I remain very sentimentally attached to this particular album in EDGE OF SANITY's catalogue for many reasons. It contains what I believe to be some of the band's strongest songs to date, in which they melded their more Death-oriented roots with the more melodic elements which had crept into the repertoire on "Unorthodox", but was still sparse in their overall sound. There is also some great experimentation going on here; lots of variety from song to song. This was one thing which follow-up "Purgatory Afterglow" failed to achieve, as the band seemed to sound more formulaic on it in my opinion, and apparently Dan Swanö's as well! "The Spectral Sorrows" somehow still gets overshadowed by that album, and I'll never figure out why! THIS is the place to start if you're new to EDGE OF SANITY.
Beginning with an unforgettable guitar-swell intro for the title-track, slowly gaining intensity, it acts as a perfect segue into "Darkday", which heats things up with a speedy, melodic riff. This is perhaps the best, and worst song in EOS's repertoire. Great for its brilliant riffs and song-structure (not to mention Swanö's model-of-brutality vocals), but quite awful for its drum sound, and anyone who has this album knows what I mean. That snare drum could've used some SERIOUS tuning. But alas, over many repeated listens, it has somehow grown on me, become a part of me, like my only pair of underwear. Difficult to explain, but these are the compromises we make...
There is so much to be found, stylistically, throughout the album, ranging from slow, heavy dirges ("Lost") to dirty Punk Metal ("Feedin' The Charlatan") to melodic Thrash/Death ("The Masque", "Jesus Cries", "On The Other Side"), a unique sombre/romantic number in "Across The Fields Of Forever", a MANOWAR-cover ("Blood Of My Enemies"), and even a Dance Metal-track in "Sacrificed"! I swear, 99.9% of the EoS-fans out there seem to curse the existence of that song, but I truly love it. One can't deny that it makes you wanna boogie on down to disco town. There is something for most everybody here, dancers and headbangers alike!
But before you break out your BLONDIE-shirts and bellbottoms, just know that this is a METAL-album all the way! Dark, dismal and full of angst. Its appeal is lasting and meaningful, and it remains one of the chosen few in my collection which, four years after buying it (USED!), still gets ample attention from the Gabreo (that's Gabe + Stereo...am I not one clever gringo?). Take that for what it's worth.
"Evil never dies, it just sleeeeeeeeeps."