on 5 January 2004
this is the fourth edge of sanity cd, and it's greatness is often overshadowed by the brilliance of the epic Crimson, released the following year. don't let this fool you, Purgatory Afterglow is outstanding melodic death, with a clean vocal-only track (black tears), and a variety of mellow and heavy sections. the incredibly catchy lyrics and vocals of dan swano take this album and this band to another level from the rest of the scene, making them the masters of melodic death.
on 3 January 2015
This is an outstanding melo-death album from these Swedish kings. "Edge Of Sanity" first burst on to the scene with the very amateurish debut of "Nothing But Death Remains" in 1991; but quickly after:- improved their standards by mountains, with the albums of 'Unorthodox' in 1992, and 'The Spectral Sorrows' in 1993; very respectively. Together with the magnum progressive opus of 'Crimson', 1994's "Purgatory Afterglow" remains a career high for this 90's band. In this album, "Edge Of Sanity" distance themselves further from the streamlined Swedish death metal sound embraced by they're earliest albums, towards a more complex brand of ultra melo-death metal with progressive leanings.
This is instantly apparant from the first track of "Twilight", which shows us just how woven the melodic intracacies are within the net-basis of raw death metal. Again, these guys are not afraid to show a hint of refined experimentalism or to return to key themes in typical progressive style. I personally enjoyed the prominant use of keyboards in the more subtle situations, as they definitely add tremendously to the feel and atmosphere; and So I guess that the band agreed with this perspective, as they are frequently put to good use throughout the album.
The second song "Of Darksome Origin" is an excellent example of true melodic death metal. We have the ultra dark voice of Dan Swano layered over the top of controlled blast beats and aggressive riffs. (all very key characteristics of the Swedish death metal genre bar-none!). In between, a pure sense of melody is regular interupter of this angry song. "Blood - Coloured" in particular, is a departure for the band in many ways, as it displays a rather colourful melodic sheen and ...uh, is that clean vocals there Dan?!. This song is perhaps much more indicative of the latter half of the bands career, (Especially the content on 1997's "Infernal").
"Silent" is more melo-death in a faster vein, with a contrasting shade of soundscapes at key intervals. "Black Tears" is another excursion to ultra tuneful melodies and guitar leads; while "Elegy" continues the same run of form of "Silent"; with broken intervals of pure-core death metal, which break up the melodies in a balanced fashion through-out. "Velvet-Dreams" reigns-in the tempo somewhat, with sludgy riffs and a similar style of slowboat melodies.
This ultimately leaves "Enter Chaos" to pick up the pace and brutality once more in typical Edge Of Sanity style. "The Sinner And The Sadness" is another brutal song of magnum quantities, leaving only "Song Of Sirens" to end the album, and it does so on a fairly urgent and crushing note. This all shows us the depth of musical understanding and command in execution that these guys held during their prime. After this, they only managed to repeat the majestic standards outlined here once more with 1996's classic 'Crimson'.
Most melo-death bands of today, (especially the likes of the Gothenburg scene), owe themselves a nod to this band for leading a brand of truly inspirational and influential metal. This album remains important today, as it's recognition has never been fully recognised. Any observing metal fans, who might be looking to discover the music of "Edge Of Sanity" should definitely start here. In my view, this is one of the founding roots of the scandinavian melo-death subgenre, and it's relevance is still very significant to this day.