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Crimson II

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Album Review

There are two ways of looking at Crimson II: optimistically, it represents a long hoped for, never expected second installment to Swedish death metal legends Edge of Sanity's greatest triumph; pessimistically, it sees only one of said predecessor's original participants using his not inconsiderable talents and a few hired henchmen to usurp a band's good name for a personal project. A means to a selfish end? Wait, it gets even more complicated. The first fact: yes, Crimson (the original) was the work of a fully functioning band, Edge of Sanity. The second fact: yes, Crimson was also, for all intents and purposes, a solo effort by that band's dominant songwriter and undisputed driving force, Dan Swano, whose personal vision had guided Edge of Sanity's trajectory, though previously never as completely. So what's a well-intentioned metalhead to do here? Clearly, there's really no satisfying conclusion to be had; Edge of Sanity fans will simply have to make a personal choice (pick their poison, if you will) when approaching Crimson II. Judged on a purely musical basis, the album indeed represents a worthy and natural successor to the original, successfully transporting the listener back to a fantastical realm of apocalyptic science fiction — brought to you by the wonders of progressive death metal. Of course, in a final, necessary twist, all of this is rendered whole via a single, 40-plus minute "song" (or "song suite") containing literally dozens upon dozens of riffs partitioned into oft-recurring themes, numerous soft/hard interludes, and synthesizer embellishments for added effect — all of it combining into a canvas of downright panoramic scope. Swano really pulls out all the stops, and whether you choose to condemn or applaud him in the end, there's no denying his amazing achievement — again. Of course, Crimson II is thematically useless without its slightly superior first chapter, and though it may only nominally qualify as an Edge of Sanity record, right now that's all listeners have.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Vocalist and guitarist Dan Swano was the creative force behind the Swedish death metal band Edge of Sanity, which also included guitarists Dread and Sami Nerberg, along with bassist Anders Lundberg and drummer Benny Larsson. Edge of Sanity's recordings include their debut Nothing But Death Remains, Unorthodox, The Spectral Sorrows, Until Eternity Ends, 1994's Purgatory Afterglow, and 1996's Crimson. For 1997's Cryptic,...
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Crimson II, Edge of Sanity
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