Edge of Sanity Crimson II

1997’s Cryptic gave us Edge of Sanity without Dan Swanö. Now, six years later, Crimson II gives us an Edge of Sanity that is almost exclusively Swanö. A sequel to the original Crimson (1996), this new 43-minute one-song album, with lyrics by Clive Nolan, follows the same basic structure, even recalling and reinterpreting some of the older album’s key riffs. Although Swanö recruited guest growlers (Roger Johansson and Jonas Granvik) and lead guitarists (Mike Wead and Simon Johansson), the composition is basically his own and he performs everything else — instrumentation, clean vocals and remaining growls. Crimson II is full of recognisable Swanö-isms, encapsulating not just his Edge of Sanity sound but also elements off his Moontower album as well as the Nightingale releases. The song’s brilliant circularity, allusions and incredibly catchy blend of prog and classic EOS-style Swedish death metal all come together to produce a work of remarkable pacing, passion and power. (Black Mark)