EDGE OF SANITY — Cryptic

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EDGE OF SANITY - Cryptic cover
2.38 | 14 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1997

Tracklist


1. Hell Written (4:35)
2. Uncontroll Me (5:55)
3. No Destiny (3:35)
4. Demon I (4:16)
5. Not of This World (3:50)
6. Dead I Walk (3:26)
7. Born, Breed, Bleeding (4:30)
8. Bleed You Dry (5:23)

Total Time: 35:32

Line-up/Musicians


- Robert Karlsson / Vocals
- Andreas Axelsson / Guitar
- Sami Nerberg / Guitar
- Anders Lindberg / Bass
- Benny Larsson / Drums

About this release

Black Mark Productions, November 11th, 1997

This is the only Edge of Sanity album that does not feature Dan Swanö, guitarist Dread having hired a new vocalist in an attempt to keep the band together.

A music video was made for song "Uncontroll Me".

Recorded and mixed August 1997, at Soundtrade Studios, Sweden.
Mastering: Cutting Room, Sweden.

Thanks to J-Man, The Angry Scotsman, adg211288, UMUR for the updates

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EDGE OF SANITY CRYPTIC reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Cryptic" is the 7th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The album was released through Black Mark Production in November 1997. It´s Edge of Sanity´s second 1997 album release (the other being "Infernal", which was released in February 1997) and an attempt to salvage the band after Lead vocalist Dan Swanö jumped ship. He is replaced here by former Pan.Thy.Monium vocalist Robert Karlsson. The salvation attempt failed though, and "Cryptic" was the only Edge of Sanity album to feature this lineup. The band officially disbanded in 1999.

The songwriting credits on the band´s albums had over the years slowly increased in favour of Swanö, culminating in the solely Swanö penned "Crimson (1996)". "Infernal (1997)" saw the songwriting credits being more evenly distributed again, but it was also a very incoherrent release both when it came to the overall musical style and the quality of the material. "Cryptic" is a much more coherrent release as new band leader/guitarist Andreas Axelsson led the band in a more old school death metal direction again and away from the progressive rock/metal leanings of the last couple of releases.

The problem for this incarnation of Edge of Sanity is, that the adventurous songwriting ideas of Swanö are what always made Edge of Sanity stand out. Those ideas are what made them special and different from other contemporary Swedish death metal acts, and "Cryptic" is devoid of anything to set it apart on the scene. The material on the 8 track, 35:32 minutes long album is pretty standard quality Swedish death metal. The musicianship is solid enough, and the album is relatively well produced too, but it´s just nothing out of the ordinary.

When that is said I´m also being a bit harsh on "Cryptic", but that is a consequence of the high quality of the releases which preceded it, because viewed upon individually, it may be a pretty standard quality Swedish death metal release, but it´s also a pretty solid and definitely enjoyable album while it plays. It´s not like it´s completely devoid of memorable tracks or anything like that either (and it´s still the sound of Edge of Sanity) and tracks like "Hell Written" and "Demon I" are for example pretty great. The performances and the sound production are also strong and upon conclusion "Cryptic" is actually a relatively good quality release by Edge of Sanity and a 3 star (60%) rating is deserved.
The Angry Scotsman
Swano may be gone, but his influence couldn't be removed!

The thought of EoS without Swano just seems wrong, and for hardcore fans is probably blasphemy, but this really isn't too bad an album and I'd say his time left a mark on the rest of the band.

I will grant this is not quite up to the standard of other EoS albums, and the songwriting may take a bit of a hit but when compared to death metal overall, "Cryptic" is still fairly atypical! I would also dare to say it's not very far removed from earlier EoS material.

The loss of Swano vocally is not an issue, while he was great Robert Karlsson does an excellent job and I really like his vocals. As for the music, "Cryptic" started just as I feared...with straight up blast beat death metal. Expecting this for the next 34 minutes, I was floored with what I heard next! A slow, kind of trippy section. Followed by a mid tempo groovy melody and a soulful and emotional guitar solo.

The intro "Hell Written" is an awesome song, and had me wondering what was next after that pleasant surprise. "Uncontoll Me" starts with a melodic and groovy rhythm that continues along, mid tempo, for a while. Sweet riffing with some awesome breakdowns which builds to a thrashy section, and another melodic solo. Another cool song and has a real sense of movement!

"No Destiny" is not really death metal, more a melothrash song, punctuated with a classic melodic rhythm and some slower, groovy breaks. Another winner. "Demon I" continues in this fashion, ripe with good riffing and drumming. "Not of this World" is another melothrash song with varied speeds and groove.

"Dead I Walk" is of the same fashion, decent song. "Born, Breed, Bleeding" is more intense than the rest, bordering on black metal speed at times, but still alternated with different sections, making those blast beats really intense feeling.

The album ends with "Bleed You Dry" another mid tempo song with some good, sometimes intriging, riffing. Varied tempos and feels, Larsson's tasteful drumming, (never over the top, sometimes powerful and always fitting) and less intense vocals. The growls are mixed up with "talking" vocals. Goes out with another somewhat rare EoS guitar solo and fades away.

So that's what we have. A largely mid paced album that really doesn't dive into death metal very often, (a third of the album I'd say)and is laden with melodic, groovy song writing and variation. Not outright progressive, since many of the sections repeat, but it is varied and the songs are short enough that they never really get stale. Besides, it is that variation, along with melodic and groovy touches, that separates this album from the vast majority of death metal, and is also why it's better. All that is also fairly comparable to early EoS material as well.

If you are new to the band I think you'll find this a refreshing change from the standard death metal, and EoS fans should be satisfied as well. You may just have to get over the fact Swano is not here and not compare it to works like "Crimson", but once you do you will see this is a fine album. Not spectacular but good and under rated.

Three Stars
J-Man
Edge of Sanity Without Dan Swanö?

Let me just say this from the start of my review - Dan Swanö is the heart and soul of Edge of Sanity. People might argue against that, but Cryptic proves that I'm right. This album is generic and uninspired death metal, and is a huge disappointment in the band's discography. Edge of Sanity's previous album, Infernal was an awkward and flawed release, but the album had many high quality moments thanks to Dan Swanö. With this album it's very obvious that Edge of Sanity is struggling without their frontman.

On Cryptic the compositions are noticeably weaker than on any other Edge of Sanity release, and that is the biggest problem here. Without Dan Swanö's songwriting, the band can only create rather uninspired music. On Infernal, many of the compositions without Dan's help were poor, but on this album all of them are severely lacking.

I don't consider these songs bad just because they're not the style of prog metal that Edge of Sanity had played on a few of their previous albums. Unorthodox is pure death metal, but it's a really great album from the band. This album is just disastrous, and there's really no other way of putting it. When you compare this to masterpieces like Crimson, and great albums like Crimson II and Purgatory Afterglow, this is far below the quality of those albums.

The album is not a complete failure, though. Songs like "No Destiny" (my favorite from the album) and "Uncrontroll Me" are pretty good by death metal standards, though they are far below the usual standard from Edge of Sanity. Many of the songs aren't very memorable, and that's one of the biggest flaws from this album. When I finish listening to this album I can only recall 2 or 3 riffs, and that just shows how uninspired this album is.

Conclusion:

Cryptic is a really disappointing effort from Edge of Sanity, and it isn't worth more than 1 star. The lack of memorable compositions really destroys this album, even though the musicianship is tight and the production is great. Even if you're interested in Edge of Sanity, there really is no reason to own this album. This is only for die-hard collectors.

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