Review Summary: Melody and brutality combine for one of the greatest Death Metal albums ever written.
Edge of Sanity, in my opinion, were one of the best bands of their time, they really took Death Metal to a new level and transported the listener to their own world in their songs, this album is a perfect example of why they are so unique and respected in the metal scene, although it will always be overshadowed by the bands epic ‘Crimson’, ‘Purgatory Afterglow’ is still a beast of an album, worthy of sitting alongside ‘Crimson‘.
Edge of Sanity:
Dan Swano - Vocals
Anders Lindberg - Bass
Benny Larsson - Drums
Dread - Guitars
Sami Nerdberg - Guitars
What you first notice from this album is the interesting cover art depicting what looks like hell, lava surrounds a group of people struggling to get to higher ground, it is nearly coloured completely red. It certainly draws the viewer in. Opening the album is a cheesy into to the first song with Swano’s clean vocals, you could me mistaken to thinking it is a love song until a glorious Death Metal riff kicks in and Swano starts with his impeccable growling. This song showcases all the best of EOS, memorable riffs, brutal yet full understandable vocals, and a catchy chorus. Dan's genius approach to creating original and amazing compositions and his interesting lyrics make Edge Of Sanity a step above a lot of other bands at the time. It's a shame they went unnoticed by many death metal fans until their masterpiece Crimson which unfortunately was written when the band members were on bad terms with each other. Dan’s progressive side comes through slightly more on this album than the previous albums, especially on ‘Twilight’ and ‘Black Tears’, a song with fully clean vocals and a catchy chorus.
Throughout the album both guitarist are great, they lay down one memorable riff after another flawlessly, each riff they play seems to be built just for that song, and it draws the listener in almost as if a story was being told musically. The guitarists also put down a lot of cool solo’s, the one in ’Blood-Coloured’ being a particularly good one. EOS manage to go through a lot of different styles yet give them an atmosphere which makes it purely theirs, ‘Of Darksome Origin‘ is just evil, almost black metal, ‘Blood-Coloured‘, is very death ‘n‘ roll while ‘Silent‘ is just brutal. Even though Edge Of Sanity stray on the boundaries of almost every extreme metal genre, they always keep the atmosphere that makes it their own. Like most other metal albums, the bass is nearly non-existent which won’t bother many people. The vocals are in a class of their own on Purgatory Afterglow, you really can understand what Dan is growling without knowing the lyrics, and he is deep as hell and can sound utterly evil when he wants to. When he sings clean his voice utterly contrasts his growl, being warm and soothing.
Lyrically the album is very good, quite different from what a lot of metal artists write about nowadays, in ‘Silent’, Dan sings from the perspective of a deaf man who is suffering the torment of not being able to hear his own voice.
Oh, how I wish to scream and to wake up from this dream,
but the pain I feel is real.
I try to say my name.
But I always hear the same:
Silence! It drives me insane.
Some of the most impressive lyrics from this album are from Elegy, they are beautiful and Dan makes an interesting play on words:
Next time you see the stars alight,
Like diamonds in the winter night.
Do think of me, remember me.
So reads my elegy.
Next time i see the stars shine bright
Like white eyes in the darkened light,
I'm free no chains are holding me.
But still i live by your elegy.
The song writing on this album is very mature, despite Dan only being 21 at the time he manages to know what will be memorable for the listener and works around that, none of the songs are overplayed or too short and each one keeps the listener interested throughout. There is only one real exception and that is the last song, ‘Song of Sirens’, Dan doesn’t feature in it and the band fall flat on their face without him, it puts a dampener on the album after every song before it was superb. While the rest of the songs are memorable and timed well this one seems to drag on and doesn’t fit in with the album at all, the lyrics are boring and unimaginative, they make no sense at all.
I can’t recommend this album enough to all fans of Death Metal and the extreme sides of metal in general, it has something for everyone and while most good albums have a few excellent tracks, this album has nine. Melody and brutality combine for one of the greatest Death Metal albums ever written.
- One of the greatest EOS songs ever, perfectly paced, slightly thrashy and interesting lyrics by Swano. Also it has one of the catchiest chorus' on the album, shows why EOS were just so damn good.
- Different from the previous tracks on the album, starts off very rock and roll with some of Dan's best clean vocals, before the chorus kicks in and he growls through the backing of the solid riffs from the guitarists, the drumming is excellent on this track, not as catchy as Twilight but still great.
- One of the fastest songs on the album, EOS at their most straight forward, starts off with one of the best riffs from the album (next to Twilight) and Dan growls his way through the whole track, furious, brutal and unrelenting.