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Somewhat Disappointing... - 60%

Damnation_Terminated, January 31st, 2008

"Crimson" changed my life. "Crimson II" further enhanced my view that firstly Dan Swano was one of the greatest metal men in the world, and that Edge of Sanity could be one of the most influential progressive bands in living history.

Then I got "Infernal". I think the word that best describes it is disappointing. It isn't a horrendously bad album, by any stretch of the imagination, and there are certainly worse efforts out there. But there is something about Edge of Sanity that makes you excited about their work, and with hype like that when you get an album so... average as "Infernal", it takes you back somewhat.

There is a distinct lack of experimental death metal progressiveness on "Infernal" and while the band are no doubt musically very talented, you get a feeling that they got bored with this one. Even Dan Swano's vocals, which have a harsh edge to them that sets him apart from his contemporaries (even the mighty Mikael Akerfeldt!) just don't seem to be putting the same effort into them as they do on either of the Crimson albums.

The one shining light in this album of mediocrity is the last song, rather appropriately titled "The Last Song" This song is a fantastic piece of musicianship, and oddly, the only track in the album that is completely different to the rest of it. It starts with a melodious yet minor-keyed piano solo, with a guitar coming subtley in after the first couple of bars. Then Swano starts to sing. His voice is deep and rich and slow, bringing a new side to the band completely. After singing for about 2 minutes in this down tempo fashion, accompanied by the piano, there is a split second gap, and suddenly the rest of the band bursts into action. The last 3 minutes or so of the song are just an instrumental of heavy riffing with a melody being played over the top. It is almost beautiful in it's simplicity yet you could still have a good head bang to it.

Aside from that last song (incidentally, the reason I gave this album a mark above 50) the album is a disappointment from such a talented and interesting band. If you are looking into getting anything by Edge of Sanity, get both the Crimson albums, and leave this one alone.