EDGE OF SANITY — Nothing but Death Remains

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EDGE OF SANITY - Nothing but Death Remains cover
3.16 | 16 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1991

Tracklist

1. Tales... (6:06)
2. Human Aberration (3:38)
3. Maze of Existence (Epidemic Reign, Part 1) (4:16)
4. The Dead (3:53)
5. Decepted by the Cross (3:50)
6. Angel of Distress (3:27)
7. Impulsive Necroplasma (Epidemic Reign, Part 2) (3:05)
8. Immortal Souls (3:34)

Total Time: 31:52

Line-up/Musicians

- Dan Swanö / Vocals
- Benny Larsson / Drums
- Andreas Axelsson / Guitars
- Sami Nerberg / Guitars
- Anders Lindberg / Bass

About this release

Black Mark Production, July 9th, 1991

Produced by Edge of Sanity.
Mixed by Boss, Rex & Dan.
Recording & mixing engineer: Rex.
Recorded at Montezuma Studio, Stockholm Jan '91.
Logo by Gunnar Swanö.
Original logo concept by Andreas.
Cover art by Lennart Lindberg.
Photo by Gunnar Johansson.
Cover layout by Micke Sjöblom.

Dedicated to the memory of John Med Gummihandsken (R.I.P.).

The Japanese edition features a bonus track:
9. Purnicious Anguish

Thanks to J-Man, UMUR, TheHeavyMetalCat for the updates

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EDGE OF SANITY NOTHING BUT DEATH REMAINS reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Nothing But Death Remains" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The album was released through Black Mark Productions in July 1991. Edge of Sanity had released several demo cassette tapes during the late 80s/early 90s, and by the time "Nothing But Death Remains" was released, they were already a pretty established and well known death metal act.

"Nothing But Death Remains" features 8 tracks (9 tracks if you have the Japanese version) of old school Swedish death metal distributed over 31:52 minutes. I wouldn´t call the album a typical Swedish old school death metal release though. Tracks like "Tales..." and "Decepted by the Cross" feature way too many tempo changes, relatively technical playing, a couple of time signature changes, and some progressive ideas too, for "Nothing But Death Remains" to be called a "regular" old school Swedish death metal release. It was obvious already this early on in the band´s career that they were not a one trick pony. The music is still pretty raw and brutal though. The vocals are brutal growls and there is enough primal energy in the tracks to satisfy even the most conservative old school death metal fans, so while Edge of Sanity dip their toes in technical/progressive seas, it´s far from a full swim.

While the songwriting is of a pretty high standard for the time and the musicianship is great too, there is unfortunately a pretty serious issue with the album that drags my rating down. The sound production is not very well sounding. It´s like the album was recorded too high and therefore there are several sections that sounds distorted. The worst part is how a couple of times during the playing time the volume suddenly drops though. It´s like someone fell asleep while mixing the album and accidently hit the volume button a couple of times. The drums have an awkward sound too and the guitars sound thin.

With a stronger sound production "Nothing But Death Remains" could have been a really great album and I would probably have rated it with a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating, but because of the rather weak production, I can´t defend giving more than a 3 star (60%) rating.
The Angry Scotsman
The debut album by Edge of Sanity

This is a decent yet largely unspectacular work. It's not bad by any means, it's just not very great either. "Nothing but Death Remains" isn't you standard unrelenting death metal of 1991. Quite the opposite, this album has lots of doom metal in it. The blast beat barrages oscillate with slow, doomy marches. There's a good bit of mid tempo stuff as well, all 3 getting their fair share on the album and to different degrees.

The guitar is unwaveringly heavy, the riffing is awesome, the drumming is effective with moments of flair, and Swano's vocals are gravely. I really like his vocals myself. The quality is low fi and gritty, (which is a good thing here) and there's a sense of groove that the vast majority of death metal bands lack. Even a few synths thrown in for good measure.

Only knock on it is the lack of variation. Every song is pretty much the same. The only possible standout is the opening track thanks to its keyboard intro and backgrounds, plus some interesting drumming. The rest of the album is samey. The harsh vocals and distorted guitar never let up for a moment. Of course this is death metal, and thankfully the songs are pretty short and there's only 8, so while samey the songs and album don't go on for too long. If they were any longer, or if there were any more songs, this album would start to suffer.

A good album, not exactly earth shattering but still an impressive debut and shows some real songwriting skill and musical sensibility.

Three Stars
J-Man
You Can't Live Forever!! But Can You Be Dead Forever??

When it comes to early Swedish death metal from the nineties, Edge of Sanity are the unchallenged pioneers. Creating progressive death metal masterpieces like Crimson and Purgatory Afterglow, few bands could compete with their stellar musicianship and compositional strength back then. Even now, not too many albums can even compare to Edge of Sanity's immortalized classics. So where did Dan Swanö's masterful creation begin? Well, they started out like so many bands did back then. They released a handful of demos, and after a few years of pleasing dedicated tape-traders, they released a full-length debut album. Nothing But Death Remains is Edge of Sanity's entrance into the LP world, and in comparison to other death metal debuts from this era, this is clearly among the better releases.

The sound on this album is unmistakably Edge of Sanity, but in a much more primitive, unpolished form. Don't expect the squeaky-clean production or progressive song structures that would be found on their later releases. This is Swedish death metal in its purest form, only interrupted by a few brief synthesizer passages. There are absolutely no clean vocals here, let alone acoustic sections or surprisingly beautiful riffs found on their following albums. This is a pretty brutal album, especially for a usually melodic death metal band. If you like Swedish death metal (as I do), you should enjoy this album even though it's not as melodic or progressive as their future releases.

Nothing But Death Remains is an exceptionally short album, even for an early death metal release. This is an 8-track, 31:35 album. I would've liked another 10-15 minutes, but for music this brutal and unvaried, a long album can sometimes create problems. All of the songs here are pretty short except for the mini-epic opening track, Tales. This is my favorite song here by far, and it almost ranks up with other Edge of Sanity mini-epics like Enigma or Twilight. All of the other songs are under 4 ½ minutes, so don't expect too many epic songs here. Although there are plenty of easily-recallable riffs, most of the songs don't distinguish themselves from each other enough. There simply isn't quite enough variation to make all of the songs enjoyable and memorable. Fortunately, the short playing time doesn't let this problem get out of control.

Edge of Sanity are some of the best musicians in the death metal scene, and it shows on Nothing But Death Remains. Even though the musicians aren't quite as tight as they would soon become, they are still a solid-playing unit at this early stage of development. The highlight here is Dan Swanö's superb growled vocals. That man simply has the growl that all death metal vocalists should envy. Benny Larsson's drumming is great as well, if a bit sloppy at times.

The production is definitely the weakest link here. This is a muddy, lo-fi mix that most people will definitely be turned off by. I'm sure this album would have been much better if it didn't sound of demo-quality.

Conclusion:

Nothing But Death Remains is a good, if slightly underdeveloped album by Edge of Sanity. This doesn't even come close to its following albums, but as it stands this is a good early Swedish death metal album. I wouldn't recommend starting with this album, but it is worth purchasing for Edge of Sanity fans at some point. A 2.5-3 star rating is deserved here.

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