EDGE OF SANITY
Melodic Death Metal / Death Metal • Sweden

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Edge of Sanity was a Swedish progressive death metal band whose work often delved into experimental territory. While artists like Bathory and Emperor had recorded songs that could be regarded as epic, Edge of Sanity are regarded alongside Opeth as being the first to fuse extreme metal styles like death and black metal with genuine progressive rock.

Having formed in 1989 in Finspång, Sweden, Edge of Sanity asserted themselves as a solid death-metal outfit with their debut release "Nothing but Death Remains", but their second release "Unorthodox", with tracks like "Enigma" and "When All Is Said", showed them branching out from some of the genre's conventions. "The Spectral Sorrows", "Until Eternity Ends", and "Purgatory Afterglow" continued the trend, so that by the release of 1996's "Crimson" they were recording full-on progressive metal. "Crimson" was a 40-minute concept album consisting entirely of one track, concerning a post-apocalyptic future in which mankind
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Infernal by Edge of Sanity (CD, Apr-1997, Black Mark (USA)) *RARE* Infernal by Edge of Sanity (CD, Apr-1997, Black Mark (USA)) *RARE* USD $17.99 Buy It Now 9h
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EDGE OF SANITY Discography

EDGE OF SANITY albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.03 | 13 ratings
Nothing but Death Remains
Death Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 3.92 | 17 ratings
Unorthodox
Death Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 4.04 | 21 ratings
The Spectral Sorrows
Melodic Death Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.74 | 30 ratings
Purgatory Afterglow
Melodic Death Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.38 | 96 ratings
Crimson
Melodic Death Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.18 | 13 ratings
Infernal
Melodic Death Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 1.79 | 11 ratings
Cryptic
Melodic Death Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 3.83 | 25 ratings
Crimson II
Melodic Death Metal 2003

EDGE OF SANITY EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Until Eternity Ends
Melodic Death Metal 1994

EDGE OF SANITY live albums

EDGE OF SANITY demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Euthanasia
Death Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kur-Nu-Gi-A
Death Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Dead
Death Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Immortal Rehearsals
Death Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dead But Dreaming
Death Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Unorthodox
Death Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Spectral Sorrows Demos
Melodic Death Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lost
Melodic Death Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Darkday
Melodic Death Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Infernal Demos
Melodic Death Metal 1996

EDGE OF SANITY boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Evolution
Melodic Death Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
When All Is Said: The Best of Edge of Sanity
Melodic Death Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kur-Nu-Gi-A
Melodic Death Metal 2012

EDGE OF SANITY singles (0)

EDGE OF SANITY movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

EDGE OF SANITY Reviews

EDGE OF SANITY Purgatory Afterglow

Album · 1994 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Purgatory Afterglow" is the 4th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The album was released through Black Mark Productions in October 1994. Edge of Sanity were quite busy in the early part of their career and as if it wasn´t enough that they had released one album per year from 1991-1994 (including this one), they also had time to record and release the "Until Eternity Ends" EP earlier in 1994. The material on "Purgatory Afterglow" was originally meant to have been released on two seperate EPs. One EP (titled "Purgatory") featuring the most death metal oriented material, and one EP (titled "Afterglow") featuring the more progressive/hard rock/metal oriented tracks. However the band and the label ultimately opted to release the material as a full-length studio album instead.

Great material diversity worked pretty well for Edge of Sanity on "The Spectral Sorrows (1993)", and "Purgatory Afterglow" continues that trend. At this point most listeners understood that you needed an open mind to fully appreciate Edge of Sanity´s releases, so it probably didn´t come as much of a surprise to anyone that "Purgatory Afterglow" features both progressive rock, goth rock, and industrial rock/metal traits in addition to the band´s trademark melodic yet still relatively brutal take on death metal. If you came looking for a standard old school Swedish death metal release, you came to the wrong place.

The material on the 10 track, 45:11 minutes long album is well written and memorable. Epic and progressive oriented death metal tracks like "Twilight" and "Velvet Dreams" sit along more brutal death metal tracks like "Of Darksome Origin" and "Silent". The clean sung vers/growling chorus track "Blood-Colored", the goth rock/metal track "Black Tears", and the industrial tinged closing track "Song of Sirens", are some of the tracks which ensure great variation on the album. The tracks often feature melodic guitar harmonies and leads (occasionally also keyboards), and while I wouldn´t as such label Edge of Sanity a melodic death metal band (at least not a melodeath styled one), there is generally a strong emphasis on melody in their music, which makes it quite catchy and memorable.

No matter what musical style they play on the album, Edge of Sanity deliver the material with great skill, conviction, and passion. Dan Swanö´s growling vocals are intelligible and commanding and his clean vocals (which there are more of on this album than on any of the predecessors) are also performed with great skill. Swanö has a strong and distinct sounding voice and he sounds less restrained and more confident delivering his clean vocals than on the previous releases. Swanö was no stranger to clean vocals though as he already at this point had the Unicorn and the Nightingale projects, which both solely feature clean vocals (although the latter didn´t have an album out before 1995).

"Purgatory Afterglow" features a well sounding heavy production, where the Edge of Sanity trademark of two very different sounding distorted guitar tones is more clearly heard than on any other release by the band. The sound production is vastly different to the production featured on "The Spectral Sorrows (1993)" (much darker and not as clear sounding), which helps make "Purgatory Afterglow" stand out in the band´s discography.

Upon conclusion "Purgatory Afterglow" is another high quality death metal release by Edge of Sanity. It shows a band that are still in the process of refining and developing their sound, but who continue to deliver quality releases in the process. I´d call both "The Spectral Sorrows (1993)" and "Purgatory Afterglow" "transition" releases between the early predominantly old school Swedish death metal oriented albums ("Nothing but Death Remains (1991)" and "Unorthodox (1992)") and the full on progressive death metal featured on "Crimson (1996)", but what great and unique sounding transition albums they are. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

EDGE OF SANITY Until Eternity Ends

EP · 1994 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Until Eternity Ends" is an EP release by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The EP was released through Black Mark Productions in 1994. The sleeve of the booklet reads these words: "These are four songs that we felt didn't fit the album that we are busy writing right now. But we like the songs and wanted them out somehow. This is not a taster of our upcoming CD! The fourth CD Purgatory Afterglow will take off where Unorthodox left! C-Ya (1994)".

It´s interesting to note that the band states that "Purgatory Afterglow (1994)" will take off where "Unorthodox (1992)" left as "The spectral Sorrows (1993)" was released between those two albums. But whatever reasoning behind the words or the nature of the material featured on the EP, "Until Eternity Ends" bridges the gap between the band´s third and fourth full-length studio albums "The spectral Sorrows (1993)" and "Purgatory Afterglow (1994)".

"Until Eternity Ends" features three relatively regular death metal tracks, which are placed as the first three tracks on the EP. The title tracks is by far the most interesting track out of those three (featuring some progressive leanings), and it´s what I´d call an Edge of Sanity "classic", while the two other tracks "Eternal Eclipse" and "Bleed" are more standard quality tracks compared to the band´s best material. However the most interesting track on the EP is the cover of "Invisible Sun" by The Police. It´s a great cover track displaying what Edge of Sanity were also capable of. Unlike many of their contemporaries Edge of Sanity could successfully do covers with clean vocals because Dan Swanö is such a skilled vocalist.

The production is well sounding and suits the music well, and Edge of Sanity are as always a tight playing unit, so upon conclusion the 4 track, 12:23 minutes long EP is a good quality release by the band. Two strong tracks and two more standard quality tracks amount to a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating.

EDGE OF SANITY The Spectral Sorrows

Album · 1993 · Melodic Death Metal
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UMUR
"The Spectral Sorrows" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The album was released through Black Mark Productions in November 1993. Although bassist Anders Lindberg is credited as a member of the band, he actually didn´t play on "The Spectral Sorrows" due to serving mandatory Swedish military service. All bass on the album was performed by guitarist Andreas "Dread" Axelsson. While the two previous studio albums were recorded at Montezuma Studio in Stockholm, "The Spectral Sorrows" was recorded at lead vocalist Dan Swanö´s own Unisound Recordings.

The band didn´t waste any time in their early years, and "The Spectral Sorrows" is their third studio album in as many years. "Unorthodox (1992)" showed a progressive development of the bands sound compared to the slightly technical yet ultimately old school Swedish death metal sound of "Nothing but Death Remains (1991)". Therefore it´s no surprise that "The Spectral Sorrows" sees Edge of Sanity pursue new adventures and branch out even further.

The music on the 13 track, 54:02 minutes long album is still predominantly a well balanced mix of old school Swedish death metal and progressive rock/metal elements, but there are more new features on "The Spectral Sorrows". They´ve for example begun to incorporate more melodic guitar themes, and keyboards are used more on this album too compared to the predecessors. The vocals are still predominantly intelligible growls, but there are some clean vocals on the album too. Featured most prominantly on the cover of "Blood of My Enemies" by Manowar. A cover which at the time was quite the bold move for a death metal act. But it doesn´t stop there as Edge of Sanity have also included a full fledged goth rock track in "Sacrificed" on the album (featuring deep register male vocals and all). It´s like listening to a Sisters of Mercy song. While those two tracks stand out the most from the rest of the material, the Andreas "Dread" Axelsson led "Feedin' the Charlatan" is also quite different with it´s thrash/hardcore sound.

Other than those three tracks and the two shorter instrumentals which bookend the album, the remaining 8 tracks are more "regular" old school death metal with varying degrees of progressive leanings. To my ears highligts (among those 8 tracks) include "Darkday", "Lost", "The Masque", and "Jesus Cries", but the remaining tracks are also of a high quality. It´s an album where you´ll discover new details with every spin and tracks you initially thought sounded pretty simple, often reveal further depth and more details when listening a bit more focused to the music.

The diversity of the material makes the overall listening experience a bit fragmented and stylistically inconsistent, and I used to think of it as an issue (I´m sure there are others who share that opinion). Having listened to "The Spectral Sorrows" several times over the years though, the many musical styles, and how they are presented on the album, have grown to a strength in my opinion. There´s always something new happening, and no track sounds like the one before it, which also means that all tracks are memorable. I could have done without "Feedin' the Charlatan", which I feel is of a sub par compositinal quality, but the rest of the material (including "Blood of My Enemies" and "Sacrificed") is of a high quality and is loaded with intriguing details. "The Spectral Sorrows" features a well produced and distinct sounding production, and the musicianship is on a high level too, so upon conclusion a 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

EDGE OF SANITY Unorthodox

Album · 1992 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Unorthodox (1992)" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The album was released through Black Mark Productions in July 1992. Edge of Sanity was formed in 1989 and relatively quickly released their first demo cassette tape "Euthanasia (1989)". A second demo cassette tape followed in 1990 titled "Kur-Nu-Gi-A (1990)", before the band was signed to Black Mark Production for the release of their debut full-length studio album "Nothing but Death Remains (1991)".

The debut featured a fairly technical and slightly progressive take on old school Swedish death metal and that music style is continued on "Unorthodox (1992)". The progressive tendencies have been taken up a notch though and especially "Enigma" is a fully fledged progressive death metal track. It´s the first track in the band´s discography to feature clean vocals (albeit only in a short section) and it also features a relatively adventurous structure and a level of complexity seldom heard in old school Swedish death metal (at least in those days).

"Unorthodox (1992)" is a pretty varied album though, and not everything is as sophisticated as "Enigma" ("Everlasting" and "When All Is Said" are two of the other more progressive oriented tracks on the album). The old demo tracks "Incipience to the Butchery" (from "Euthanasia (1989)") and "Beyond the Unknown" (from "Kur-Nu-Gi-A (1990)") are for example pretty standard old school Swedish death metal (which certainly doesn´t mean they aren´t of a high quality), but even an old demo track like "The Day of Maturity" (from "Kur-Nu-Gi-A (1990)") features some pretty progressive ideas. And that´s the strength of "Unorthodox (1992)". Edge of Sanity successfully balance between progressive ideas and old school death metal brutality. Highlights include "Enigma", "In the Veins / Darker Than Black", "A Curfew for the Damned", "Everlasting", "When All Is Said", and "Dead but Dreaming" (I have a weakness for "Incipience to the Butchery" too).

The musicianship is on a high level throughout. Not only are Edge of Sanity a well playing band, there´s also a rare attention to compositional detail present on the album, which provides the music with a distinct sound and a high memorability factor. Dan Swanö´s distinct sounding intelligible growling vocals are a major contributor to the catchiness of the material, as he understands the importance of effectful hooklines and phrasing. When you can´t sing a melody (which is damn near impossible when you are growling), there are other effects to use for catchiness and he successfully implements those.

"Unorthodox (1992)" features a powerful and well sounding production. One of the trademarks of the band´s sound, which is the two different distorted guitar tones, is heard throughout. Upon conclusion "Unorthodox (1992)" shows a band in stylistic development. At this point still rooted very much in their original old school Swedish death metal sound, but occassionally dipping their toes in the more progressive oriented death metal style they would fully embrace a couple of albums down the line. In addition to the intriguing songwriting, the high level musicianship, and the well sounding production, "Unorthodox (1992)" should especially be noticed for how unique it sounds compared to contemporary releases by artists like Dismember, (early) Entombed, Unleashed, and Grave. Although it is part of that scene it´s still in many ways vastly different. A unique listening experience and a 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

EDGE OF SANITY Infernal

Album · 1997 · Melodic Death Metal
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The Angry Scotsman
After the release of "Crimson" a rift formed in the band, largely between Dan Swano and Andreas Axelsson, over the new progressive direction of the band. The rift is clear on this album, as half the songs are written by Swano, with the other half by under Axelsson leadership and the whole band doesn't even play together on every song.

Edge of Sanity appeared to have been a band in conflict and the result was this album sounding, well, conflicted.

"Infernal" is quite inconsistent and I have to be honest, the Swano songs are far superior to the others. They tend to be more diverse, progressive, better written and I think he is a better vocalist than Axelsson. The other tracks tend to be more directly death metal and frankly, less inspired and a bit boring.

Standout tracks are "Hell Is Where the Heart Is", "15:36" and "The Last Song" which seems to be, quite clearly, the last song Swano was to be part of for the band. Its somber piano intro, lyrics about struggling to write the very song, simply trying to complete it, (asking why we are even listening to his "empty words") and its slow, dirge like riffing, simple yet powerful melodic guitar soloing and churning drums gives it a powerful sadness, a real painful beauty of a song. Chilling and moving.

While those are Swano songs, and I find his other tracks superior as well, they are by no means perfect. "Losing Myself" is a fine track, but a bit lackluster and honestly forgettable. On the flip side, "Burn the Sun" is a very interesting and progressive song.

"Infernal" is an album written by a band splitting apart, and it resulted in an inconsistent and disjointed effort. It is by no means a bad album, just largely lackluster, but with some solid, interesting, songs and nothing that is egregiously bad. A decent, albeit sad, outing from EoS.

Three Stars

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