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Edge of Sanity - Crimson II CD (album) cover

CRIMSON II

Edge of Sanity

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.65 | 103 ratings

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Insin
3 stars As people run out of original ideas in our current day and age, a sequel is frequently a gimmick for money or attention. The most obvious examples that come to mind exist in the cinematic world, but music contains some as well, such as Queensr˙che's Operation Mindcrime II, or Metallica's three Unforgivens. Fortunately, Edge of Sanity's followup to their esteemed 1996 album Crimson (which I have already reviewed and given an 80%) is a sequel that upholds the legacy of its predecessor. I shall break this down into two sections, one that addresses the sound and the songwriting, and then, of course one that addresses this song as one flowing composition. Naturally, this review will be rife with comparison to the original Crimson.

The songwriting, since Edge of Sanity's last forty-minute adventure, has become less blunt, straightforward, and assaulting, and is now perhaps more, dare I say it, commercial. It's not a huge difference, but it's one worth mentioning. I don't recall keyboards being so integral to the Edge of Sanity sound, and while I am in fact a sucker for keyboards, these don't do very much for me. Swano's clean singing sounds fantastic. Though his growls have also improved they sound disconnected from the rest of the music, which can perhaps be attributed to production. As usual, although it's a concept album, the lyrics are hard to understand both due to the vocal style and their actual phrasing. The riffs, however, are the real point of decline here. While the original Crimson had magnificent riffs of all types abound, this is quite disappointing, chock full of standard melodeath fare, and a few breakdowns. Crimson II lacks the power and memorable riffing of the original, but in other areas, it redeems itself to a degree.

There is still not enough variety to sustain Crimson II as a singular track. Yes, there are soft parts here and there, but mostly Crimson II trudges along at the same speed, volume, and level of heaviness for lengthy periods of time, static. The transitions are often abrupt, but Swano seems to have learned the art of the dramatic ending. The last 45 seconds of the album are quality; if only they went on for longer. A song of length ought to have some payoff or go somewhere, and it's still not quite enough, beginning only sometime during the sequence of Aftermaths, but it is a definite improvement.

Crimson II upholds the legacy of the original; in some places better, in some worse. The sound has declined ? while the original Crimson could have been a classic melodeath album even if it had not been a singular song, the followup is fairly unmemorable when split into parts. As one long song, the second Crimson is better, though the improvements are basic and marginal. I can't really recommend this given it comes out as about average in both sections of the review, though I still liked it and I'm glad Edge of Sanity didn't have to end their career on a sour note.

3.5 stars/75%

Insin | 3/5 |

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