Released in 2003, Crimson II is a superb masterpiece of prog and death metal. Dan Swano, who has and still contributes his talent to many bands, clearly outdid all of them with this riff-tastic concept album that combines incredibly memorable melodies with godly heaviness. The vocals themselves sounds like the voice of an angry god, narrating a classic story of good and evil, where each chapter takes the form of a song – from the onset of a dark revelation to to the throes of triumph.
The listener is met here with an outwordly power that only a genius can imagine and implement this vividly; An unparalleled sonic achievement where space-ish synths & keys collide with gigantic riffs(along more mellow moments). This type of instrumentation is combined very organically, creating a beautiful multidimensional soundscape. Eager for an example? Check out “Passage of Time”, probably the best song on this release:
As you can hear, Crimson II is not just about the heavy. Clean guitars and a fair share of proggy ryhthms take place too, piano outros and whatnot. The clean vocal parts, provided by Swano himself, are also worth mentioning. They are at the center of attention at the intro of the excellent “Covenant of Souls“, which is followed by one hell of an epic solo section! Damn, what an amazing lead guitar sound.
Beside the aformentioned awesome moments of shred, you might notice Edge of Sanity actually don’t rely so much on the technical. That kind of technique is only one tool among others, all working together to create the atmosphere & feel this release packs; a balance often missing in today’s music. The slowest riffs here actually sound the most epic and grandiose, thanx to the airy, yet “punchy” production. Add to that the brutal nature of DM..and you’ve got..yep, a freakin’ jackpot of an album! Well done, Dan!