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EDGE OF SANITY

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Sweden


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Edge Of Sanity picture
Edge Of Sanity biography
Founded in Finspång, Sweden in 1989 - Disbanded in 1999 - Reformed briefly in 2003

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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EDGE OF SANITY discography


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

2.99 | 39 ratings
Nothing But Death Remains
1991
3.54 | 53 ratings
Unorthodox
1992
3.56 | 51 ratings
The Spectral Sorrows
1993
3.83 | 89 ratings
Purgatory Afterglow
1994
4.27 | 493 ratings
Crimson
1996
2.75 | 39 ratings
Infernal
1997
2.04 | 39 ratings
Cryptic
1997
3.68 | 116 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)

2.35 | 7 ratings
Evolution
1999
4.12 | 6 ratings
When All is Said
2006
4.67 | 3 ratings
Kur-Nu-Gi-A
2012

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

3.05 | 2 ratings
Euthanasia
1989
2.95 | 3 ratings
Kur-Nu-Gi-A
1990
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Dead
1990
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Immortal Rehearsals
1990
4.00 | 1 ratings
Dead But Dreaming
1992
3.25 | 9 ratings
Until Eternity Ends
1994

EDGE OF SANITY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Crimson by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.27 | 493 ratings

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Crimson
Edge Of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Ian McGregor

5 stars Don't like this band, but this is one of the most influential records of its genre. It was one of the first to blend death metal with progressive rock, and manage melodic death metal. The most noticeable fact is that the entire album is just the title track. This forty minute track goes from raw death metal to melodic sections with acoustic guitar. The vocals also go from growls to clean singing. This style of death metal influences bands like Opeth and most modern melodic death metal bands.

I respect this record for what it has done to its genre, and it's essential to death metal.

 Crimson by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.27 | 493 ratings

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Crimson
Edge Of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Isaac Peretz

5 stars This record is objectively five stars, it's an essential record for death metal and it completely changed the way people looked at death metal. A new ocean of possibilities opened for metal, the capability of merging the crushing riffs and brutal growls of death metal with the soft vocals and acoustic breaks of progressive rock.

The whole album is one song, divided into eight movements. The song is a constantly changing and dynamic work that keeps you entertained from beginning to end, it's a marvel for melodic death metal fans.

It's for sure one of my favorite death metal records, and an essential work for death metal. Gotta be five stars.

 Crimson by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.27 | 493 ratings

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Crimson
Edge Of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by King Brimstone

5 stars This album is basically Opeth's dad. It features the main acoustic and soft sections combined with the heavy death metal all around the album. The title track and single song is split into eight movements, telling the story of a dying society where people can't have children anymore. This is their best album and a true testament for Death Metal, it's highly influential and provided its genre a new trend that would become popularized with the well-known Opeth.

A very essential record for Death Metal And a very strong and solid record in general, Edge Of Sanity's Crimson is a five star effort.

 Crimson by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.27 | 493 ratings

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Crimson
Edge Of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Gorgut Muncher

5 stars "Woah that song is forty minutes long!" the album.

That was what I always thought about this album until I listened it. Edge Of Sanity is a pretty obscure band, and I wouldn't really say that their discography is as strong as the one from other Tech Metal acts like Opeth or Death, but this album is a true marvel for its genre.

The song alternates between heavy and crushing riffs to mellow acoustic passages, much like Opeth (no wonder why the mastermind behind Opeth, Mikael, was brought as a featured artist). A perfect balance between these contrasting properties is present and it's undeniable that it adds great dynamic to this masterwork.

Obviously, if you start to listen to this album, you must finish it. It flows amazingly (mostly due to the fact that it's a single song) and isn't a boring listen in any way. I think my five star rating shouldn't be too controversial. Most metalheads will agree this is a masterpiece.

 Crimson II by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.68 | 116 ratings

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Crimson II
Edge Of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by progtime1234567

4 stars Crimson II is a great follow up to a great album. Unlike most sequel albums, this one is executed well and sounds good along with the original album. Crimson II was the final album ever released by EDGE OF SANITY and it is a great way for the band to say farewell. Dan Swano played most of the instruments on the album and did most of the vocals as well with some guests added in for freshness and color. The album also has parts from the first Crimson album so it really sounds like the two albums are supposed to go together, and they fit together very well. I suggest that you start with Crimson first and then listen to this record if you want to get into the great material EDGE OF SANITY has to offer. If you like Crimson, try listening to that and Crimson II front to back together, then you will have a great, long progressive and death metal epic.
 Crimson by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.27 | 493 ratings

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Crimson
Edge Of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by progtime1234567

5 stars As a lover of both prog metal and Swedish metal, I really enjoyed this album. I approached this album with a prog metal mindset rather than a death metal mindset, and what I got in terms of progressive was very impressive. The album is just one long 40 minute song that is a treat to listen to. It has death metal riffs, progressive metal ideas and tendencies, and the Opeth singer, what more could you ask for in a heavy prog metal album? The album has softer passages as well, which is a good break from all the heaviness that goes on. Upon first listen however, I was not getting into it as much as I was the second listen. It's just one of those albums that upon first listen, you're not as into it or impressed as you are the second and third listen.

If you like Opeth and later Death then you will really enjoy this album. A masterpiece of heavier progressive metal and death metal. Great riffs, one great long song and excellent instrumentation are just some of the treats you get when you're listening to this album.

 Kur-Nu-Gi-A  by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1990
2.95 | 3 ratings

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Kur-Nu-Gi-A
Edge Of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Kur-Nu-Gi-A" is the 2nd demo cassette tape by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The demo was self- released in 1990. Edge of Sanity were formed in 1989 and relatively quickly released their first demo cassette tape "Euthanasia (1989)". "Kur-Nu-Gi-A" was originally limited to 500 copies, but when they sold out, 500 additional copies were made (featuring a slightly different cover artwork).

The demo features 6 tracks and a full playing time of 20:06 minutes. All tracks would appear in re-recorded (and in some cases re-arranged) versions on future studio albums. "Decepted by the Cross", "Maze of Existence", and "Immortal Souls" on "Nothing but Death Remains (1991)", "Beyond the Unknown" and "The Day of Maturity" on "Unorthodox (1992)", and "Serenade for the Dead" on "The Spectral Sorrows (1993)".

Stylistically Edge of Sanity have now shed all 80s thrash metal influences (which "Euthanasia (1989)" featured in smaller doses) and the music on "Kur-Nu-Gi-A" is 100% pure death metal. Even this early on Edge of Sanity was not a standard old school Swedish death metal act. Their compositions were generally more sophisticated and adventurous (at times even semi-progressive) than what most of their contemporaries produced.

"Kur-Nu-Gi-A" features a raw and lo-fi produced sound quality, which may lack a bit in the detail department, but makes up for it in raw and brutal charm. Dan Swan''s growling vocals are slightly more intelligible on "Kur-Nu-Gi-A" than the case was on "Euthanasia (1989)", but he still doesn't sound as unique as he does on the succeeding studio albums. I'd say he's about half way there though. The band are fairly well playing although especially the guitars sound a bit untight at times. Even a bit out of tune too.

The general quality of the material is decent enough, but it's mostly "Decepted by the Cross" and "Maze of Existence" which showcase the future brilliance of Edge of Sanity. The rest is more standard quality death metal and upon conclusion a 3 star (60%) rating isn't all wrong.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 Euthanasia by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1989
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Euthanasia
Edge Of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Euthanasia" is the first demo cassette tape released by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The demo was self-released in November 1989. The tape was released with three different artwork colour variations. One with a black/white cover, one with a red/black cover, and one with a blue/black cover.

"Euthanasia" features 5 tracks and a full playing time of 10:52 minutes. "Return of Consciousness" is a short intro, but the remaining four tracks are "regular" death metal tracks. This is of course early death metal and therefore there are strong thrash metal leanings in the music too. Many of the riffs and rhythms are more in the thrash metal camp than in the death metal ditto. Dan Swanö´s vocals are death metal growls though. The intro, "Pernicious Anguish" and "Disrupting the Inhabitants" are exclusive to this release, while "Human Aberration" would appear in a re-recorded version on the band´s debut full-length studio album "Nothing but Death Remains (1991)", and "Incipience to the Butchery" would be featured in a re-recorded version on the band´s second full-length "Unorthodox (1992)".

The musicianship is decent for a first demo, but not everything is played as tight as it could have been. Swanö had not yet developed his disctinct sounding intelligible growling vocal style either, so his vocals here are more standard unintelligible growling. The material is overall of a relatively good quality and especially the two tracks which made it unto studio albums display that even this early on Edge of Sanity had some pretty unconventional ideas, although in small doses on this release.

The sound production is raw and lo-fi, but the band have gotten the most out of the recording equipment they had at their disposal, and "Euthanasia" is generally listenable. Upon conclusion "Euthanasia" is certainly a promising first demo by Edge of Sanity and considering the time of release, the music is quite advanced for a death metal demo. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 Crimson II by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.68 | 116 ratings

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Crimson II
Edge Of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by 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%

 Crimson by EDGE OF SANITY album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.27 | 493 ratings

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Crimson
Edge Of Sanity Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Insin

4 stars Crimson is considered Edge of Sanity's crowning achievement, masterpiece, finest work, etc. And even if you don't think that it's amazing, you have to admit that it's an ambitious move: one forty-minute conceptual song, with a push towards a more progressive style. While it's a good song and it's always at least interesting to see a band move outside of their comfort zone, Crimson doesn't quite reach the heights that have been ascribed to it.

There is not enough variety to sustain Crimson ' this is the main flaw, and it seems like Swano & Co pieced together about ten or so separate but similar songs in order to achieve the length that they did. Unfortunately the detriments of having full-blast death metal for one continuous forty minute song is that it can become a bit stagnant after a while, not really exploring much new territory even in the depths of the song. They do change it up, throwing in some upbeat and doomy riffs, as well as the occasional soft part, but for most of the track they stick to their principal sound, and in this regard, take no risks. There is nothing wrong with the actual music and the death metal is some of the band's strongest, with riffs-aplenty and quite a few energetically aggressive moments, while still showing off that melodic side. I've never been a huge fan of Swano's vocals but Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth has a guest spot and does a fantastic job, his growls furious and his clean singing pleasant.

The other issue with Crimson is that there isn't really any payoff. The song stops just as Edge of Sanity begins to build up to a big finish, and the grand finale that we do get seems very hastily thrown together after a disjointed previous few minutes. And the very end ' the last few seconds ' are painfully anticlimactic as it just screeches to a halt all of the sudden. I had to listen to this from multiple sources just to make sure the song wasn't getting cut off and I was missing something, but it seems as if they couldn't think of a real ending. The concept of this album isn't very important in comparison to the music although I'd like to address it, and I applaud EoS for this extra effort on top of the fact that they managed to write an album-length song. The storyline combines science fiction and mysticism, but the details are unknown to me because Edge of Sanity doesn't make their lyrics particularly clear and unambiguous, and I don't care enough to look it up. The nature of the growled vocals that are used a majority of the time makes the plot harder yet to follow and I'd like to petition a ban on primarily using harsh vocals for concept albums.

Crimson doesn't work as a forty minute song, despite having very little problem with flow. There are few drastic changes and even fewer distinct movements ' it is based more upon random meandering than musical evolution and real progress. The music behind this is some quality melodeath, and if you don't think of Crimson as one cohesive song, then it's a solid piece of work.

Thanks to useful_idiot for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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