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Edge of Sanity "Crimson" CD

Posted on Friday, May 22nd, 2009 @ 12:46am » permalink

Edge of Sanity - CrimsonI can't believe I've never written about this album before, as Edge of Sanity's "Crimson" is one of my favorite metal records of all time, and without a doubt one of those albums that – though loved by many – really does deserve a great deal more accolades. I can't really recall how I came to discover "Crimson", but I remember buying it off eBay sometime in the late-90's, and hearing this record is almost certainly what gave birth to my complete and total worship of musical genius Dan Swanö. Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth does make a guest appearance here, doing some vocals and lead guitars, so I bet that's what initially led me to pick it up, as Opeth was among my favorites at the time. Whatever the case, released in 1996 on Black Mark Productions, "Crimson" was the incredibly ambitious fifth full-length from Sweden's Edge of Sanity: One single song running 40 minutes. No track separations, nothing. One song. And it's an absolute masterpiece of progressive, melodic death metal from start to finish. You'd absolutely expect such an effort to get a little dull at moments, but it never happens. Not once. It's so good, I bought every Edge of Sanity album right after hearing it, and I can state with absolute conviction that, no matter what anyone else says, this album utterly demolishes every other contribution to the band's discography with ease.

In addition to loads of top-notch "melodic Swedish death metal" that doesn't really sound like what "melodic Swedish death metal" has come to represent are some of the most beautiful, haunting clean passages you'll ever hear; superbly moving lead work; occasional spurts of harsh, dissonant, borderline chaotic wails of tremolo picking and blasting percussion; and sparse fits of slow, sludgy doom riffs – not to mention Swanö's impeccable singing (and his/Åkerfeldt's harsh growls to boot). The lyrics tell a story, and the arrangements of the riffs follow suit, occasionally returning to variations (or literal revisitations) of earlier riffs throughout the piece, so in addition to the outright diversity, there are quite a few subtleties at work beneath the surface as well. So, while I don't give two shits about "fantasy" lyrics, the delivery of the material is so fucking powerful here that the lyrical content doesn't even matter, 'cause at its best, there's so much force and feeling present that it, well… it just kicks ass. Seriously, I can't think of any other album that urges the listener to headbang, fist pump, sing along, play air guitar, and feel some sort of emotional gut reaction – separately or all at once!

Seriously, this shit absolutely defines "epic". The fusion of death metal and melody on "Crimson" operates in an entirely different realm than any other band I've ever heard, and the best of the best riffs herein are, simply put, among the finest riffs I've ever heard in my life. Period. I'm not exaggerating. I've been flipping out over these riffs for at least a decade now, and the overall songwriting talent present is totally mindblowing. I mean, 40 fucking minutes! One song! And it's somehow one of the greatest songs in the history of all living things!?

I could gush about this for hours, but that's just scratching the surface, and none of it matters in the end. Just listen to these excerpts for yourself, and buy this CD immediately if you don't already have it. Every metal collection is incomplete without it!

Edge of Sanity "Crimson" (excerpt I)
Edge of Sanity "Crimson" (excerpt II)

Thankfully, unlike some of Black Mark's other old classics, "Crimson" is still relatively easy to come by – digitally or as a physical CD – so… like I said, this is absolutely mandatory for any metal fan. So good.


@ Amazon.com (CD/mp3)
@ Century Media Distro (CD)
@ Relapse Records (CD)
@ eMusic (mp3)
@ iTunes (mp3)


  1. Carlos says:

    I always thought this was a heavy metal band so I did never listened them. What a mistake! :D

  2. thank's for that feature. "purgatory afterglow" is one of my favourite albums of all time… "crimson" is in my collection as well, still i never really paid attention to it. i'll have another try seven years later ;-)
    hope you will do a feature on the "crimson II" album as well!

  3. Andre Vieira says:

    I have this masterpiece in my collection. Nice to see a review about it some many years later.
    André – SP Brazil

  4. justin says:

    Amazing album from a highly overlooked band. Unlike Asunder, Ocean and all the other current crap floating around attempting to make ultra-lengthly songs memorable and cohesive, EoS actually pulled it off.

    I haven't heard Crimson II, though. I guess I should investigate that one.


    "Crimson II" is solid, but still can't even come close to the original "Crimson". I think the main thing with "Crimson II", though, is that there are some overly clinical aspects to the production that get in the way and interrupt the overall atmosphere. It's good, and worth investigating, but far from the epic masterpiece of "Crimson".

  6. LuisBC says:

    Yeah Crimson II lacks the warmth in the production that Crimson had in spades, in fact I'm not sure but if I remember correctly Dan didn't actually play drums in Crimson II it was a drum machine and it definitely shows. Edge of Sanity is so underrated it hurts, Purgatory Afterglow it's an awesome Death Metal album, and while I'm sure lots of people consider EOS to be just Dan and 4 other dudes who were there to help, the contributions of Dread and the other guys and I guess some of their differences in what EOS should sound like it's what made the band tick, because Crimson II didn't have some of that chaotic element among their influences that made past releases work, except infernal where I think both Dread and Dan pulled their carts too far from each other.

    Crimson, Purgatory Afterglow, the Until Eternity Ends EP, The Spectral Sorrows, and Infernal. That's my list of fave EOS albums, it would be awesome if they would get together because both cryptic and Crimson II would've been even better with the whole gang.

  7. Birkir says:

    I don't care what anybody says, I still think it's their best work. And it ages amazingly well. It was some next level shit when it came out and it still makes me sit up when I put it on these days.

  8. Dichatomy says:

    Crimson rules, but I'm still partial to Purgatory Afterglow. Maybe because that one was my first exposure to Edge Of Sanity, coming at a time when my musical tastes were broadening. Awesome album, doesn't sound dated at all. I also have to recommend Shotgun Suicides' cover of "Twilight" if you haven't heard it before, although SS is on hiatus right now.

    Crimson is something I've wanted to add to my collection again, but other stuff comes along. I should fix that.

  9. check out this website. there's a edge of sanity best of with 2 tracks of every album on the first cd and BOTH crimson albums on the second. they sell it for only 7euros over here

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