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Edge of Sanity: Nothing But Death Remains

"You Can't Live Fovever! But Can You Be Dead Forever?

Nothing But Death Remains is the debut album from Swedish death metal band Edge of Sanity. Released in 1991 on Black Mark Productions, this album marked the beginning of a bright career for five young Swedish metalheads, one of whom was Dan Swano, who became the driving force behind the band (also later to be a member of many bands, including Nightingale, Pan-Thy-Monium, Bloodbath, and many others, as well as a famed producer) as their singer (also playing keyboards and the occasional guitar part),producer, and main songwriter. Edge of Sanity would go on throughout the 90's to record nine albums before breaking up, fluctuating between a brutal death metal band (which is the case here) towards a more melodic, even progressive sort of extreme metal band, yet always with death metal at the core.

On this debut, the youngsters wrote some pretty solid songs packed with dense guitar riffs, sledgehammer rhythms, and topped it off with Swano infernal death metal growls, which are some of the best in the business. Tunes like "Tales..." (which the quote above is taken from), "Maze of Existence", "Human Aberration", "Immortal Souls", and "Angel of Distress" are all fine examples of powerful, brutal death metal, and remain favorites of many longtime followers of the band. While the performances of the band on the album and the quality of the songs is very high, the production values on the album are terrible, as you can hear all sorts of drop-outs and muddy guitar sounds, which is a real shame considering how good the material is. Take "The Dead" for instance, a powerful and slightly symphonic number, featuring orchestral keyboards and crushing riffs, but the sound of the piece really suffers from a poor production which ultimately takes away from what should have been a massive sounding tune. The sort of muddy quality however works to their advantage on "Immortal Souls", a devastating dirge of death metal delight, complete with thunderous, doomy riffs, plodding drums, and evil growls.

Regardless of the quality of the production (the various drop-outs are really puzzling), the material is highly recommended to those who have an affinity for early 90's death metal. Some of these songs were later remixed and remastered by Dan Swano on the rarities compilation set Evolution, so if you want to hear them in a better light that release is also worth checking out. The end result here on Nothing But Death Remains is a young band who showed plenty of promise, and despite the poor sonic quality of the recording, there is some killer death metal contained within. The best was yet to come...

Track Listing
1. Tales...
2. Human aberration
3. Maze of existence
4. The dead
5. Decepted by the cross
6. Angel of distress
7. Impulsive necroplasma
8. Immortal souls

Added: December 28th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Black Mark Productions
Hits: 2393
Language: english

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