Edge Of Sanity – Infernal

I have never heard ‘Crimson’.  I have very little desire to.

Edge Of Sanity is ostensibly a ‘progressive’ death metal band, but based on the content of this album, they seem to be a blend of melodeath and melodic hard rock that you could hear on the radio without a second thought.  Apparently to some people ‘progressive’ means clean vocals and melodic riffs that don’t end in totally stereotypical Gothenburg resolutions; there’s even- *gasp*- mood and textural changes in some of the riffs!  Surely if you can comprehend this topsy-turvey rollercoaster ride of an album, you have an IQ of at LEAST 180.

The so-called ‘progressive’ elements on this release seem incredibly shoehorned in and unnecessary to the overall songs.  See the weird rhythm that ends ’15:36′: what’s the purpose of that?  Did Swanö suddenly remember that this was supposed to be a progressive death metal band and not a glorified rock group and feel the need to put something awkward in before the song ended?  Other instances like that are dotted throughout the album: totally conventional, rocky melodeath infused with illogical passages of strange time signatures and tuneless riffs.  I’m not sure if Swanö was trying to prove something more to the audience or himself.

The fact is that on this album Edge Of Sanity is much, much more comfortable and more adept at making poppy melodic death metal than they are at anything remotely unconventional.  Swanö is pretty good at crafting catchy, simple, traditional Gothenburg riffs that are a notch above the pack through a willingness to change texture and mood as previously stated.  Even what are essentially rock songs in disguise are pretty fun to listen to; ’15:36′, apart from its retarded ending, is quite catchy and enjoyable, with capably executed clean vocals and simple, engaging riffs.

It’s really on songs where the band forces themselves to be more death metal than they actually are that they fail.  ‘The Bleakness Of It All’ is a very half-assed array of atonal tremolo riffs and growls and thumping drum beats that never add up to anything but the members of the band being able to finally take a breath, assured that they’re not as gay as their talents would suggest.  Of course they follow that with another track, the brilliantly titled ‘Damned (By The Damned)’, which could easily come out of a Night In Gales album without any trouble.

This is something of a silly album and only half the songs are really listenable, but it’s kind of fun to have simply because everyone who so desperately lauds Edge Of Sanity as masters of the art of progressive death metal tend to focus on one album and ignore the fact that they had seven others that no one cares about.  This album is only half good, but when it’s on, it’s pretty on.  I like the rockish melodeath tracks a lot and if this were an EP of just those I’d probably listen to it on a regular basis.  As it is, though, with the worthwhile content scattered every which way, it’s more a curiosity piece than anything else.


~ by noktorn on September 7, 2008.

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