- Part One
- Part Two
- Part Three
- Part Four
- Part Five
- Part Six
- Part Seven
- Part Eight
Crimson is the fifth full-length studio album by Swedish death metal band Edge of Sanity, which is their first concept album and was released in 1996 by Black Mark Production. It features a single 40-minute track, telling a story in the distant future, when human civilization is about to end.
The album, which features Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt, received substantial critical acclaim, and is considered by most fans to be Edge of Sanity’s finest achievement. A sequel, Crimson II, was released in 2003 and picks up directly where the first album left off. Both albums were remixed and slightly edited to fit together on one CD for release on the 2006 compilation When All Is Said; these new mixes/edits were split into sections and released digitally to online retailers and streaming services.
While the album was originally pressed on vinyl upon release in 1996, it was later reissued with Crimson II as a double vinyl in 2003. This version splits the song in half, the parts running 18:38 and 21:04 respectively.
The album’s single song tells the story of a world where humans no longer can beget children. Into this time of despair, a child is born to the King and Queen of the barren Earth. The Queen dies during childbirth, and the King is left to rule the Earth and raise his daughter on his own. The people think the child is a sign that God will give them back the ability to reproduce, but the child grows into a teenager and humanity remains infertile. In time, the King dies and men fight over his throne.
The new King crushes rebellions against his illegitimate rule and is generally hated by the populace. Eventually, they persuade the Child to lead a coup. As she is left alone to plan, the forces of evil beckon to her. She accepts an unholy Master and gains mighty magical powers. She slays the false King easily and begins ruling Earth. The people watch her obsessively, because it was thought that by restoring the rightful ruler they might be returned the gift of breeding. But the new Queen misleads the people, and slays the elders who the humans had preserved for their wisdom. Word of this gets out and a group of rebels gathers to stop her. They find a way to neutralize her power (by blinding her) and then place her in the same preservative tank of “crimson fluid” that the elders were kept in.