Edge of Sanity
Nothing But Death Remains


3.0
good

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
May 17th, 2008 | 21 replies | 10,658 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist


Edge Of Sanity is a band which I really think doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Yes, Dan Swano was in this band, but other than that there is really no reason why anyone really references this band. Even for me, it was well into my tenure of listening to metal before I had even heard of this band, let alone listen to anything by them. It was with their album Crimson that I was introduced to their unique kind of progressive death metal, which has many nods toward the Gothenburg melodic death metal scene. However, the 40 minute, one song album kind of threw me off and didn’t serve as a good introduction to the band, mainly because I didn’t really get it. It was when I heard Purgatory Afterglow that my interest in this band really started to peak. After many listens to Purgatory Afterglow, I went back to Crimson and was really able to understand Edge Of Sanity’s style a lot better, and how their frequent riff changing and vocal style all melted together in the music. It wasn’t until many months after I had first listened to the band that I was able to get my hands on their first album, the very death metal oriented Nothing But Death Remains.

Nothing But Death Remains is a much more raw and primal album than anything else this band has made. It takes away the harmony of the guitars and thrusts in a slower, heavier and more crushing tone to the riffs and vocals alike. The album is, basically, a death metal album, nothing progressive or melodic about it at all. This came as quite a shock, and it took a while to really dissect the album and get through it with a fine-toothed comb to pick out all the details, because it is a much more difficult album to listen through in one sitting. Maybe that’s how I am with death metal, maybe it’s just the album and how it was written and produced, but it seems to be a much less welcoming album, which is why, like their later album Crimson, it is a much more difficult album to start off with for this band.

The album is short, straight-forward, brutal, and right to the point. Things start off with a bit of symphonic elements to introduce “Tales…” but after that the album is nothing but death metal. The sound really, really brings to mind the way Dark Tranquillity sounded on Skydancer and before, so if you have heard any of their really early work you will get a good idea what Nothing But Death Remains sound like. The parts which are not as crushing and more slow and coherent really show this similarity, such as the part around five minutes into “Tales…” which made me honestly think I was listening to a Dark Tranquillity song. The riff is melodic considering the others which litter the album, and to vocals are really deep and guttural, and stay that way throughout the play time.

The production emphasizes how heavy and raw the album is, and you are easily able to pick out that fact that this album is Edge Of Sanity’s first full-length album. There are songs like “Decepted By The Cross” which take shots at Christianity, bringing to mind the beliefs of many other death metal bands of the time and even the Norwegian black metal scene which was at its height in 1991, when this album was released. Also, we have your typical, no-frills death metal tracks like “Angel Of Distress” and “The Dead” which are far from original and are usually tracks which would be labeled as ones to skip right by.

It’s in this sense of monotony and that “I’ve heard this song before…” type mentality which really weighs down Nothing But Death Remains. It isn’t the album to showcase what Edge Of Sanity is capable of doing, and is more of a lackluster debut just to get their name out there. It isn’t really until 1993’s The Spectral Sorrows when Edge Of Sanity brings out their more creative side and utilize that excellent songwriting ability which Dan Swano is capable of. An album which sounds the same through much of it’s playing time isn’t one to make a lasting impression, which is probably why Nothing But Death Remains goes overlooked even by the fans of Edge Of Sanity, because it sound so drastically different from their other material.

I recommend Nothing But Death Remains for listeners who are already fans of the band, but for those who are looking to get into this band, this would be the last album I would recommend. It isn’t even close to the classics like Crimson and Purgatory Afterglow, and the majestic guitar riffs and far-off clean vocals are still a ways off. It is a decent death metal album, with a couple tracks that stand out above the rest, but all in all this is only a half-painted picture of what Edge Of Sanity is and the type of music that they play.

Recommended Tracks
Tales…
Human Aberration
Impulsive Necroplasma



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user ratings (91)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Poet
April 27th 2008


5933 Comments


good review. I will eventually get around to hearing this, but I know it will not be close to the perfection of Crimson II or the unbelievable Crimson.

BallsToTheWall
April 27th 2008


44300 Comments


It seemed to me that EOS gets a lot of credit on Sputnik. Nonetheless, I have Crimson 1 and it's pretty cool, around a 4- 4.5. Good band and another notch review. The nfl draft was pretty brutal, of course NE is pstill pretty much set.

Digging: Tiamat - Clouds

Amputee
April 27th 2008


207 Comments


Tales... is one my favorite Edge of Sanity songs, it's amazing.

Crimson
April 27th 2008


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Kudos for reviewing this, and I pretty much agree with the review completely.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2008


16387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ya Tales... is certainly the best song on this album. I'm really getting into this band a lot lately. I want Crimson II and The Spectral Sorrow now.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

Amputee
April 27th 2008


207 Comments


Just get "When All Is Said", it has a bunch of remastered classics (including Tales... and Human Aberration) and both Crimson and Crimson II.

Poet
April 27th 2008


5933 Comments


I want Crimson II

It's honestly my second favorite song ever. Behind what my user name is of course. So much greatness on one song isn't fair, lol.

Zoo
April 27th 2008


3759 Comments


Extremely descriptive without getting tedious. Very nice.

I haven't heard this but it would appear it's not overly demanding of my time anyway.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2008


16387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good fucking god will people who neg this please leave me a fucking reason as to why?

south_of_heaven 11
April 27th 2008


5433 Comments


It's a troll negger, just an fyi. They've done it to me, rasputin, balls, and kal as well.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2008


16387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ahhh I see, we have ourselves an epidemic here. Hopefully the mods take care of it, oh well.

Amputee
April 27th 2008


207 Comments


I negged you.

Jk

Willie
Moderator
April 28th 2008


15965 Comments


Great review. Despite all the talk about these guys I still haven't heard anything by them.

Digging: Necropoli - I

KILL
March 10th 2010


71743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

better than i thought it would be yo

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2010


21041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

All I've heard by this band was Unorthodox.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Wizard
January 18th 2011


19389 Comments


This is a great review Kyle. I've been jerking off to Moontower lately so I thought I would go back and check out all of Dan Swano's other stuff I've missed.

Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse

TheChastonGuy
October 8th 2011


55 Comments


Tales... and Human Aberration slays, though the production is just godawful on this, Thank god for that Demo Re Release there doing, a few tracks on here are getting remastered sound...

KILL
October 8th 2011


71743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good album

TheChastonGuy
October 8th 2011


55 Comments


Agreed, I mean the two tracks I've already mentioned would have given away the fact these guys know how to write music...

Lambda
February 13th 2013


2420 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Is there a reason why the sound randomly gets quieter in spots on this album?



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