Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
All New Material.
The perfect fusion of pop and metal sensibilities
Robert Pontzer | State College, PA United States | 12/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Flow" is the 1997 album from Norwegian melodic metal outfit Conception, and their last. Conception released 4 metal masterpieces in the 90's on the strength of their exceptional songwritings and 2 incredible talents: vocalist Roy Khan and guitarist Tore Ostby, now of Kamelot and ARK respectively. "Flow" was a departure for Conception. Their previous albums had been heavier, the songs more elaborate and progressive with lots of guitar shredding. "Flow" showcased a more accessible, sleeker sound. The songs are shorter and simpler, with less guitar soloing. The songs have a definate pop influence and radio-ready sound. This is not a detriment however. This is accessible music done right. The melodies are compelling, the arrangements intelligent. Also, the production is absolutely perfect. Everything is crisp, clear and powerful. In a perfect world, this album would have been a smash. It is really quite a visionary release as it took metal in a new direction. It's a shame Conception broke up after this album due to lack of commercial success. However, the members of the band have gone onto excellent bands like Kamelot and ARK. Roy Khan is one of the best singers in metal, with a silky smooth tone and middle range. He has exceptionally phrasing and delivery. Tore Ostby is nothing less than a virtuoso guitarist. He has one of the most distinctive styles in metal that incorporates many influences, such as Latin music and thrash metal. He plays with remarkable restraint on "Flow", shortening his solos and simplifying the riffs in order to craft perfect pop songs.I must admit that I did not like this album very much at first. It is certainly not a conventional metal album. I had heard nothing like it before. But after several listens, the quality of the songwriting really hit me. It's a great album for the adventurous metal listener, and should also be able to appeal to a lot of non-metal listeners. "Gethsemane" is my favorite song from the album and opens the album perfectly. It's a slinky, sleak, slithering and sexy song. It opens with a creative tom-tom pattern and lush, atmospheric keyboards. Roy Khan contributes a passionate, incredible, beautiful vocal performance: one of my favorites! He really puts on exceptional performance, full of emotion, technical prowess and that special timbre he has. The chorus is sublimely crafted, with its swirling guitar riff and instantly memorable vocal melodies. The bridge is simply amazing with its guitar soloing and Roy Khan's building power. "You will deny me again forever. As long as I'm bound to be here. Softly caressing the pain, learning... We all have a cross to bear. We all have a reason to die. A reason to leave all the worries and fly.""Angel (Come Walk With Me)" is a very unique song. This is another slinky, sexy song featuring a repetative, simplistic guitar riff. Roy Khan sings the verse in a very erotic manner, whispering and mumbling and moaning. The chorus, however, is the highlight. A lush multi-tracked chorus sings one line, while Roy Khan whispers vocals between those lines. It is a stunning juxtaposition. "A Virtual Lovestory" is about a man obsessed with a woman he met online. He yearns to meet her in the flesh. This song features a sparse soundscape of simplistic bass and electronics before exploding into the chorus with its frantic guitar and processed vocals. The title track "Flow" is a gem. It's infectious guitar riff and sultry groove are entrancing. "Flow into your mind. Embracing like a mother's womb. Flow and you will find. Forgotten pictures of the moon." Tore Ostby contributes a short but blistering guitar solo. "Cry" is a ballad that starts of extremely softly with acoustic guitars and slow synths with Roy Khan's gentle crooning. The song slowly builds with bubbling electronics and electric guitar. "Reach Out" is a solid rocker featuring some suprisingly gruff verses by Roy Khan. This song incorporates an almost urban hip-hop vibe in the electronics and percussion. "Tell Me When I'm Gone" is the only song I don't like from this album. Conception always includes a very slow, sludgy, doom/stoner metal song on its albums, and I usually don't like them. This song reminds me of one of Soundgarden's slower songs. "Hold On" is an extremely fragile ballad featuring nothing but harpsichord, violin and Roy Khan's elegant vocals. This is the farthest thing from metal, and is extremely light, but the song is ethereal and uplifting. The chorus is very beautiful. "Won't you hold on and we'll be forgiven. Just you hold on, I'll always be there for you." "Cardinal Sin" is the fastest and heaviest song from the album, and also exceptionally catchy. The chorus is one of the best I have ever heard, it soars. This is a adrenaline-pumping song that is great for driving or other activities. The pulsing bass and crisp drumming drive this song along."Would It Be The Same" ends the album with its immaculate multi-tracked vocal chorus and pulsating electronics. "Like I'm guilty. Like I'm sad. I must fight to be lonely. To break the chain.""
firstname.lastname@example.org | Newcastle, Australia | 01/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording and the 3 earlier recordings are equally superb. If you like progressive metal that's tight, virtuosic, and has a lot of class, these young Norwegian boys had what it takes. I'm 37 and I've listened to a lot of music, and this band is the best of its type. The music just fits together seamlessly, amazingly mature talent for such a young band. They could have been huge, and it's a shame that they're now defunct."
Great Album! True Progressive Metal!
Joe White | Layton, Utah United States | 03/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Conception does know what great progressive metal is about.It's the songs, stupid.And they succeed with Flow. Progressive metal, or progressive music in general, is about moving into unusual territory and pushing boundaries yet at the same time, keeping the song number one. Technical proficiency and brilliant musicianship should come second to great songwriting. Conception knows this and Flow is great songwriting.Don't look to Dream Theater's recent album (Scenes From A Memory) for true progressive metal. Look to Conception's Flow for what progressive metal is all about.It's the songs, stupid!It also helps that Conception's Roy S. Khan is the best vocalist I've ever heard, easily an equal to Queensryche's Geoff Tate or Dream Theater's James LaBrie."