Edge of Sanity - "Elegy" From 1994's Purgatory Afterglow (Black Mark)
The first melodic death metal band to regularly employ clean vocals, Sweden's Edge of Sanity were way ahead of their time, producing back-to-back masterpieces in the form of 1994's Purgatory Afterglow and 1996's Crimson. Since Crimson is a single 40-minute long song, a selection from Purgatory Afterglow seemed like the right way to go. "Elegy" is the pick here, a stop-on-a-dime bruiser with bursts of melody packed into a compact 3:57 running time. Vocalist Dan Swano's toned gruff proves to be a sparkplug, while a crunchy production job ran in the face of then overly-processed sounds of that era, enabling EOS to be early masters of melody and brute force.
As the story would go, Crimson would be the band's apex, with Swano departing two years after its release, only to re-form EOS as a solo project for the release of 2003's Crimson II. Yet it was Purgatory Afterglow that introduced song-oriented death metal to the worldwide metal scene. The album certainly has no shortage of worthy cuts (see: "Black Tears," "Silent" and "Blood-Colored"), but it is "Elegy" that shines the brightest. It's about as underrated of a song (and band) as you'll find.