CONCEPTION was formed in Norway in 1989 by guitarist Tore Østby, singer Dag Østby, drummer Werner Skogli and bassist Freddy Samsonstuen. The following year, Arve Heimdal replaced Werner Skogli and Ingar Amlien replaced Freddy Samsonstuen, not long after the band recorded their first demo tape. A few months later, Dag Østby quit, and the band began auditioning new singers, eventually settling on Roy Khan, an classically trained opera singer from Elverum. During early concerts, Khan famously had to wear a wig because he did not feel comfortable with having the longer hair associated with the genre. The band also hired keyboard player Hans Gjestvang soon after, who was eventually replaced by Trond Nagell-Dahl in 1994. After failing to secure a record deal, the band formed their own label, CSF Records, and recorded their first album, “The Last Sunset“, in a home studio. Following it’s 1991 release, however, the band was discovered and signed by German label Noise Records in 1993, where they recorded their second album “Parallel Minds“, released the same year. The following year Noise also reissued their debut album. In 1995, the band released their third album, “In Your Multitude“ and their fourth and final album, “Flow“, in 1997.
The band was characterized by a unique sound in the power/progressive metal genre, notable for Østby‘s occasional integration of elements of flamenco (which he would continue in his later work with Ark) and Khan‘s unique, operatic vocals.
Breakup and reunion
CONCEPTION disbanded in 1998, after Roy Khan was invited to join American symphonic power metal band Kamelot as their new lead singer. He went on to release several albums with the band, before departing in 2010 due to health issues, and retiring from music indefinitely. Østby devoted his focus to Ark, a progressive metal band he had formed in 1990 along with Jørn Lande and John Macaluso. They disbanded in 2002 and reunited from 2009 to 2011. Ingar Amlien formed the death metal band Crest of Darkness, who have released six studio albums as of 2018, and remain active. Drummer Arve Heimdal retired from music in 1999, making a one-off return for the bands 2005 reunion.
CONCEPTION reunited in 2005, playing the important American prog metal festival ProgPower USA on September 16 and Norwegian Scream Magazines 15 Years & 100 Issues Festival on October 1, bringing the final five-man line-up together again.
In April 2018, rumours began circulating that the band were planning a comeback, after reports of rehearsals in Gjøvik, followed by fan photos of the band together. Just a few days earlier, lead singer Roy Khan had posted a new track to his personal YouTube channel, his first known recording since 2010. This track, however, had no connection to CONCEPTION.
CONCEPTION will be releasing their first EP in years this fall of 2018.