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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The Spectral SorrowThe Spectral Sorrow
Caroline 2010
Audio CD$11.75
$14.38 (used)
Spectral Sorrows by Edge of Sanity (1994-03-31)Spectral Sorrows by Edge of Sanity (1994-03-31)
Black Mark Germany
Audio CD$31.54
UnorthodoxUnorthodox
Import
PLASTIC HEAD 2010
Audio CD$13.98
$11.12 (used)
Purgatory [Vinyl]Purgatory [Vinyl]
Import
Black Mark Germany 2011
Vinyl$15.50
$26.79 (used)
CrimsonCrimson
Plastic Head Distribution 2015
Audio CD$13.99
$9.99 (used)
Crimson IICrimson II
Caroline 2010
Audio CD$14.62
$16.09 (used)
InfernalInfernal
Import
Black Mark Germany 2006
Audio CD$10.32
$7.99 (used)
Until Eternity EndsUntil Eternity Ends
EP
Caroline 2010
Audio CD$14.62
$7.98 (used)
Nothing But Death RemainsNothing But Death Remains
Caroline 2010
Audio CD$12.98
$12.98 (used)
Kur-Nu-Gi-AKur-Nu-Gi-A
Import
Black Mark Germany 2012
Audio CD$21.23
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Edge Of Sanity: Until Eternity Ends EP CD 2002 Black Mark Production BMCD 58 NEW Edge Of Sanity: Until Eternity Ends EP CD 2002 Black Mark Production BMCD 58 NEW USD $14.95 Buy It Now 3 days
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EDGE OF SANITY Discography

EDGE OF SANITY albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.21 | 15 ratings
Nothing but Death Remains
Death Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 3.92 | 18 ratings
Unorthodox
Death Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 3.98 | 23 ratings
The Spectral Sorrows
Melodic Death Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.64 | 31 ratings
Purgatory Afterglow
Melodic Death Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.23 | 99 ratings
Crimson
Melodic Death Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.25 | 15 ratings
Infernal
Melodic Death Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 2.61 | 14 ratings
Cryptic
Melodic Death Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 3.41 | 28 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 re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Evolution
Melodic Death Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 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 The Spectral Sorrows

Album · 1993 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
"The Spectral Sorrows" could have been subtitled "We Weren't Kidding With The Last Album's Title", because if the previous release from Edge of Sanity was Unorthodox, this album well and truly embodies that idea. Though it continues the band's development of their own style of technically-inclined melodic death metal, it also includes a number of songs where the band members indulge their appreciation of other musical styles. Andreas Axelsson gets to take lead vocals on the thrashy Feedin' the Charlatan, for instance, whilst Dan Swanö indulges his taste for gothic rock (which would see further flowering on his Nightingale side project) on Sacrificed, which may be the best Sisters of Mercy pastiche out there.

The poster boy for the band's willingness to defy metal orthodoxy, however, has to be their decision to cover Manowar's Blood of My Enemies. At a time when the consensus among extreme metal fans was that Manowar were a total embarrassment and the living exemplars of everything cheesy about more traditional metal styles, Edge of Sanity manage to turn out a version of the song which adeptly twists it so that it fits their death metal aesthetic.

Well-produced, diverse, and with the band making a virtue of their divergent musical and artistic ideas rather than allowing those to be a bone of contention, this might be the best Edge of Sanity album aside from Crimson.

EDGE OF SANITY Crimson II

Album · 2003 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Crimson II" is the 8th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The album was released through Black Mark Production in August 2003. It´s been 6 years since the release of the preceding album "Cryptic (1997)". An album which didn´t feature regular frontman Dan Swanö. A dispute over the future musical direction of the band made Swanö split and pursue other projects. Edge of Sanity disbanded in 1999, but Swanö revived the band name in 2003 for the release of "Crimson II". He is the sole member of the band here though and plays and sings everything on the album except for a few parts performed by session musicians like Mike Wead (Mercyful Fate, Hexenhaus, King Diamond, The Project Hate MCMXCIX) and Roger "Rogga" Johansson (Paganizer, The Grotesquery, Ribspreader...etc.).

As the title suggests "Crimson II" is the sequel to the band´s arguably most lauded album "Crimson" from 1996. A single track 40 minutes long sci-fi/fantasty concept album performed in a sophisticated and powerful progressive death metal style, that was something new and fresh at the time of release. Neither "Infernal (1997)" nor "Cryptic (1997)" managed to reach the same creative songwriting heights of "Crimson (1996)" and paired with the internal disputes over musical direction, that probably meant the end of the band. Swanö apparently felt the "Crimson (1996)" story wasn´t closed though and "Crimson II" therefore continues the story of the evil queen and the struggles of her people.

Like "Crimson (1996)", "Crimson II" is one 40 minutes long track (actually 43 minutes) divided into subtracks which seque into each other. There are several musical references and use of themes from "Crimson (1996)" featured on the album, which along with the concept story ensure conceptual continuity. The vocals vary from death metal growling, to black metal styled screams, to clean vocals. Overall the music is unmistakably the sound of Edge of Sanity. Swanö has chosen to add a lot of keyboards to the band´s sound though, which provides an even more progressive touch than what was heard on "Crimson (1996)". Unfortunately the songwriting is a bit lacking and the material is generally not that memorable, and I often find myself waiting for one of the themes from "Crimson (1996)" to appear, because at least those moments are catchy and memorable.

The whole thing simply seems a bit messy, and that´s everything from the tracklist flow, to lack of memorable hooks, to the sound production, which may be professional but still sounds a bit wrong. The musicianship is not surprising of high quality and it´s not like "Crimson II" is a terrible album, but when you make a sequel to an album like "Crimson (1996)", you better put out something of great quality, because a sequel will always be compared to the original, and in that regard "Crimson II" doesn´t stand a chance. "Crimson (1996)" is simply in a whole other league. Viewed upon as an individual release it´s not exactly Edge of Sanity´s finest hour either, but a 3 star (60%) rating is still warranted.

EDGE OF SANITY Cryptic

Album · 1997 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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.

EDGE OF SANITY Infernal

Album · 1997 · Melodic Death Metal
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UMUR
"Infernal" is the 6th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The album was released through Black Mark Production in February 1997. Following up an almost universally praised album like "Crimson (1996)" must have been a daunting task for the band. Add to that the huge expectations from the fans, and the fact that the band was falling apart because of musical differences around the time of recording "Infernal" and you have a major part of the explanation why "Infernal" is not only vastly inferior to it´s predecessor, but also an incohesive and overall 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 almost all other 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 material on the album, which were recorded solely 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 preceding releases by the band, but overall there are not enough memorable tracks featured on the album. Other standout tracks include "Damned (By the Damned)" and the melodic clean sung "Losing Myself".

"Infernal" is still a reasonably good quality release though (the musicianship is strong and the sound production is powerful and detailed), and even the tracks which are clearly fillers ("Helter Skelter", "The Bleakness of It All", and "Inferno" are examples of that), do feature some redeeming qualities. It doesn´t change the fact that "Infernal" is a bit of a disappointment, when you compare it to the last couple of releases by the band. The incoherence of the material makes it a fragmented listen, which never really feels like a satisfying whole. It´s the sound of a once great act coming to an end. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved though.

EDGE OF SANITY Crimson

Album · 1996 · Melodic Death Metal
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"Crimson" is the 5th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The album was released through Black Mark Production in April 1996. "Crimson" is quite a unique album (at least for it´s time) as it solely consists of one 40 minutes long sci-fi/fantasy themed track. It also marks a change in the band´s songwriting dynamics as "Crimson" is more or less lead vocalist Dan Swanö´s project. On all preceding releases songwriting credits were more evenly distributed, but "Crimson" was solely written by Swanö, who also performs rhythm guitars and harmony guitars, clean and acoustic guitars, and keyboards, in addition to growling- and clean vocals. The rest of the band also performs on the album, but everything sounds strictly orchestrated by Swanö. Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth performs session guitar leads and vocals (the occasional raw blackened vocals on the album).

Stylistically the music on the album concludes the transformation from an old school Swedish death metal act to a full blown progressive death metal act, that the band initiated on "Enigma" from "Unorthodox (1992)". "Crimson" is the peak of Edge of Sanity´s stylistic development and to my ears also the peak of their recording career. While the music on "Crimson" is still in some ways at it´s core old school Swedish death metal, it far transcends what is usual for the genre, by incorporating both progressive rock, goth rock, and black metal elements. A contemporary artist like Opeth is a valid reference although at this point Opeth were only in the early stages of their career, and not at all as prolific or as influential as they would later become. So when "Crimson" was released, it was quite a unique sounding release.

Edge of Sanity successfully combine the various stylistic elements and the listener is caried through the album´s many brutal, melancholic, epic, tranquil, and adventurous sections with a seamless ease. "Crimson" is a dynamic release and one moment you´ll be exposed to death metal brutality and growling vocals, or blackened coldness with raspy screaming vocals, and the next a mellow beautiful section with clean vocals. While there are many sections featured on the track, and the structure is relatively complex, it´s actually reasonably easy to follow, and many sections are repeated or tweaked a bit and occur again during the track, so there is a high recognisability factor throughout the composition. Structure wise I´m reminded of a progressive rock classic like "Thick as a Brick (1972)" by Jethro Tull, which also consists of one album long track, featuring reoccurring themes. Knowing Swanö´s appreciation for classic progressive rock, it wouldn´t be a surprise, if he took some inspiration from that particular release.

The musicianship is as usual on a high level. While everything is certainly delivered with the needed skill and precision, there is a charming organic touch to the delivery, which works really well with the material. The instrumental part of the album is delivered with passion and conviction, but it´s the vocal part of the album, which takes the prize. Swanö´s growling vocals are distinct sounding and intelligible and his clean vocals are strong and pleasant (his harmony and choir vocals are also quality work). Åkerfeldt also deliveres a strong vocal performance, which help ensure variation in the vocal department.

"Crimson" is well produced, featuring a raw, organic, and detailed production, which suits the material perfectly. A more clean and clinical sounding production probably wouldn´t have suited the material as well. The album was recorded and mixed by Swanö at his own Unisound studio. Upon conclusion "Crimson" is a high quality release in every possible way. It features a well sounding production, strong musicianship, and adventurous songwriting, which was unique for the time, and a 5 star (100%) rating is fully deserved.

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