Crimson
EDGE OF SANITY

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EDGE OF SANITY - Crimson cover
4.49 | 89 ratings | 10 reviews
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Album · 1996

Filed under Death Metal

Tracklist

1. Crimson (40:00)

Total Time: 40:00

Line-up/Musicians

- Dan Swanö / vocals
- Andreas Axelsson / guitar
- Sami Nerberg / guitar
- Anders Lindberg / bass
- Benny Larsson / drums

Guest musicians:
- Mikael Åkerfeldt / vocals, lead guitar
- Anders Mareby / cello

About this release

CD Black Mark Productions (1996)
April 2nd
Crimson was recorded and mixed in Unisound by Dan Swanö and ProMix 01 December to January.

Mastered and digitally edited by Peter in de Betou & Dan Swanö in Cutting Room, Stockholm January 1996.

Cover artwork by Duncan C. Storr.
Cover concept by Dan Swanö.
Design & Layout by Maren Lotz.
Executive Producer: Börje Forsberg.
Promotion: Björn Schrenk

Bonus track on Japan edition:
2. Murder Divided

Thanks to J-Man for the addition and Phonebook Eater, The Block, bartosso, adg211288 for the updates

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EDGE OF SANITY CRIMSON reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
I am one of those who didn't really like this upon first listen. I had the hardest time without some kind of intro build up to something grander. This simply starts out as simple death metal and THEN takes you on a journey once you've had a little time to get into the groove of the whole thing. Damn. I hate being manipulated but EDGE OF SANITY managed to do it with this release. Despite not loving this upon first spin, I was drawn back. Driven to get this MF it finally happened one night. I got it. And once I did, OMG! OK. I get it now. I succumbed to the insidious charm that this album has. Now I love it and recognize it for its beauty. It's weird how certain vocalists even within the growly death metal arena just don't do it for ya. Well Dan Swanö has been one of those vocalists for me, so it took more than the recommended time for to adjust to his. But after I did..... pure magic. Now I can say I love this album and recognize it for the masterpiece it truly is.
Sinkadotentree
How can you not be blown away by this album ? Of course if growly vocals aren't your thing i understand but man this is a 40 minute suite that takes us on a trip that twists and turns with some creative contrasts along the way. I'm not a big fan at all of Death Metal and in particular growly vocals but i do appreciate them when used to convey a contrast like here and on many of the OPETH recordings. And speaking of OPETH Mikael Akerfeldt guests on this album playing guitar and offering up his vocals. The quieter sections with clean vocals do remind me a lot of OPETH's "Damnation" album and i must admit that everytime those atmospheric sections come in i'm in heaven, and then the extreme comes stomping in i'm head banging with the rest of you. Personally i'd give this 5 stars if the percentage of quiet versus extreme was reversed but hey i'm impressed enough to give this 4.5 stars. I love the way the album starts. It reminds me of the time some guy attacked me from behind at High School. You get hit with violence and soon your into it yourself for all your worth as you join in the fury that came out of nowhere. When you put this on crank it up and put on your seat belt man.
renkls
It's hard when it comes to reviewing albums that are near universally acclaimed such as this one, to not simply repeat the same praise that others have. And in this albums case, it's hard to pick apart any real flaw at all. The 40 minute single track album deals with a post apocalyptic narrative where humanity can no longer breed. This affliction leads the people of this world to desperation, and when the king and queen have a child, their hope is restored - but will it lead them to former glory or greater destruction? The narrative is murky and ambiguous in its design, but never leaves you with too little information to be any less then fully involved. If I had to pull it apart, I'd say, that yes, it does get old eventually. But I've heard this through at least 100 times, and each time I can easily keep involved in the narrative and musical design - so for the repeatability this album holds, as well as the power, ambition and result, it receives my highest recommendation.
Warthur
Edge of Sanity's masterpiece took a while to grow on me, but what at first sounded like a fairly typical death metal album which happened to consist of a single long track soon turned out to be a much more intriguing proposition, with diverse changes in mood and style to convey the album's narrative. Dan Swanö delivers his most varied and diverse vocals to date whilst the band provide both the musical backdrop and the special effects for the science fantasy story. At one point in the album the lead guitars manage to achieve a perfect imitation of a warning siren - which sounds cheesy on paper, but in this context it really works. As far as melodic death metal goes, this is a high water mark indeed.
The Angry Scotsman
WOW

That's all I could say after first listening to this album. The sheer scope of what just hit me had left me floored, but later the greatness sunk in as well. After taking small steps away from traditional death metal, Edge of Sanity makes a huge leap with this one. "Crimson" consists of one, 40 minute song. Yes. This is the king of prog metal epics.

The album kicks off strong, with crushing guitar and Swano's powerful growls. However, don't expect it to last long...or anything for that matter. "Crimson" really moves. No part lasts longer than 2 minutes, before its on to something else. Sometimes abrupt, sometimes flowing smoothly, indeed the best part of this album is its construction. Keeps you on your toes, and never grows stale over 40 minutes. Everything that can be thrown at you will be: Edge of Sanity's classic melodic death metal riffing, blast beats, acoustic guitar, growls, clean singing (both of which are great but Swano's growls really are superb) slow and mid tempo sections, crushing guitars, solos and a few surprises thrown in. That's all I can really say, this album is a progressive death metal epic that twists and turns, never too quickly but never waits too long either. How this album moves is its strongest victory, and its power and melody really help back it up. Never technical or complex, "Crimson" makes up for it in these other ways. The music and composition is perfect, Swano's vocals are amazing and fit the music. That's all I'll say, and that you really need to just try it for yourself.

Fans of death metal and old EoS may want to approach this cautiously, as it can be challenging and is way out of left field than anything else out there. For fans of prog metal though, this is a must. Even non prog metal heads should absolutely give this a try, since it does move around quickly. Brilliant work.

Masterpiece

FIVE STARS
Conor Fynes
'Crimson' - Edge Of Sanity (10/10)

This band and album came to my attention through my once-fervent appreciation of the fellow Swedish progressive death metal group Opeth. Although my love of Opeth has since dwindled a fair bit, I am left now with the music of Edge Of Sanity, led by none other than Dan Swano, who seems to have taught Opeth frontman quite a bit when it comes to metal. With the prospect of a forty minute epic riding my expectations high, I was nearly expecting to be let down, but quite clearly; that was not the case. Rivaled by only a handful of other albums in death metal, 'Crimson' is a powerfully crafted opus that takes beauty and heaviness in equal measure and combines them in a narrative style to create what is one of the best put-together concept albums I have ever had the pleasure of listening to.

Telling a fairly dark story that blends elements of science-fiction and the supernatural, 'Crimson' revolves around a dismal vision of the future in which mankind can breed no longer, and depends on a mythic princess to lead them to salvation. Unfortunately, she makes a deal with an 'unholy entity' of sorts to save her people, and from there on, things start to fall apart. Even as a story of its own, 'Crimson' is a convincing piece of fantasy fiction, and while some parts of the plot are left a bit obscure, it feels like a perfect milieu for the music to score. Although some listeners may find it difficult to follow the story on first listen due to the rather garbled nature of death metal growls (of which there are plenty here), the music gets the intended feeling and imagery across just right. 'Crimson' also makes use of some incredibly memorable leitmotifs that also seem to coincide with recurring narrative elements, such as death. Speaking musically, Edge Of Sanity is very clever in the way they re-use ideas from earlier in the forty minute epic; things never feel too familiar, and there is always a tinge of development to make the ideas feel even more dramatic than earlier on.

For death metal, the guitar work here is surprisingly melodic and often alternates between heavier and darker moments, much in the same way Opeth would. There are also some guest appearances from Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth, doing a vocal section and some guitar soloing. What might come as a surprise to some that find themselves particularly endeared to the band is that Akerfeldt's performance here pales in comparison to Dan Swano. Especially in Swano's emotive growling, there is always great power involved, and the lyrics are much more coherent than some other vocalists in death metal. Swano's clean approach isn't quite as sharp as his growling, but his deep tenor holds a nice resonance, particularly in a part later on where he harmonizes with himself beautifully.

The lead guitar licks are always top notch and melodic; never particularly technical, but always powerful. The rhythm guitar is not quite as organic, instead sometimes feeling like it is simply there to get the heaviness and chords across without putting its own mark of feeling into the music. That being said, there is little to distract from the enjoyment of this work. Although the word 'epic' is unfortunately tossed around far too often when describing music, Edge Of Sanity's 'Crimson' writes the book on it. One of the most powerful albums out there in the world of metal, progressive or otherwise.
The Block
For the king had shown them it could be done when his woman gave birth to the sacred one.

Hail the King of death metal, Dan Swanö. I’ve waited a long time to review this album, since it was so complex, with its neat structures, changes in genre, and overall greatness. Crimson is one of, if not my first death metal album, that I had ever listened to, and am I ever glad I did. There is so much going on in this song that it’s hard to put in words what exactly I like about the album.

One thing that I like so much is the changing of the tempo and genre. Even within the first couple of minutes Edge of Sanity goes from medium pace progressive death metal to slower acoustics with regular vocals. All throughout the album they keep doing this, which makes it very complex and insanely good. The musicianship on this album is also some of the best I have ever heard in death metal. Mikael Akerfeldt, the man behind the greatness of Opeth, does a superb job on guitars, leading to a very enjoyable sound that carries throughout the whole album. He’s also exceptionally good on the acoustic sections. A cool feature that EoS employs is right after the acoustic sections of the song, they transfer right into straight out death metal, creating a very unique sound.

This being my first death metal album, even if it is progressive, this was my introduction to growling. At first I was like, “Yeah, yeah speak normally please”, but then after some listens I began to see the brilliance of Dan Swanö. His vocals are very deep, and blend in great with the melodies of Mikael Akerfeldt and the superb drumming of Benny Larsson. His regular vocals are also very good, to go along with his growling.

Sometimes I can’t come up with words to describe how awesome this album is. The licks, melodies, and riffs are top notch, and blend well with the excellent vocals of Dan Swanö. For one of the best progressive death metal albums that were ever released Edge of Sanity gets an obvious 5 stars.
bonnek
1996. The year that I finally gave in to death metal grunts. And this album was the cause of that deterioration of my moral grounds. For three good reasons: because Dan Swanö's grunts are very impressive, because they make sense and because this is such an amazing album.

I really love how this piece starts in the middle of things and also how it ends very abruptly, as if it is only a part of an even bigger composition. The music pulls you in right from the very first second, there’s no long and slowly building intro as you might expect from a 40 minute piece. This is an action movie that starts in the middle of a car chase.

While all reviews share a deep affection for this piece I was quite surprised it isn't generally considered as prog. How can a continuous 40 minute composition of this scale not be prog? This is not a mere succession of riffs but a sequence of musical scenes and developing themes, reminding me slightly of VDGG's Plague of Lighthouse Keepers. Not only due to the dark atmosphere but also because of the scenic construction behind it. Swanö provides the correct dose of quiet sections to offset the heavy parts. It makes the music very digestible so it’s no surprise it got me into extreme metal, it’s a perfect starting point to get into the style.

Of course this is no symphonic prog, it's a mixed form with extreme metal, meaning there is a dominating emphasis on riffs and quiet-loud dynamics. There’s less room for progressive development of the music but the entire piece sounds as if it was born from one single creative outburst. It flows very naturally and doesn’t have one weaker moment.

Dan Swanö has composed and played most of this album all by himself, with only a little help from his bandmates. An interesting guest of honour is Mike Akerfeldt. He provides guitar and vocals, but not the main low dark grunt nor the clean vocals, even though the growls especially sound quite like him. He takes care of the black metal screams that pop up left and right. I think I can also single out some of his guitar contributions such as the harmonic leads around 11.30, it's something he was very fond of back then and it features heavily on Opeth’s concurrent albums Orchid and Morningrise.

While the 5 stars are not as solid as those attributed to the Opeth masterpieces in this section, it comes pretty close. It’s an album that shouldn’t be overlooked by the legions of Opeth fans out there, excellent in quality and essential in the realm of progressive extremities.

Members reviews

Codera The Great
This is an album (or song) that from the very second you press play, you never want to press the stop button. With Dan Swanö's thunderous opening line of "Another sky is young", you are immediately gripped and transported to another world (which happens to be on the brink of destruction as you witness the events before you). The music, lyrics, and overall concept paint such a beautiful image of this futuristic dystopia, where the daughter of a King leads a successful coup attempt against him, and eventually becomes ruler herself, only to be captured and imprisoned in crimson fluid (as you see on the cover). The performances all-around are top-notch and the intensity does not let up, even Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth makes a guest appearance here and displays one of his all-time best harsh vocal performances alongside Dan Swanö's equally powerful roars. This is simply a must have for fans of progressive music and old school death metal in general. One of my personal favorite albums in any genre of all time.
Prog Geo
Fantastic album!One of my favorite albums.Extreme prog metal at its best!This album contains only one song(40 minutes).The members are:Dan Swano:Guitars,keyboards,clean and death metal vocals,Andreas Axelsson:Guitar,Sami Nerberg:Guitar,Anders Lindberg:Bass guitar,Benny Larsson:Drums and Inspiration and the guests are:Anders Mareby:Electric Cello(great solo) and Mikael Akerfeldt:Lead guitar(fantastic solo)and screams(perfect performance).There are great ideas which are repeated because the story changes its chapters.Here we have prog rock,gothic metal,death/black metal,folk elements and some electronic elements.

The artwork is like a comic's cover.It shows the Queen(the main character of the story)closed in a crimson cage.Also there are some faces on the cage(and the place that there's the cage and the other cages with another queens(I think)is made of stone(it's like a cave's room)) which look like totem faces.

My most favorite parts except from all the album and Dan Swano's performance are:the vocals and the guitar solo of Mikael Akerfeldt,the cello solo of Anders Mareby,the dynamic beginning and the folk-style singing(which reminds me a little the greek traditional songs)which there is almost two minutes before the end of the song.

I recommend it to all open-minded music fans because it's not for everyone.A metal gem and not only!

My grade:8,5/10

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