Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review: Edge of Sanity - Crimson

Band: Edge of Sanity
Album: Crimson
Year: 1996
Genre: Progressive/Melodic Death Metal

Edge of Sanity may be the only band who can write a 1 song album lasting 40 minutes that I can listen all the way through and want to listen again. Yes this album is that good. I think it's safe to say that Dan Swano had the biggest hand in creating this album and you can tell by how progressive it is.

Ok so first off the lyrics of Crimson are excellent. Swano's vocals are deep and guttural but like Karl Willets from Bolt Thrower, you can still understand what he is saying. So the vocal performance is very fitting to the story. And its a great story at that! A king and queen rule over a population who are unable to reproduce thus bringing the extinction of humans in the near future. The rest of the song recount's the king and queen's child being born, their daughter becoming evil by an unholy god and her rule over what is left of humanity. No worries though, eventually a group of people take her prisoner and humanity is given the gift of life once more.

I have never heard a song that mirrors the emotion of the story being told so well. It is expertly done on Crimson. When the Queen dies (during child birth) and later the King as well, the music echoes this becoming sorrowful and sad. When the populace finds out they have been deceived into sacrificing themselves for the queen it becomes furious and chaotic. The music matches the actions of the story in a truly impressive way.

Swano gives a terrific performance as well. His death growls are as evil sounding as ever but his cleans happen to shine just as bright. Mike Akerfeldt from Opeth contributes both clean and harsh vocals as well. In fact he let's a absolutely morbid scream and holds it for quite a while and it sounds pretty badass.

There are some very memorable riffs in Crimson. We have some really nice acoustic interludes which usually are a sign of one movement making a transition to another. Now there are a few riffs that are repeating. One is a doom riff that is kind of down trod and dark sounding setting the mood. Another is a harmonized twin lead that is just epic! It repeats 2 or 3 times throughout the song and sounds kind of upbeat. Every time I hear this part I bang my head it's just addictive.

But the guitar riffs as a whole are quite catchy. It doesn't matter if they are more in the death metal vein or not, they are all quite memorable. The drumming is pretty straight forward and I enjoy the blast beats here and there. The bass is for the most part buried behind everything else and doesn't exactly play a very prominent role which is unfortunate.

Crimson is a great album that is both progressive and melodic. EoS have created a must have album that could even be appreciated by those who don't listen to extreme music for its depth and the creativity. Do yourself a favor and find this album.

Score: 9/10
Standout Track: umm how about Crimson?!

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