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Edge of Sanity - Spectral Sorrows CD (album) cover

SPECTRAL SORROWS

Edge of Sanity

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.47 | 29 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "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 Swan÷┤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.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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