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Edge Of Sanity

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Edge Of Sanity Purgatory Afterglow album cover
3.80 | 100 ratings | 9 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Twilight (7:51)
2. Of Darksome Origin (5:02)
3. Blood-Colored (4:00)
4. Silent (5:05)
5. Black Tears (3:15)
6. Elegy (3:57)
7. Velvet Dreams (7:10)
8. Enter Chaos (2:24)
9. The Sinner and the Sadness (3:06)
10. Song of Sirens (2:33)

Total Time 44:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Dan Swanö / vocals, keyboards (1,5), guitars (3-5)
- Andreas Axelsson / guitar, vocals (10)
- Sami Nerberg / guitar, vocals (10)
- Anders Lindberg / bass
- Benny Larsson / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Necrolord

CD Black Mark Production ‎- BMCD 61 (1994, Germany)
CD Black Mark Production ‎- BMCD 61 (2003, UK)

LP Black Mark Production ‎- BMLP61 (2003, Sweden) Remastered (?)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy EDGE OF SANITY Purgatory Afterglow Music

EDGE OF SANITY Purgatory Afterglow ratings distribution

(100 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

EDGE OF SANITY Purgatory Afterglow reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Trickster F.
3 stars Although I do not understand why many Swanoheads consider this to be the best album by Edge Of Sanity, I have to admit this is a great experience. Compared to its successor, Crimson, released two years after, this is a weaker effort lyrically, technically and conceptually.

I really enjoy this album, but its progressiveness, honestly speaking, is rather questionable. Besides the synth in the first track, which, in my point of view, is the only progressive song here, the album is just a great melodic Death Metal record in the style of Dark Tranquility. The riffs and melodies are written incredibly well, the choruses are very catchy, and Dan's extreme vocals are much better than on any of the previous releases. I know this isn't an aspect to attract Progressive Rock fans towards this album, but they are quite possibly the greatest done in the genre. Dan also sings "cleanly" on three tracks - Twilight, Blood-Coloured and Black Tears. For the people unfamiliar with the Swedish mastermind: Dan Swano's clean singing sounds a lot like David Coverdale, who seems to be a common influence even among the manliest metal musicians of Sweden.

Joking aside, the tracks here vary from 'excellent' to 'average'. The highest point of the album is the very first track, Twlight, with its beautiful and hauntingly mysterious synth parts and clean vocals, amazing melodic riffs and the mighty chorus. Of Darksome Origin is a riff-based song, with a dark atmosphere and Black Metal vocals. Blood-Coloured is also an enjoyable little song, with dual vocal styles (both clean and extreme), great melodic riffs and a short, but a fabulous guitar solo. The other tracks here are solid and share a similar distinctive sound, which is highly enjoyable, but I need to speak about two more specific songs. One is Black Tears, a song that fans often beg for on Nightingale concerts, which sounds like something a group I used to listen to in my youth would have done. Seriously, as strange as it may sound, it seems that the musicians of the Finnish pseudo-goth metal band HIM heard this song and decided to make a whole career of writing similiar material. The lowest point of the album is the last song, which I always skip, as both the music and the vocals, done by another musician in the group rather than Swano, always make me cringe. It seems that whenever the musicians attempt something without the permission of Dan Swano or in his absence, they fail miserably.

In conclusion, this is a very good melodeath album, but not really an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Often categorised as Extreme Progressive Metal, Edge Of Sanity are more of a Progressive Death Metal group than anything, with emphasis on the death metal part. I suggest the average Progressive Metal fan to avoid this, but if you are a fan of Death Metal in general (let me remind you again that this is isn't a generic DM album), this should be the second EoS album you get. Not a Death Metal enthusiast? In that case, Crimson is the EoS album for you.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Purgatory Afterglow" is the 4th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Edge of Sanity. The album was released through Black Mark Productions in October 1994. Edge of Sanity were quite busy in the early part of their career and as if it wasn´t enough that they had released one album per year from 1991-1994 (including this one), they also had time to record and release the "Until Eternity Ends" EP earlier in 1994. The material on "Purgatory Afterglow" was originally meant to have been released on two seperate EPs. One EP (titled "Purgatory") featuring the most death metal oriented material, and one EP (titled "Afterglow") featuring the more progressive/hard rock/metal oriented tracks. However the band and the label ultimately opted to release the material as a full-length studio album instead.

Great material diversity worked pretty well for Edge of Sanity on "The Spectral Sorrows (1993)", and "Purgatory Afterglow" continues that trend. At this point most listeners understood that you needed an open mind to fully appreciate Edge of Sanity´s releases, so it probably didn´t come as much of a surprise to anyone that "Purgatory Afterglow" features both progressive rock, goth rock, and industrial rock/metal traits in addition to the band´s trademark melodic yet still relatively brutal take on death metal. If you came looking for a standard old school Swedish death metal release, you came to the wrong place.

The material on the 10 track, 45:11 minutes long album is well written and memorable. Epic and progressive oriented death metal tracks like "Twilight" and "Velvet Dreams" sit along more brutal death metal tracks like "Of Darksome Origin" and "Silent". The clean sung vers/growling chorus track "Blood-Colored", the goth rock/metal track "Black Tears", and the industrial tinged closing track "Song of Sirens", are some of the tracks which ensure great variation on the album. The tracks often feature melodic guitar harmonies and leads (occasionally also keyboards), and while I wouldn´t as such label Edge of Sanity a melodic death metal band (at least not a melodeath styled one), there is generally a strong emphasis on melody in their music, which makes it quite catchy and memorable.

No matter what musical style they play on the album, Edge of Sanity deliver the material with great skill, conviction, and passion. Dan Swanö´s growling vocals are intelligible and commanding and his clean vocals (which there are more of on this album than on any of the predecessors) are also performed with great skill. Swanö has a strong and distinct sounding voice and he sounds less restrained and more confident delivering his clean vocals than on the previous releases. Swanö was no stranger to clean vocals though as he already at this point had the Unicorn and the Nightingale projects, which both solely feature clean vocals (although the latter didn´t have an album out before 1995).

"Purgatory Afterglow" features a well sounding heavy production, where the Edge of Sanity trademark of two very different sounding distorted guitar tones is more clearly heard than on any other release by the band. The sound production is vastly different to the production featured on "The Spectral Sorrows (1993)" (much darker and not as clear sounding), which helps make "Purgatory Afterglow" stand out in the band´s discography.

Upon conclusion "Purgatory Afterglow" is another high quality death metal release by Edge of Sanity. It shows a band that are still in the process of refining and developing their sound, but who continue to deliver quality releases in the process. I´d call both "The Spectral Sorrows (1993)" and "Purgatory Afterglow" "transition" releases between the early predominantly old school Swedish death metal oriented albums ("Nothing but Death Remains (1991)" and "Unorthodox (1992)") and the full on progressive death metal featured on "Crimson (1996)", but what great and unique sounding transition albums they are. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Death metal that grooves, that holds back and bursts out, death metal that is both melodic and brutal. In 1994 this was still exceptional in a genre that lived by play-fast, grunt & die young standards. This 4th album from EOS offers quite a lot of surprises: advanced song writing, melody, instrumentation, a very powerful production, some singing and evidently lots of juicy low-register growls.

The opening minute must have shocked death fans out of their wits. Unless they would have liked Marillion of course, as the opening minute sounds like some goof at the record store put Marillion's Misplaced Childhood in the tray instead of Edge of Sanity. The next minute must have been a relief. How brutal and heavy this sounds! The track has some sort of chorus, melodic leads and a wonderfully throbbing bass. This is a track that could certainly be tasted by neo-prog fans that can handle death grunts.

Most of the tracks don't stray too far from melodic death metal, but the clean vocals have become more prominent and the quality has highly improved since the previous album. The songwriting is more catchy, the playing is tighter and the production is amazing. It even has prominent bass guitar! Now, I'm not a big death metal fan though and usually get kind of weary of the relentless brutal attack on my friendly mindset! This album is an exception, it's of consistent quality, has a lot of variation and with Song of Sirens it does a successful homage to my favourite death metal band Entombed.

On the whole, this is a great step up. But the prog ambitions wouldn't really come to flourish until the next album where Dan Swanö took full control of the proceedings. Purgatory Afterglow is a logical choice if you would want to check out another album after their obvious masterpiece Crimson. Too good for 3, I'll grant it 4 light stars, of course considering the tech/extreme prog sub that it resides in.

Review by J-Man
4 stars Velvet Dreams

The fourth album from Edge of Sanity, called Purgatory Afterglow is really superb, and is a favorite of mine in their discography. This album shows the band redefining their sound, and going for a more melodic and progressive style. While they still kept their firm death metal sound, this shows a more progressive side of the band that would soon be fully unleashed on the following album, Crimson.

Purgatory Afterglow is a step forward from Edge of Sanity's previous three albums for various reasons. First of all, this album is much more consistent and memorable. Almost every song on this album is filled with memorable melodies and riffs, which is rare for most death metal albums. This album also features more complex and intelligent arrangements and compositions. The variation between the tracks really makes for a great album. In this album you can hear many death metal influences (obviously), as well as goth-rock (on songs like "Blood-Colored" and "Black Tears"), and even neo-progressive rock (most notably on "Twilight"). The eclecticism on this album is really admirable.

In terms of progressiveness, I have no hesitation in calling this album progressive death metal. I don't think it's as "progressive" as bands like Opeth, but I think the overall eclecticism and progressive rock influences in the music make for a rather progressive album. Don't go into this album expecting progressive metal like Dream Theater or Pain of Salvation, though. This album is different, and is very firmly rooted in the Swedish death metal scene.

My favorite song on the album is surely the epic opener, "Twilight". The generous use of synths, the surprisingly beautiful melodies, and the crushing metal riffs makes an excellent song. "Velvet Dreams" is another favorite of mine; that riff is just killer! The goth rock-tinged "Black Tears" is highly enjoyable as well, and I really enjoy the heavy death metal tune "Of Darksome Origin" as well. Every song is great and interesting in its own way, though.


Purgatory Afterglow is an excellent album from Edge of Sanity, and is one of my favorites in their discography. If you're at all interested in progressive death metal, this is an essential release, and worthy of a big 4 star rating. Keep in mind, you've got to have a background in death metal to enjoy this album, though. If you're not interested in heavy music, this probably isn't for you. However, if you're interested in Edge of Sanity, this should be one of the first purchases you make after their masterpiece, Crimson. Highly Recommended!

4 stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Edge of Sanity's Purgatory Afterglow shows that by this point in their career the band had become masters of balancing entrancing melodic passages with outbursts of unrestrained death metal brutality. This juxtaposition of melodic prog with crunching heaviness shows a high level of versatility on the part of every performer involved, right down to Dan Swano's singing style, whichs range from the most gutteral of death grunts to fairly capable clean vocals. Although the subsequent Crimson shows a significantly greater level of ambition on the part of the band, it was Purgatory Afterglow which proved they had the chops to put that ambition into effect.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I like all Edge of Sanity albums starting from their second one until Crimson. I appreciate that despite progressive and multi-genre explorations, they didn't forget about their death metal roots and improved them vocally and instrumentally. More and more you can feel the spirit of Nightingale b ... (read more)

Report this review (#2895783) | Posted by sgtpepper | Thursday, March 2, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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 o ... (read more)

Report this review (#1110127) | Posted by LSDisease | Wednesday, January 8, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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 str ... (read more)

Report this review (#254047) | Posted by Alitare | Thursday, December 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This my second-favourite Edge of Sanity release, after the mighty 'Crimson.' However, I warn anyone looking for the more prog aspects that featured on 'Crimson', you may want to avoid this. While it does have its progressive moments, 'Purgatory Afterglow' is mostly a straightforward death meta ... (read more)

Report this review (#68087) | Posted by Degolas | Thursday, February 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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