Considering the sheer length of the piece alone, one would expect it to be a chore to get through. The first time around, this may be true, but given even one mere re-listen, it fully bears its fruit to the ears. Catchy riffs abound, and the song changes feel without warning constantly, keeping the listener engaged. Band leader Dan Swanö possesses one of the most fearsome growls in all of death metal, yet he is able to smoothly transition to a surprisingly clean singing voice. What truly makes the album succeed is that many of the best themes presented are revisited, often with just enough musical and lyrical variation to accentuate their recurrence. This all at once unifies ‘Crimson’ as a song as well as an album.
Even the most progressive bands would be in awe of this album for its size alone, but given how well that it works, it truly is a monumental achievement in metal music. Edge of Sanity hit the peak of their powers here; the only band that could rival them at the time was Opeth, and even they had a few more albums before they totally blossomed creatively. (On a side note, Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt does some guest work on this record.) Essential to anyone interested in Edge of Sanity or death metal as a whole.