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Edge of Sanity - Crimson CD (album) cover

CRIMSON

Edge of Sanity

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.28 | 301 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Negoba
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Yes It's That Good

I know very little Edge of Sanity or Dan Swano beyond this album. The snippets I've heard are good but nothing really transcendent. But on CRIMSON, something special happened. It must have been one of those synchronous moments, perhaps a bit of (dark) magic. Maybe some unseen spirit was directing the writing and recording. Whatever the cause, the result was phenomenal. This album combines Fields of the Nephilim / Sisters of Mercy goth rock with As I Lay Dying sludge / goth metal with a distinct style of melodic death and even some black elements. Despite harsh vocals, grinding riffs, and a slightly lo-fi production, the album is so musical. Integral to the album is the appearance of Mikael Akerfeldt, and one can't help but think that this album deeply affected what was to become the Opeth sound. I can hear sections reminiscent of Still Life, yet this album came first. Though the album certainly sounds its age in terms of guitar tone and production, the vision is something clearly ahead of its time.

If anything, CRIMSON is even more eclectic than Opeth. The vocals are extremely varied, from a low goth voice to various growls to Mikael's soaring clean tone. Each timbre plays a specific role, and each fits perfectally in its place. The lead guitars occasionally solo but most of the time they serve as melodic elements, tying the massive 40 minute piece together. Sections recur and themes mingle in and out, but the structure never uses a traditional verse or chorus. Rather, we have scenes in the dark fantasy story, which I actually don't pay that much attention to. The tempo is all over the place, but it works. The drums are never flashy, always contributing to the song.

While the sounds are more typical death metal, the ethic is more black. The album is atmospheric, employs simpler production, some tremolo sections, and less technical emphasis. This is progressive in terms of arrangement, composition, and overall vision. This is nothing like Dream Theater. Instead, it is the closest thing to an extreme metal Wall or Mindcrime you're going to find.

Ambitious, singular, musical, masterpiece.

Negoba | 5/5 |

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