"Infernal" is the 6th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The album was released through Black Mark Productions in February 1997.
Following up on an almost universally praised album like "Crimson (1996)" must have been a daunting task for the band. Add to the grand expectations from the fans, that the band was falling apart because of musical differences around the time of the recording of "Infernal" and you have a major part of the explanation to why "Infernal" is not only vastly inferior to it´s predecessor, but also an incohesive and disappointing release judged on it´s own merits. The album simply sounds like it´s recorded by two different acts and when you look at who´s playing what on the album, it soon becomes apparent that that´s exactly the case. Tracks 1, 3, 6, 7, and 11 on the album are recorded by Dan Swanö (Guitar, Bass and Vocals) and drummmer Benny Larsson without participation from the rest of the band. Tracks 2 and 4 feature all band members except Dan Swanö, while track 5, 8, 9 and 10 feature all members.
It´s not that such an approach can´t work and it does work in some cases, but here Edge of Sanity obviously struggle to make ends meet. The tracks on the album, which are recorded by Dan Swanö and Benny Larsson, are clearly the standout tracks on "Infernal", while the remaining tracks more or less fit the filler definition. Tracks like "Hell Is Where the Heart Is", "15:36" and "Forever Together Forever" could quality wise easily have fit on any of the preceeding releases by the band, but overall there are not enough memorable highlights to be found on the album.
"Infernal" is still a quality release though and even the tracks, which are clearly fillers, do feature some redeeming qualities. I´d say a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted. It doesn´t change the fact that "Infernal" is a great disappointment though.