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Edge Of Sanity - Purgatory Afterglow CD (album) cover


Edge Of Sanity


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.84 | 83 ratings

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4 stars A Strange and oddly intrepid bird.

Before releasing their veritable Death metal Thick as a Brick in 1996's Crimson, Swano's Edge of Sanity had most of the genres experimentation down with a juggernaut of solid, yet increasingly intriguing albums. This would mark their fourth release, and it strikes with due aplomb.

The opener Twilight is as a razing fist cutting from the heated jowls of hell, with the flashing guitars running a blazing gauntlet. The death growling is of high quality, and the lyrics, especially for a death metal band, are top notch. Riff-fests are interspersed with atmospheric reveries and soft accents. Risk taking is a part of Edge of Sanity's foray from the opening gate.

This album is a surprising one, in its overt creativity and eclecticism. I almost see these guys influencing death metal contemporaries from Green Carnation, Maudlin of the Well, and prog metal heavyweight Opeth. Of Darksome Origin has an almost black metal blast with tripping trot riffs countering the chaos. The guitar sections are tight and coercing, leading your ears into the dithered cacophony. Those hateful deathly wails make me feel such trapped and ashen emotions. Not tied together in any overall theme, the members test their ground and mettle to set a fiery album of starkly original cuts.

Blood-Colored has that sterling beauty of cleanness vividly juxtaposed with a ferocious daring metal. The vocals are confident and decipherable. The main melody to this song plants goosebumps on my skin. The band shows how well it works together, and death metal nev er sounded so proper, so thoughtfully writ, and so convincing. Not afraid to delve into predominately non-metal territory marks an early and inspired visionary exhibition.

Silent is a stab of heat and cold. Short and sweet, with raucous guitars rattling heartily onward, shaking hands with the terse acoustic arrangements. This music just doesn't ever become boring to me. The start-stop blast slapping is a favorite musical technique of mine. Again, some of the melodies are drawn out fully and wondrous. Black Tears is another short, sharp shock. Blistering drums with that grit and zealous appeal of a hungry group of artists out for conquest. While not a complete and utter masterpiece, it still delivers the savory disparate styling of calm and hate.

I also see how, especially considering where the band hails from, this could be quite influential on the Melodic Death Metal movement in the mid-90's. Elegy swaggers in, betraying the melodically black metal introduction with a crunching riff, descending in rotting splendor. These songs all can be very menacing. Velvet Dreams features a similar jutting guitar stab affixed to an almost riff style vocal delivery.

If anything, the band knows how to do what they to superbly. They tend to re-use the heavy plod a bit too much, but the album isn't too long, so this can't become nerve grating. Enter Chaos opens the flood embracing the last stretch, a rampant throttle ride to the last second. Song of Sirens ends with a stunning ear catching grunt. This is one of the most sincere tracks, with the brooding anger seething from its core.

Why You Should Listen To This - It has many grand ideas. There are also brief flashes of beauty within the chaos. There is a great juxtaposition of themes present. The band plays very well, and the guitars are knotty and thick. Swano can sing well both ways, and you can actually understand what he is saying at all times. The music is mostly complex, without too many simple motifs.

Why You Shouldn't - They do repeat a few certain themes too many times, and the guitar parts could be a little juicier. There is a distinct lack of "wow" moments.

Best Song - Twilight Worst Song - Velvet Dreams

With This album, their future visions are set into course.

**** Weak Stars

Alitare | 4/5 |


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