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EDGE OF SANITY

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Sweden


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Edge of Sanity biography
Originally started as a fairly straightforward Swedish death metal band, Edge of Sanity's first few albums gained them a following in metal circles. They gradually began to encorporate progressive influences into their music, thanks primarily to frontman Dan Swano (a veteran of neo-proggers Unicorn, and eventual founder of the more straightforward prog-metal outfit Nightingale), hitting their peak with 1996's Crimson.

The epic concept album consisted of one 40 minute song, and is widely regarded as the band's greatest accomplishment. They started to fall apart shortly after though, with internal conflict arising over the band's new direction. Swano wanted to move further into prog while the other band members wanted a return to the group's death metal roots.

The album resulting from this conflict was Infernal, which consisted half of more melodic, proggy songs by Swano, and half of straightforward melodic death metal songs by the rest of the band. Swano left shortly after, and was replaced by Robert Karlsson for 1997's Cryptic. Shortly after, the band broke up.

In 2003, Swano revived the Edge of Sanity name for Crimson II, a solo album of his (featuring a handful of guests, including Clive Nolan).

See also:

- Another Life
- Dan Swäno
- Godsend
- Karaboudjan
- Nightingale
- Odyssey
- Pan.Thy.Monium
- Route Nine
- Unicorn



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Spectral SorrowsSpectral Sorrows
Caroline 2010
Audio CD$11.49
$10.49 (used)
CrimsonCrimson
Plastic Head America 2011
Audio CD$11.43
$9.09 (used)
Purgatory AfterglowPurgatory Afterglow
Caroline 2010
Audio CD$10.98
$9.95 (used)
Crimson IICrimson II
Caroline 2010
Audio CD$12.81
$11.99 (used)
Nothing But Death RemainsNothing But Death Remains
Caroline 2010
Audio CD$11.49
$15.47 (used)
UnorthodoxUnorthodox
Caroline 2010
Audio CD$12.80
$18.87 (used)
InfernalInfernal
Import
Black Mark Germany 2006
Audio CD$10.65
$9.32 (used)
CrypticCryptic
Import
Black Mark Germany 1997
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$8.99 (used)
Kur-Nu-Gi-AKur-Nu-Gi-A
Import
Black Mark Germany 2012
Audio CD$11.39
$13.31 (used)
Until Eternity EndsUntil Eternity Ends
EP
Caroline 2010
Audio CD$14.58
$10.46 (used)
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EDGE OF SANITY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

EDGE OF SANITY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 22 ratings
Nothing But Death Remains
1991
3.41 | 29 ratings
Unorthodox
1992
3.30 | 25 ratings
Spectral Sorrows
1993
3.72 | 58 ratings
Purgatory Afterglow
1994
4.28 | 311 ratings
Crimson
1996
2.74 | 23 ratings
Infernal
1997
1.59 | 23 ratings
Cryptic
1997
3.65 | 78 ratings
Crimson II
2003

EDGE OF SANITY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EDGE OF SANITY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

EDGE OF SANITY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.13 | 4 ratings
Evolution
1999
4.09 | 4 ratings
When All is Said
2006
3.00 | 2 ratings
Kur-Nu-Gi-A
2012

EDGE OF SANITY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Euthanasia
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kur-Nu-Gi-A
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Dead
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Immortal Rehearsals
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dead But Dreaming
1992
3.20 | 6 ratings
Until Eternity Ends
1994

EDGE OF SANITY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Crimson II by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.65 | 78 ratings

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Crimson II
Edge of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars I was greatly surprised to read that Clive Nolan of neo-prog band Arena (and other projects) wrote the lyrics. I have no independent confirmation of this, but the lyrics actually have rhythm and rhyme, in as far, of course, as a song about a demon queen from the future goes.

Anyway, the 40-minute single track Crimson II is a sequel to the first 40-minute Crimson single track, which was influential in metal circles by alternating death metal and variously styled clean breaks. Its good that Dan Swano didn't choose to simply repeat himself. The second Crimson is a richer composition, fully integrating sounds of synths. In fact it often sounds less like death metal and more bombastic power prog metal, only faster, more aggressive and sung in death growls. Because of that dichotomy I am not sure which demographic it aims for, since purists of both genres will likely scoff at this odd combination. I guess that's why Crimson 2 is less beloved by fans, although I think both records are of equal quality.

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 Crimson by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.28 | 311 ratings

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Crimson
Edge of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Crimson - a single 40-minute song - is acclaimed as the proggiest that death metal goes, certainly by the time it was released in 1996. It sounds surprisingly coherent, but I like to think of it not as a composition - there is little of advanced compositional technique to speak of - but rather as a story set to continuous stream of music. Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt was involved, and it shows - it's the familiar for fans of Opeth's mid-period formula of death metal interspersed with calm breaks and more traditional thrash and power metal moments. It's actually fairly accessible and melodic by death metal standards. But I still think it's overrated. It's no Opeth. Calmer breaks are mostly just what they are - breaks, not countermelodies. Production and clean singing is weak - and I'm sick of the excuse that's its weak because it's supposed to convey a theme that is bleak. Opeth's Ghost Reveries production - now that kicks some serious behind.

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 Purgatory Afterglow by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.72 | 58 ratings

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Purgatory Afterglow
Edge of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by LSDisease

4 stars I used to like Swedish death metal of the early 90's but still prefered American or even British (Carcass) metal brutality. And then Edge Of Sanity released this album. They did it when I wasn't into such music anymore or should I say I was more into classical metal and prog rock. This is a bit of surprise as it starts like some kind of AOR stuff with clean vocals and keyboards in the background. After that intro Twilight turns into typical death metal tune but the most important thing is, it's still melodic death metal. That pattern with clean and growling vocals is also used in Blood-Colored as it's heavy metal + death metal song. Black Tears is sung with clean vocals in its entirety however it's very short tune. Velvet Dreams is my fav on the album, it's melodic death metal with great guitar harmonies. To sum it up, Purgatory Afterglow is a major step toward more sophisticated metal than the one band presented before. It's still brutal but at some points it turns into another direction, more classical metal filled with passion and nostalgia. Unleashed or Dismember didn't want to explore these territories leaving them to Edge Of Sanity. And they absolutely made it.

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 Crimson by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.28 | 311 ratings

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Crimson
Edge of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I am one of those who didn't really like this upon first listen. I had the hardest time without some kind of intro build up to something grander. This simply starts out as simple death metal and THEN takes you on a journey once you've had a little time to get into the groove of the whole thing. Damn. I hate being manipulated but EDGE OF SANITY managed to do it with this release. Despite not loving this upon first spin, I was drawn back. Driven to get this MF it finally happened one night. I got it. And once I did, OMG! OK. I get it now. I succumb to the insidious charm that this album has. Now I love it and recognize it for its beauty. It's weird how certain vocalists even within the growly death metal arena just don't do it for ya. Well Dan Swan' has been one of those vocalists for me, so it took more than the recommended time for to adjust to his. But after I did..... pure magic. Now I can say I love this album and recognize it for the masterpiece it truly is.

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 Crimson by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.28 | 311 ratings

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Crimson
Edge of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Codera the Great

5 stars This is an album (or song) that from the very second you press play, you never want to press the stop button. With Dan Swanö's thunderous opening line of "Another sky is young", you are immediately gripped and transported to another world (which happens to be on the brink of destruction as you witness the events before you). The music, lyrics, and overall concept paint such a beautiful image of this futuristic dystopia, where the daughter of a King leads a successful coup attempt against him, and eventually becomes ruler herself, only to be captured and imprisoned in crimson fluid (as you see on the cover). The performances all-around are top-notch and the intensity does not let up, even Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth makes a guest appearance here and displays one of his all-time best harsh vocal performances alongside Dan Swanö's equally powerful roars. This is simply a must have for fans of progressive music and old school death metal in general. One of my personal favorite albums in any genre of all time.

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 Crimson II by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.65 | 78 ratings

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Crimson II
Edge of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by The Mystical

4 stars I am left haunted by "Crimson ii". The album is heavy as hell, yet it still remains very ominous and atmospheric. The musicianship of Dan Swano is excellent and his production is superb, bringing out all the album's underlying flavours. The texture of this album is incredibly thick; the massive guitar sound, aggressive growls, pounding drums and the dark synths create a wash of sound that is actually rather hypnotic. As dark as this album is, there is a comforting edge to it's sound and it is quite accessible for those who can stomach something as heavy as this.

I personally prefer "Crimson ii" to "Crimson i", because I feel that "Crimson i" tries a little too hard to be brooding and atmospheric. This album is incredibly heavy, but is naturally ominous it's nature. The atmosphere is subtle, which is what makes this album so masterful. Another credit to this album is the album art. I can't think of any album art that better suits the content of the album. The warm colours and shadowy atmosphere beautifully spell out all the feelings that are portrayed musically in this release.

This album is a definite must have for any fan of melodic death metal, or any progressive metal fan looking for a dark listening experience. 4 stars.

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 Spectral Sorrows by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.30 | 25 ratings

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Spectral Sorrows
Edge of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Dan Seagrave is like Roger Dean's twisted psychotic cousin. The album cover here is another one of those landscape situations where if you somehow wake up to find yourself within this illustration, the first thing to cross your mind would be "Where the hell am I?" followed by "I'm in deep trouble". Gloomy, vicious and crazed heaviness combine with some experimentation to make this one of the more enjoyable death metal albums of the early 90s.

Boasting that monstrous buzzsaw Swedish death metal sound of the era (think early Entombed and Dismember), when the intro stuff segues into the thrashy death metal rhythms, it's a real treat thanks to a powerful production on all instruments...except for the snare drum, which has this garage band timbre for some reason. The riffs are strong and rush towards the listener from many angles, not fixating on the open low string like other bands of this ilk often do, but utilizing the fretboard quite well to keep things interesting. The faster tempos tend to hover in the fast thrash (think Slayer) zone as opposed to blastbeats, which pop up only a couple of times. Such is sort of the norm for the old-school Swedish style, and blastbeats really aren't missed here regardless. Guitar melodies combine with dark and cruel riffage to create this monstrous tapestry, yet guitar solos are a rarity, popping up moreso to add atmosphere than 'showiness'. Dan Swano's vocals are rough and monstrous, even better than the band's previous offering, adding muscle to the already punishing music.

Granted, some of the more straightforward death metal tunes have adventurous or flat-out mellow moments that gives the band a bit of identity, but one of the major interests concerning this album are the full fledged deviations from the basic signature sound. There's a Manowar cover with Dan singing like a crazed Robert E. Howard creation, and a tune called "Sacrificed" that you could play to your local goth girl and instantly win her friendship, at least until you start pushing Yes on her. "Feedin' the Charlatan" has Dan shouting in a more hardcore punk fashion over the heavy riffs giving the song an effective 'crossover' sound. There's also your ambient keyboard epilogue number, but that's not straying too far from the norm.

Years and years later, this release remains to my ears as one of the better Swedish death metal offerings thanks not just to the experimentations, but to the high quality of the more raging tracks. Personally, although I admire and respect what the band did in Crimson, it doesn't get a whole lot of spins since I need to be in the right frame of mind with 40 minutes of straight free time, and that doesn't happen too often these days for me. Albums like this one and their more straightforward prior release, Unorthodox, get most of my attention, with this album winning out as my personal favorite Edge Of Sanity release.

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 Crimson by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.28 | 311 ratings

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Crimson
Edge of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

3 stars Edge Of Sanity are one of the many bands to come out of the Scandinavian metal scene. Dan Swano is the leader here but would leave after this album. I'm more familiar with his work in his other projects rather than in Edge Of Sanity. Crimson was one of those albums I had heard about and wanted to hear. This is currently out-of-print AFAIK and if you cannot find it you will not be missing a masterpiece of prog. You will find a very good death metal album though. The proggiest aspects of this album are the fact that it is a 40 minute song and it reprises earlier sections. It does not flow like an epic but rather sounds like 8 or 10 different metal songs all cut up and edited out of sync. Mr. Opeth, Mikael Akerfeldt guests here on guitar and vocals. There is some growling on the album but thankfully it's not the only kind of singing.

Starting out with growling and heavy riffs it quickly calms down before staying in a death metal style for awhile. Eventually some modified 'normal' singing and clean guitars for awhile. Some piano as well. I like this section. Then some Spanish style acoustic guitar. A part that reminds me of Pantera before before some fast speed metal/death metal stuff. A repeated guitar figure with some vocals that remind me of Type O Negative. What sounds like violin around 8 minutes. Another clean guitar/non-growled vocal part. Sounds like some keyboards before it goes into Tool like drumming. A short spoken word section with great guitar playing. More fast sh*t and growling. After 13 minutes great bass with those Tool style drums again with some good mini-soloing from guitar. More fast sh*t and screaming.

Nice thrash groove around 15 minutes. Really love the drumming before just before 23 minutes. Type O Negative style vocals come back. The riff starting before 25 minutes sounds like a Type O riff. More fast sh*t. More clean guitar stuff with some very alterna-rock type vocals (think Creed). A decent guitar solo at one point. I like the echoed/delayed/chorused/whatever guitar parts although you only briefly hear them once in awhile. More fast sh*t. The music stops after 32 minutes or so and then you hear a great a cappella part with studio altered vocals. This album needed more unpredictable parts like that. You know what follows that part? More fast sh*t. The Type O riff from earlier starts to get played slower and slower. This leads to the conclusion of the piece which features some good symphonic keyboards. A little more spoken word. Ends with the growling and heavy riffs of the beginning.

I don't really care for the beginning and ending of the album; starts and ends too abrupt for my tastes. I like the album cover although I'm not exactly sure what it is. There is nothing here that wasn't already being done by at least 1992. Nothing very original but a consistent metal album from the 1990s. Of interest to prog fans but nothing essential. Not as great as I originally expected but after several listens I certainly enjoyed it more than the first listen. My final verdict will be 3 stars.

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 Crimson II by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.65 | 78 ratings

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Crimson II
Edge of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Edge of Sanity's post-Crimson albums made in the absence of Dan Swano are, with some justification, seen as being a blemish on the band's otherwise impressive record. It's only fair, then, that Dan Swano had a chance to do the reverse and make an Edge of Sanity album without Edge of Sanity, relying on guest musicians and his own capabilities as a multi- instrumentalist to pull it off. And what better way to rub it in than to craft a sequel to the classic Crimson?

Though an impressive technical accomplishment as far as one-man bands in metal go, I think Crimson II is a pleasant listen which doesn't quite manage to provide a really satisfying sequel to the original. Truth be told, the story here isn't exactly as compelling as the original, and musically speaking there's few surprises to be had. Still, even if Edge of Sanity didn't end on a high, at least it didn't end on a low of the magnitude of the miserable Cryptic.

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 Crimson by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.28 | 311 ratings

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Crimson
Edge of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Edge of Sanity's masterpiece took a while to grow on me, but what at first sounded like a fairly typical death metal album which happened to consist of a single long track soon turned out to be a much more intriguing proposition, with diverse changes in mood and style to convey the album's narrative. Dan Swanö delivers his most varied and diverse vocals to date whilst the band provide both the musical backdrop and the special effects for the science fantasy story. At one point in the album the lead guitars manage to achieve a perfect imitation of a warning siren - which sounds cheesy on paper, but in this context it really works. As far as melodic death metal goes, this is a high water mark indeed.

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