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Edge of Sanity - Unorthodox CD (album) cover

UNORTHODOX

Edge of Sanity

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.56 | 37 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "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. Itīs the first track in the bandīs 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 doesnīt mean they arenīt 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 thatīs 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, thereīs 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 Swanöīs 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 canīt 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 bandīs 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 itīs still in many ways vastly different. A unique listening experience and a 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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