last Sunset is a perfect 3/5 to me.

imho, In Your Multitude was convinvingly focused on the atmospheric side of Conception, and for that i liked it a lot.

That's just my opinion, though.

scissorlocked
March 10th 2011


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

from what I mention in the 3rd paragraph, the things I consider "bad" are the quite typical songwriting, some uninspired choruses and the also typical lyrics

It seemed that it can clearly stand as a 4 for me, for the fact that inside the genre little innovation is shown, and generally its' great moments( like the first or the last song) keep its' standards high. Apart from a couple of songs which I consider decent, this include very good tracks

Poet
May 26th 2011


5933 Comments


For some reason I didn't really listen to this band until like a month ago. Really good stuff

scissorlocked
May 29th 2011


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it really is

but the times of power metal are gone....

RedViper
April 13th 2012


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Might be my fave album of all times but i am not very objective about it i guess. Have it since it was released and all these years its still a wonderful friend that i am never bored of. A perfect balance of heaviness, melody, skill and catchiness that always spoke to my soul!

KILL
August 2nd 2012


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

god this rules

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

benkim
June 17th 2014


2105 Comments


Where can I download this?



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