At the Gates, "Terminal Spirit Disease"
Released a mere eight months after With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, Terminal Spirit Disease is a short album that saw At the Gates once again delivering a stellar set of songs, while revealing a glimpse of what they were about to release the following year.
The production was once again bumped up a notch and after all the touring, the band had never sounded tighter. The disc opens with The Swarm, a typical At the Gates song - mournful and desperate - before switching into high gear and showing a bit of new-found confidence and cruelty in the riffs that pop up unexpectedly between more familiar sounds. It's an incredible song and one of the great moments in their catalog. The title track follows in similar fashion, again occasionally showing a glimpse of a more aggressive side of their personality between the desperation.
With the exception of the live tracks and the beautiful acoustic interlude, And the World Forever Burned [a sort of Neverwhere, Pt II], the rest of the album plays out in this fashion, sounding like At the Gates, looking like At the Gates, but leaving you feeling like you are listening to a band with something up its sleeve, something hidden. Kind of like looking at your quiet next door neighbor and thinking you just saw a glimpse of serial killer in his eyes.