Crimson by Edge Of Sanity
  • 1 Tracks
  • 320 kbps
  • 40:01


Edge of Sanity was one of the more overlooked bands of the mid-'90s melodic death metal movement in Sweden. Not only were they not from the center of melodeath that was Gothenburg, Sweden like many of their more popular peers, they were also not as middle of the road when it came to combining sounds and styles. They were far more open to experimentation than many bands, and rather than always combining the more melodic and the more brutal parts of songs into one, they often put these elements into separate sections to better emphasize them. No where are these virtues better exemplified than on the band's fifth album, 'Crimson'. An obeliscal work, the album is actually made up of a single, 40-minute song. In true prog fashion, the lyrics tell one of the ultimate metal fantasy stories: set in a post-apocalyptic kingdom in which people have lost seemingly all fertility, a lone child born (the princess, naturally) winds up being either humanity's symbol of salvation of herald of damnation.

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.