Moving onward with greatness
|4.6 (3 votes):|
It always fascinates me how fast a band is able to progress for the best and how little it takes before a band heads into the wrong direction. Such was the case with Conception, who after two records would reach their absolute peak. In Your Multitude represents some of the finest progressive metal out there and it baffles me how the band dumbed down by the time they released the follow up record Flow.
Despite being the band’s most progressive effort, In Your Multitude is as vibrant as their earlier material and one could argue that their tendency to keep their songs short and often devoid of any puzzling structures had something do with it. I’d even argue that In Your Multitude would be a good gateway record for those new to progressive metal; it’s got those progressive tendencies, yet it never falls into the traps one can find within the style. ‘’Some Wounds’’ wouldn’t be as effective if it were expanded, but since it quickly changes from a chugging verse into a storming chorus where the band goes for the attack, it does wonders. ‘’Solar Serpent’’ still contains some of that ear-worm catchiness you could find on Parallel Minds, where a head bobbing verse of a bass riff lead to an explosive sky-wailing chorus and even at its most progressive In Your Multitude shows no signs of decline. ‘’A Million Gods’’ is without a doubt the most progressive track on the album, but still as fantastic as most of the material here. It’s rather elaborated, yet it resonates around a memorable chorus and its runtime allows the keys / leads interplay to appear perfectly well given the context of the track.
Of course Conception always had a sentimental side and In Your Multitude highlights that aspect once more (after all there’s a deep thinking man on the cover art work and not some kind of robot!). The introspective ‘’Sanctuary’’ is the shortest song on the record, but not less powerful; Roy Khan stays in his mid-range here while his companion Ostby lays down some of his famous flamenco-styled licks with morose results. So forget all your self-help books about emotional intelligence and study this piece of art instead… it would benefit you a lot better I bet! Ending the album with a ballad is a bit of an add choice, but I would only complain about it if In Your Multitude wouldn’t end on such a high, if somber note. From the regretful cries of the chorus to the quiet ending that recalls the acceptance of an unfortunate fate – the title track highlights how far Khan has come since The Last Sunset.
Obviously it’s not just Roy Khan who’s responsible for the greatness of In Your Multitude. Guitarist Tore Ostby has really bettered himself here, too and knows how to create magic without playing overly fast or bloating up compositions with too many unnecessary licks. ‘’Under a Mourning Star’’ might sound alarming due to its chugging features, yet Ostby knows when to unexpectedly unleash a riff that has a bit more oomph to it, whereas ‘’Retrospect’’ represents a more unorthodox rhythmic attack with superb results. Having sacrificed speed for groove also allows the bass of Ingar Amlien bass to come through more frequently, as his lines lead the verses of ‘’A Million Gods’’ and ‘’Solar Serpent’’ forward while Ostby takes a step back during those segments.
Although I’d love to praise In Your Multitude for what it does well, there’s one serious stinker on this album and no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get myself to like it. ‘’Guilt’’ is slower paced than the rest here and with dwelling groove riffs resonating around a surprisingly weary vocal performance, the result just isn’t very good. You could say that this track foreshadows the direction Conception would take with Flow; it’s certainly odd to find such a track on this record since it sounds very much out of place. Nonetheless In Your Multitude is pretty damn fantastic and If progressive metal is your thing and you’re not familiar with this album yet, you’ve got some serious homework to do.
Release date: May 3rd, 1995
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