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Edge of Sanity - Unorthodox CD (album) cover

UNORTHODOX

Edge of Sanity

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.39 | 23 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars A Classic Swedish Death Metal Album

Unorthodox is one of the most unique albums in Edge of Sanity's discography. Their debut album was pure Swedish death metal, and by The Spectral Sorrows the band was playing pure progressive death metal. Unorthodox is a perfect bridge between these two albums.

This album is much heavier and less melodic than their future albums, but more progressive and diverse than their debut. What you can expect here is a wide range of influences. While this is first and foremost a death metal album, you can hear various influences (most notably goth-rock, neo-prog, and even some classical music). While it is an enormous stretch to call this progressive death metal, this is a very eclectic and unusual death metal album. In 1992 it was rare for a death metal band to incorporate keyboards, clean singing, and mellow sections into their music like Edge of Sanity does on this album.

These variations keep this album from tiring like many death metal albums. Rather than being a never-ending assault on your ears, this album has interesting experimentations that keep the album worth listening to. While this album is very heavy, and not recommended for the faint of heart, its experimentations keep it from becoming boring like many albums in the genre. Songs like the epic "Enigma", the beautiful "When All Is Said", and the experimental "After Afterlife" keep this album varied and full of surprises. That's not to say that none of the songs are too predictable and formulaic, though. Songs like "Incipience to the Butchery" and "Everlasting" are rather formulaic and predictable, but even these songs have memorable riffs and solos.

One of the things that makes this album stand out in Edge of Sanity's discography is the charisma shown between the band members. After this album it showed that Dan Swanö was doing things that the rest of the band didn't approve of, and the tension became obvious between the band members. I'll quote a few things said by Dan Swanö about Unorthodox in an interview.

" Unorthodox is great. The best album we ever did. Kind of perfect in its own way. The rest of the albums sound really weird but they all have great moments musically."

"I am pretty sure that the 5 original members will never be on stage together again ever. Not at least for a full performance. There really wasn't that much of a chemistry left after Unorthodox and it didn't get better with age."

I can completely understand both comments from Dan, though Unorthodox is certainly not my favorite Edge of Sanity album. There's a certain chemistry present on this album that wasn't present on any of their future albums. However, I believe the future albums still manage to be better in the songwriting department.

Conclusion:

Unorthodox is a great album from Edge of Sanity, even though it's far from my favorite album released by the band. If you're looking for the band at their best, I would recommend going to the Crimson albums and Purgatory Afterglow before this album, especially if you're a progressive metal fan. Unorthodox is still an essential album if you're interested in death metal, and a 3.5 star rating is deserved. Don't go into this album expecting prog, though. There are only a few hints of prog in this album.

3 stars.

J-Man | 3/5 |

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