CONCEPTION - CREST OF DARKNESS - Ingar Amlien

Some years after the end of the legendary 80s decade, the heavy metal genre was struggling for new elements and new directions. A very important band that brought many innovations was, with no doubt, Conception. Inspired and technical with amazing vocals and musicianship, gave us brilliant music and a great legacy of inspiration for the newer bands of today, like Kamelot, Evergrey, Nightwish and so many more...
\r\nIngar Amlien, bass player of Conception, talked to Metalzone about this legendary band and his current band as well, Crest of Darkness.

\r\n
\r\nFirst of all I m honored to talk with the bass player of one of the most legendary progressive metal bands. Conception has devoted fans from all over the world and definitely getting back together and start touring was something we were all longing for, for years. So, how did you guys finally decided to do it?
\r\n

\r\nIngar: We had talked about it for a long time that we wanted to play together again, -at least a few concerts, and a couple of years ago everybody in the band felt ready to do this. I guess that one of the reasons why after all these years we found the motivation to play together again also had to do with the fact that we were invited to come and play at the ProgPower festival in Atlanta. The people behind this festival had asked us over and over again through several years if we could be interested in making a reunion and come and play… Well, finally we did, and I can tell you it was a great experience for us!! People from all over the world came there to see us, and I’ll never forget the meeting with all this dedicated fans!!
\r\n
\r\nWhat were the expectations from this reunion?
\r\n
\r\nIngar: Actually we didn’t have many concrete expectations…. First of all we did this because it felt right at that time. We wanted to have a lot of fun together again, we’re really a special gang of musicians, and it’s always an almost magical atmosphere around us when we’re playing together… I cannot explain it, but I believe that all of us have this feeling that Conception is something very, very special! So you could might say that we did it very much for ourselves. But don’t misunderstand me; -it’s of course a very big pleasure for us when we’re getting such a great response from people all over the world. –A big thanks to our fans!!
\r\n
\r\nAfter a very few gigs, there has been a long period of silence for the band. Can you describe us the current situation? Was there any new material, ready to be recorded?
\r\n

\r\nIngar: We had some new material, but we had no concrete plans about recording any of these new ideas. We knew that we needed more time. Conception always worked very slowly, but we always had a plan, and we never gave up before we were absolutely happy with the results. When we’re doing something it ‘s always one hundred percent.For the moment I cannot tell you anything concrete about future plans for Conception. It’s still a possibility that we’ll do something together again, but we have to find a new period in our life when it feels right for everybody. It’s also a practical question, the latest years some of us have been so busy with other bands and projects that it hasn’t been possible to organize.
\r\n
\r\nI was always wondering, how many hours of practice and rehearsals did you need to get all these incredible ideas together?

\r\n
\r\nIngar:
We were rehearsing A LOT! In several years we had band-rehearsals almost every day, and every day we was playing in many, many hours…. We loved it, but sometimes it was perhaps a little bit too much, -we really offered everything to do this! Well, that’s of course also the reason why we succeeded. It’s no easy way… You just have to work, work, work…  \r\n

\r\n \r\n

\r\n

\r\nconception \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n

\r\n

\r\nCrest of Darkness, which is a black metal band, is your “brainchild”. Progressive power and black are two completely different kinds of metal. How difficult is it to combine them?
\r\n
\r\nIngar:
It’s not as difficult as you might believe. Well, the bands are quite different from each other, that’s for sure, but we also have many things in common. Especially on Crest of Darkness’ new album you’ll find a lot of quite progressive elements in the music, but these elements have actually been there all the time. Crest of Darkness in general are playing faster, more brutal music than Conception, but I’m thinking very much in the same way in both bands.
\r\n
\r\nYou have released 5 albums already with Crest of Darkness, and you recently recorded another one, named “Give Us The Power To Do Your Evil”. Tell us a few things about the history of the band.
\r\n
\r\nIngar:
When I started up with Crest of Darkness I wanted to make darker and more brutal music than before. I’m very proud of the music we played with Conception, but during the years with Conception I very often came up with ideas that was too extreme for Conception. I’ve always listened to all kind of metal, and especially the most extreme styles of metal. I guess I reached a point where I had to create my own extreme band ‘cause I had such a lot of dark and brutal music in my head that just wanted to “come out”. Through the years it’s been many great musicians in and out of the band. Even Arve Heimdahl and Roy Khan from Conception have done their guest-appearances in Crest of Darkness. (On “The Ogress”-album.) I must say that everybody who has been in the band deserves a big thanks from me! Without these musicians Crest of Darkness wouldn’t be the same! Crest of Darkness has always focused on the albums while it has been difficult to tour as much as we’ve wanted to. Whatever, we have played quite a lot both in Norway and abroad, and we’ll continue playing live also in the future. Very much is depending on the feedback on our new release, but I hope we’ll get the possibility to play quite a lot of concerts next year. –We’ll see what happens…
\r\n
\r\nToday the line up is: Kjetil Hektoen on drums, Rebo on lead-guitar, Kjell Arne Hubred on rhythm-guitar, and me (vocals and bass). It seems like this line-up will last for a long time. We’re working very well together in many ways. When we recorded our new album in Rome in “The Outer Sound Studios” I saw that this is perfect! –Everybody took their job as musicians seriously, but everybody was also able to have fun and party when we had time for that.
\r\n
\r\nWhich are the current activities of the band, any plans for a tour? \r\n

\r\n

\r\nIngar: We’ve played a few concerts this summer and autumn, and for the moment we’re rehearsing before we’re going to play more concerts next year. I cannot give you much concrete information when it comes to this, but we’re about to confirm the first live-dates next year. I have some contacts in Greece and it has been talk about organizing a few gigs in your country. I hope that we’re succeeding with these plans because we would love to come and play for you!! As a curiosity I can tell you that I’ve been on holiday in Greece three times, and I manna come back!!
\r\n
\r\nCurrent activities…. Well, it seems like I’ll be VERY busy with interviews in the time that comes. It’s sometimes hard work, but I also love to get in touch with people from all over the world. Most of the time this is great fun!!
\r\n
\r\nWhich are your influences as a musician?
\r\n

\r\nIngar: During my life I’ve listened to all kind of music, especially heavy metal of course! It started up with Alice Cooper in my childhood, later came Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Motörhead, all these classic bands. Later on I have continued to listen to my old heroes, but I’ve also gone more and more into the extreme metal scene. First I was into bands like Death, Deicide, Morbid Angel, these kinds of bands. Later on the list is so long that I don’t know who to mention right now. –It’s so many great bands!As a Norwegian I’m of course quite proud of many of the great bands we have here. The Black Metal scene Norway is unique, and many of the pioneers comes from here. I am of course thinking about bands like Emperor, Mayhem, Darkthrone, and there’s also many more…Other bands/artists I like…. Well, I can mention Killing Joke, Diamanda Galas, Death Can Dance, Deathspell Omega, it’s so many….And don’t to forget all the classical music I’ve listened to through the years!! (Wagner, Brahms, Mozart, Bethoven,….)
\r\n
\r\nWe’, I’m not sure if this was a good answer or not, but it should at least give you an idea about my influences.
\r\n
\r\nCan you name some of your favorite albums?
\r\n
\r\nIngar: Today my list is (this is changing all the time, but it gives s good impression of my all time favorites.). Alice Cooper –Killers, Samael – Ceremony of Opposites, Emperor – In The Nightside Eclipse, Rush – Moving Pictures, Mayhem – Grand Declaration Of War, Marduk – Panzer Division Marduk, Deicide – Legion, Darkthrone – Under A Funeral Moon, Celtic Frost - Monotheist
\r\n
\r\nIs there any chance to see Conception touring again in the near future?
\r\n
\r\nIngar: In the near future I’m afraid it’s not realistic to see Conception, but I’m pretty sure well play together again…. \r\n

\r\n

\r\nI really want to thank you for this interview, Ingar. The last words belong to you.
\r\n

\r\nIngar: Thanks for showing me, Crest of Darkness and of course also Conception such a big interest!! I know that Conception have lot of fans in Greece, and Crest of Darkness also seems to get more and more fans in Greece…. To all of you I wanna say THANKS A LOT FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!!
\r\n
\r\nwww.rollthefire.com
\r\n
www.crestofdarkness.com
\r\n

\r\n
\r\nNicoleta Sarantou \r\n

\r\n

Copyright 2023. All Right Reserved.