Edge Of Sanity

Edge of Sanity
STYLE: ORIGIN: SwedenFORMED: 1989LABEL: Black Mark Productions
  • Dan Swanö-Vocals, Keyboards
  • Sami Nerberg-Guitars
  • Andreas Axelsson-Guitars
  • Anders Lindberg-Bass
  • Benny Larsson-Drums

Edge of Sanity was a Swedish death metal band that, alongside Opeth, is commonly regarded as being the first to fuse extreme metal styles like death and black metal with progressive rock. The group was founded by Dan Swanö in 1989 and ended in 2003.

Edge of Sanity began as a death metal band with their debut release Nothing But Death Remains. The band’s second release, Unorthodox, with tracks like “Enigma” and “When All Is Said“, showed Edge of Sanity branching out from some of the genre’s conventions. The Spectral SorrowsUntil Eternity Ends, and Purgatory Afterglow continued the trend, so that by the release of Crimson (1996), Edge of Sanity was a progressive metal band. Crimson was a 40-minute concept album consisting entirely of one track, concerning a post-apocalyptic future in which mankind had lost the ability to breed. After one more album, Infernal (1997), guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Dan Swanö left Edge of Sanity, and his departure is generally associated with a decline in quality in the band’s material. Swanö was replaced by Robert Karlsson, the vocalist of Pan.Thy.Monium (a side project in which Swanö was also involved), but after one more album, Cryptic, the band split up.

In 2003, Swanö revived the outfit as a one-man band (with several session musicians), and recorded a sequel to CrimsonCrimson II. Immediately after, he re-dissolved the project.

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Crimson II / 2003

Edge Of Sanity-Crimson II
  • Album Info
  • 2003
  • Black Mark Production
  1. Crimson II
    1. The Forbidden Words
    2. Incantation
    3. Passage Of Time
    4. The Silent Threat
    5. Achilles Heel
    6. Covenant Of Souls
    7. Face To Face
    8. Disintegration
    9. Aftermath
    10. Aftermath II
    11. Aftermath III

Crimson II is the eighth and final full-length studio album by Swedish death metal band Edge of Sanity. The album continues the story first heard on the album Crimson (1996).

The album, released to positive reviews, was dedicated to the memory of Chuck Schuldiner. It is the only Edge of Sanity release that does not feature Andreas Axelsson or the rest of the original lineup. Instead, it features contributions from guest musicians Mike Wead, Jonas Granvik, and brothers Roger and Simon Johannson.

Released during the advent of online music piracy, the album was indexed into over 40 track splits on the CD pressings, running from 18 seconds to a minute and a half, to discourage ripping and sharing (despite software like iTunes having the ability to rip groups of tracks as one file). When it was later released to digital stores and streaming services, the album was indexed into 9 tracks that are not all split according to the song movements; this caused the movement names to be extended with “Aftermath II” and “III” even though only the final two tracks contain the movement itself. Neither Swanö nor label Black Mark Production have commented on why this is the case or why the edited version was used.

The album was remixed and slightly edited for the compilation When All Is Said (2006) so it would fit on one CD with an edit and remix of the first song.

Full versions of both songs were used for a combined vinyl release in 2003. For this, the song was split in half, with side 2 picking up at “Achilles Heel.” In 2011 it was reissued on ‘ice blue’ vinyl but used the digital release as the audio source, as each section of the songs fade in and out at the exact times they do in the Amazon MP3 release.


Cryptic / 1997

Edge Of Sanity-Cryptic
  • Album Info
  • 1997
  • Black Mark Production

1. Hell Written
2. Uncontroll Me
3. No Destiny
4. Demon I
5. Not of This World
6. Dead I Walk
7. Born, Breed, Bleeding
8. Bleed You Dry

Cryptic is the seventh full-length studio album by the Swedish death metal band Edge of Sanity, released on December 1, 1997 by Black Mark Production. It is the only Edge of Sanity album in which Dan Swanö does not contribute. Guitarist Andreas Axelsson hired a new vocalist (Roberth Karlsson, who was previously the vocalist in Swanö’s avant-garde death metal band Pan.Thy.Monium) in an attempt to keep the band together.

Infernal / 1997

Edge Of Sanity-Infernal
  • Album Info
  • 1997
  • Black Mark Production

1. Hell Is Where the Heart Is
2. Helter Skelter
3. 15:36
4. The Bleakness of It All
5. Damned (By the Damned)
6. Forever Together Forever
7. Losing Myself
8. Hollow 04:26
9. Inferno 03:2
10. Burn the Sun
11. The Last Song

Infernal is the sixth full-length studio album by the Swedish death metal band Edge of Sanity, released by Black Mark Production on February 5, 1997.

Dan Swanö’s other band Nightingale did a cover version of the song “Losing Myself” on their album Nightfall Overture.

Artistic differences between Dan Swanö and Axelsson were one of the main things that pushed the band apart, and this is the final album that would feature Swanö until 2003’s Crimson II. 

Crimson / 1996

Edge Of Sanity-Crimson
  • Album Info
  • 1996
  • Black Mark Production
  1. Crimson
    1. Part One
    2. Part Two
    3. Part Three
    4. Part Four
    5. Part Five
    6. Part Six
    7. Part Seven
    8. 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.

Purgatory Afterglow / 1994

Edge Of Sanity-Purgatory Afterglow
  • Album Info
  • 1994
  • Black Mark Production

1. Twilight
2. Of Darksome Origin
3. Blood-Colored
4. Silent
5. Black Tears
6. Elegy
7. Velvet Dreams
8. Enter Chaos
9. The Sinner and the Sadness
10. Song of Sirens

Purgatory Afterglow is the fourth full-length studio album by Swedish death metal band Edge of Sanity. The album was recorded by Dan Swanö in Unisound Studios, Örebro, Sweden, in July 1994 and released in 1994 by Black Mark Production. Purgatory Afterglow is dedicated to the loving memory of Kurt Cobain. There are two different versions to the disc; the mirror-like disc with black letters and the black disc with gold letters. The Japanese release features the tracks “Until Eternity Ends” and “Eternal Eclipse” from the Until Eternity Ends EP. One of the two only Edge of Sanity videos was made for the song “Black Tears” (the other video was done for “Uncontrol Me” from the Cryptic album). This song was covered by the bands Eternal Tears of Sorrow, on their album Chaotic Beauty, and Heaven Shall Burn, on their album Iconoclast (Part 1: The Final Resistance).

The Spectral Sorrows / 1993

Edge Of Sanity-The Spectral Sorrows
  • Album Info
  • 1993
  • Black Mark Production

1. The Spectral Sorrows
2. Darkday
3. Livin’ Hell
4. Lost
5. The Masque
6. Blood of My Enemies (Manowar cover)
7. Jesus Cries
8. Across the Fields of Forever
9. On the Other Side
10. Sacrificed
11. Waiting to Die
12. Feedin’ the Charlatan
13. A Serenade for the Dead

The Spectral Sorrows is the third full-length studio album by the Swedish death metal band, Edge of Sanity, recorded by Börje Forsberg in July–August 1993 and released by Black Mark Production in 1993. Unfortunately, the bassist, Anders Lindberg, could not record the album due to mandatory military service. This album begins Edge of Sanity’s progression from pure death metal to a more progressive and melodic death metal sound, with a greater focus on clean vocals than the album’s predecessor. One example of this progression is the track “Sacrificed”, which shows the band abandoning metal completely in favor of a cleanly-sung goth rock style.

Unorthodox / 1992

Edge Of Sanity-Unorthodox
  • Album Info
  • 1992
  • Black Mark Production

1. The Unorthodox
2. Enigma
-The Blessing
-Celestial Dissension
-The Loss of Hallowed Life
3. Incipience to the Butchery
4. In the Veins/Darker than Black
5. Everlasting (Epidemic Reign Part III)
6. After Afterlife
7. Beyond the Unknown
8. Nocturnal
9. A Curfew for the Damned (…Blind Belief)
10. Cold Sun (Epidemic Reign Part IV)
11. The Day of Maturity
12. Requiscon by Page
13. Dead but Dreaming
14. When All Is Said

Unorthodox is the second full-length studio album by the Swedish death metal band Edge of Sanity. It was recorded in between December 1991 and January 1992 with Tomas Skogsberg and released by Black Mark Records on July 8, 1992. Dan Swanö has claimed that this is his favorite Edge of Sanity album, and even went as far as to call it “perfect”. Though primarily death metal, some tracks on this album foreshadow the shift to more melodic sounds which would take shape on 1993’s “The Spectral Sorrows”. This is also the first Edge of Sanity album (one of the first death metal albums) to feature clean vocals, which appear briefly in the track “Enigma”.

Nothing But Death Remains / 1991

Edge Of Sanity-Nothing But Death Remains
  • Album Info
  • 1991
  • Black Mark Production

1. Tales….
2. Human Aberration
3. Maze of Existence (Epidemic Reign Part I)
4. The Dead
5. Decepted by the Cross
6. Angel of Distress
7. Impulsive Necroplasma (Epidemic Reign Part II)
8. Immortal Souls

Nothing But Death Remains is the first studio album by the Swedish death metal band Edge of Sanity, released by Black Mark Production on July 9, 1991. The album is dedicated to the memory of John Med Gummihandsken.

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