Conception’s particular brew of hard rock and metal from the 70’s forward mixed with Spanish guitars and electronic elements quickly attracted a large and loyal fan base. Early on guitarist Tore Østby, bassist Ingar Amlien and drummer Arve Heimdal soon felt they had something special in their foundation, so they went looking for a singer that would complete the band and their sound. A mutual friend recommended Roy Khan, and he remembers the encounter as a turning point for him:

 -”It was love at first listen. I heard the intro to «War of Hate» and was 100% sold. After 20 seconds I was telling myself: -I want to be part of this no matter what!”

 They all hit it off and started their creative journey together, releasing the first album ”The Last Sunset” in 1991. Facing little or no interest from record companies they decided to release the album themselves. Determined to make it work they raised funds and then recorded, released and got distribution deals in Europe and Japan. The hard work paid off resulting in great sales and international media recognition. Having proven their worth the recording industry eventually got interested.

Passionate innovators


Noise/Modern Music signed them, and in 1993 ”Parallel Minds” was released. Now Conception established themselves not only as a band with an undoubted potential and new quality, they also laid the foundation of what has become a signature of the band; the constant development. When asked about whether they ever considered the risk of said development resulting in great leaps between albums, Tore says:

 -”Some might argue that artists should stick to a certain formula, but we are Conception and we need to do what we feel is right to make the most out of ourselves and our art.”

 This curious and fearless attitude towards the creative process, the willingness to explore wherever they might land, may very well be the key to how this band became legendary both among fans and musicians.


In 1995 their third album ”In Your Multitude” achieved enthusiastic reviews and manifested the bands position as innovators in the hard rock/metal scene.

Roy, Tore, Ingar and Arve all tell about different individual musical references, and even lifestyles, but still vouch for the strong bond and community within the band. Since the beginning they have kept challenging each other musically, an exciting approach that could easily result in conflict and hard to overcome rifts, but in their case led to new ways of composing. Ingar elaborates:

-”I think it’s fascinating how different we are, but still work as a perfect unit when we play. We are great friends, but the glue between us is something else, something impossible to define.”


Their fourth album ”Flow” was released in 1997 and is to this day probably the most talked about of their old albums, known to be ahead of its time, and a great example of novelty both in sound and composition.

Later that year the band took a break and went on to explore new adventures each on their own. Roy took a significant role in Kamelot, Tore founded ARK, Ingar continued with his band Crest of Darkness, and Arve played with several national artists.

Conception did a few shows and creative sessions during the hiatus. In 2015, Tore and Arve went to the rehearsal room to jam over recent song ideas, and found they were onto something interesting. It was a natural course to take this to Roy and Ingar. Not only did the band rediscover the joy of playing together. The new material was unmistakably Conception. 

Back stronger than ever


Determined to keep control over their material they initialized a crowdfunding campaign to release the music on their own label. After a disappointing setback due to the crowdfunding company going bankrupt, they pressed on and managed to release the mini album ”My Dark Symphony” in 2018. Overwhelmed by the positive response, the quartet followed up with the full album ”State of Deception” in 2020, with a consecutive tour. Facing another setback with the pandemic forcing them to postpone the tour, they still kept going. The break was used to put together a luxurious box with unreleased material and a book about the band.

When they finally got to hit the roads they were thrilled to embrace the warmth from the audience. The band embarked on a unique journey when they decided that one of their crowdfunding offers would be to camp with them for a weekend. Being that generous with themselves and their time proved a successful concept, and the camps they have done so far were all sold out. This generosity with their time and shared experiences with fans has resulted in an exceptionally close bond between band and followers. This bond is one of many factors giving the intense atmosphere, a real sense of community, on their shows.

They have been celebrated for their strong live performances, and Arve describes them:

-”What characterizes us after all is Roy’s unique voice, Tore’s brilliant guitar playing and mine and Ingar’s ground solid, groovy foundation.”

Their already firm, loyal fan base is growing, and new generations are discovering their unique music. After a year of successful touring in mainland Europe and their home country of Norway, they will set out on their first Latin American tour in 2024, and who knows what will come after that?

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