Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Edge of Sanity|
Genres: Rock, Metal
Listen to Samples
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66.6% of an hour of power.
Church of The Flaming Sword | 12/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember when I wrote my review for Carcass' _Heartwork_ back in 2003 saying that I wasn't much of a death metal fan. While I still don't frequent the record stores looking for every CD made by some half-baked Deicide clone (or Deicide themselves for that matter), I've become much more liberal toward the genre in the last two years. And one thing gathered through my countless hours of internet perusal, while not at my job at the hospital, is the unanimous praise for Edge of Sanity's _Crimson_.
_Crimson_ is really not all that hard to describe. Just imagine a band playing melodeath a la Dark Tranquility/In Flames with the conceptual progressive tendencies of Rush and Genesis. It is not so much an album as it is a 40 minute song (yes you read that correctly - a 40 minute song). The concept deals with an extremely far future in which the human race is about to meet its quietus because of its inability to have any more children. Lo and behold, a girl is born to a world that has given up hope. Is she mankind's redemption - or something else?
Musically, I say without hesitation that _Crimson_ is one of the most amazing metal compositions I have ever heard. It has a huge epic atmosphere that has the feel of sitting in a nice cozy chair and reading a great novel. One minute you'll hear a fusillade of blast beats and buzzsaw guitars - like the battle hymn for a futuristic warlord. The next you'll hear a somber and otherworldy acoustic respite that wouldn't sound out of place on a Mike Oldfield album. One of my favorite things about _Crimson_ is how you'll hear one passage, think you won't hear it again, and then it pops up on you like a welcome friend 20 minutes later.
Being a metal fan for 18 years, I admit with more than a little shame for not checking out the ultra-prolific and multi-talented Dan Swano's work sooner. Having recently read about him on the always informative Wikipedia, I found out that throughout his career he has been involved in no fewer than 30 differnet bands. Hard to believe for a man who will be only 33 years old this coming March. James Brown the hardest working man in show business?
A Dark Journey Through Metal Bliss
Lumazu | California | 06/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beginning with a crushing riff that dissolves into a slow groove, and ending with another crushing riff with some atmospheric use of synth, Crimson is a journey through the mind of Dan Swano. Like Mikael Akerfeldt, he interchanges seemlessly from the death metal growl to clean progressive vocals that mark the slow sections. This album, to me, is right up there with Opeth's masterpiece, Blackwater Park. The energy and atmosphere are very similar, but Crimson takes the cake in terms of brutality. What we have here is Swano's death metal symphony, and it feels as though you, the listener, are being hurled from one twisting riff to the next. Truly an exciting journey, and not for the faint of heart. There is even a bit six minutes into the song where you start thinking you're listening to some pop gothic band and not a death metal band fronted by Mr. Swano. Unlike Blackwater Park, however, this one has to be set aside for those occassions where you really want to sit back and listen to an album through its entirety. No switching tracks here. But anyone who can keep your attention through a 40-minute track is truly gifted. You have to hear it to believe it."
A death metal epic
Nicholas Adam Chupka | Derwood, MD | 01/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I first started writing reviews for Amazon, I made a promise to myself that I would not write reviews for albums I had heard only once. Well, here I am, wallowing in embarrassment, because A. I'm breaking my promise and B. Today is the first time my ears were ever graced with the beast that is Crimson.
Sure, Edge of Sanity was one of the first "must hear" metal bands I learned of when I re-entered the world of metal three years ago, but after purchasing the only release Tower had available of this Dan Swano led force, Crimson II, I was not impressed (ducks flames), and made the foolish mistake of turning my back on Edge of Sanity.
Well, one cannot simply continue to ignore outstanding review after outstanding review (23 five star, 1 four star review(s) to be exact), especially when they come from esteemed peers who have opened my eyes to countless delights before.
So this morning, on this wonderful holiday from work, I listened to the 40-minute opus, and to me, what separates it from Crimson II can be explained through the format of the two albums themselves. While Crimson II is one long song split into many different tracks, Crimson is one long track. One seamless trail of such cohesive structure and relentless grandeur, that I would say this album obliterates the only comparable metal competition, in terms of structure and intent, I can think of: Green Carnation's Light of Day, Day of Darkness. Granted, that album is doom-based while Crimson has a pervasive death metal feel with liberal use of melody and progressive elements, but any such lofty attempt is susceptible to stagnation and/or mindless meandering, and Crimson has not a speck of either.
Swano delivers a death metal vocal performance for the ages, effortlessly switching between his growl of desperation which can be matched only by Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt, a low chant of vampyric goth not unlike that made famous by Type O Negative's Peter Steele, and a more traditional clean style which gives credibility to Dan as an actual singer.
Still, the presence of such remarkable vocals would amount to nothing without instrumentation that can stay fresh and engaging for an uninterrupted 40 minutes. With top shelf proficiency, Edge of Sanity tears through riff after memorable riff, paying tribute to all the metal that came before it. Smatterings of Slayer, Obituary, Sepultura, Anthrax, Carcass and Metallica can all be heard here, but Swano channels them in such a way as to declare that he is the accumulation of metal. He is the beast that has formed from the years of blistering speed and unbridled aggression. It is hard to listen to this masterpiece and dare think otherwise.
Those of you who frequent the Listmania and So You'd Like to lists here on Amazon, looking for those hidden gems which allow you to continue to expand your metal horizons have undoubtedly come across this album many times. Do not make the same mistake as me by passing it by. This album is better than you've heard, because no perfect construction of lavish praise can capture the true feeling of this experience. Uncompromisingly dark and heavy with a catchy vibe that runs the spectrum of metal styles, Crimson contains exactly what such a daring undertaking must: a stunning collection of unforgettable emotion and composition. Not only does Crimson fit the bill, it has set the bar which, 10 years later, has yet to be surpassed.