I listen to a shit ton of music every month. As a distraction from rowdy co-workers and all the noise at my workplace, or in the background when chilling in the evening with a good glass of beer or whiskey. And as variety is the spice of life, each month I’ll try to check out a new band recommended to me by Last.fm and see if I like them or not based on their first record. This months recommendation:
Record: My Dark Symphony
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Recommended because off: Kamelot, Michael Romeo, Evergrey
When this recommendation popped up on Last.fm and I noticed who the singer was I immediately got excited to check them out. Sadly only their most recent offerings are available on Spotify, so I wasn’t able to check out their albums from the nineties.
The one I did check out was their most recent EP entitled ‘My Dark Symphony’. This release follows a 20 year silence from the band. And if I’m not mistaken it’s also the first time Roy Khan is back behind a microphone since his departure from Kamelot back in 2011. When it was announced he was going to leave Kamelot I was a bit gutted. I loved his singing style and power behind his voice. The few times I was able to see them perform live where more than memorable. To be fair, with Tommy Karevik on vocals now, Kamelot still kicks some serious power metal ass.
But enough about them, back to ‘My Dark Symphony’. The release starts off with a somewhat forgettable instrumental intro which doesn’t last that long. So we quickly get to the good stuff. In the first song, entitled ‘Grand Again’ we can hear Roy’s recognizable vocals again. Boy did I missed those. Apart from his singing, there luckily is no crossover from his previous band. It would have been disappointing if this was such a Kamelot clone, but ‘Conception’ has its own sound.
In part I feel like that is a very good thing, but not all is well. Every song has an interesting tidbit, like an cool riff or melody. You can hear the band experimenting and trying things. But after coming to the end of the EP, I’m somehow a bit, well, unimpressed. Everything is there, good sound, good production and variation between the songs. But somehow, it feels a bit save and cornered. Nothing really stands out or gives me a wow-factor. If it had somebody else on vocals, I might have even given a future release a pass. But I do hope they will do a full release in the near future and bring it home. All the building blocks are there.
Again, I’m not familiar with their earlier works. So I have to base it purely on this release and as a first discovery this one is kind of forgettable. Conception has some interesting concepts (no phun intended), but in my ears it doesn’t fully come to fruition on this record. But I do really like to hear more from these guys as it feels kinda like a slow start towards something really great.