At the Gates
Terminal Spirit Disease


5.0
classic

Review

by Bron-Yr-Aur USER (39 Reviews)
April 10th, 2006 | 77 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist


Of all the Swedish bands to make their way across the Atlantic in the early to mid 90's, At The Gates is arguably the finest of the lot. It was around the time of this album that At The Gates began to form their distinctive sound that would later dominate 1995's "Slaughter of the Soul". Aside from this new sound, the band also began employing more classical numbers, using acoustic guitars, violins, and cellos. The majority of these brisk new stylings were kept as instrumentals, more than likely due to the fact that Tomas Lindeberg (Vocals) would have a hard time screaming over them and being taking seriously. At The Gates had just gained rythym guitarist Martin Larsson, and would utilize his talents effectively all throughout the album. Still one album away from a classic, At The Gates deliver here what many (though still the minority) feel to be their best effort.

The Songs:

The Swarm- Starts off with a haunting classical instrumental, employing violins and cellos, but quickly fades into the kind of tear your face of metal that I so deeply admire these guys for. Great riffs, superb drumming, and competent vocals. 5/5

Terminal Spirit Disease- My personal favorite, this track starts and ends as a death metal masterpiece. The brilliance of Anders Bjorler's lead guitar work is evident here in his neo-classical solo that he throws down over the verse rhythm. Another lovely and delicate track. 5/5

And the World Returned- A beautiful yet foreboding instrumental number that kicks into gear after a brief sound collage of what reminds me of a subway station. Numerous guitar overdubs give this piece great melody and dynamics, which is only furthered by the addition of a cello. 5/5


Forever Blind- Another death metal romp, Forever Blind is rather inconsistent compared with the first two tracks, but it is nevertheless a competent and enjoyable song. Once again the guitar harmonies are great, but it's the drumming that stands out here. 3.5/5

Fevered Circle- My least favorite track on the album, this tune is a bit more slow than the other tracks, and the vocals aren't up to their usual standards. It seems difficult for this track to gain any momentum due to it's sluggish rythym. In fact, it almost sounds as if they were making a valiant (but futile) attempt at a Black Sabbath song.
2/5

The Beautiful Wound- A great track with (once again) great guitars and fantastic drumming. The lyrics are good as well. They seriously sound pissed at this point. This is arguably the most melodic and heavy song on the entire album. 4.5/5

All Life Ends (live)- Apparently due to a lack of original material, At The Gates decided to throw some live performances on here as well. This track is from their first LP, "Gardens of Grief", and has a completely different sound from the rest of the album, which to some might kill the groove. However, the bnad performs it well, and the song itself is well-written and interesting, which makes for a good listen. 4/5

The Burning Darkness (live) - A standout track from "With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness", This song begins with Tomas Lindeberg pumping up the audience, which I find quite humorous. It's a somewhat sub-par performance of an overall fantastic, albeit short song. Naturally, as on any At The Gates recording, the guitar is what stands out the most.
3/5

Kingdom Gone (live)- From "The Red in The Sky is Ours", this is an overall boring track. This song was written before the band began employing much melody into their music, and consequently alot of their first effort tends to sound like just another death metal band. While the drumming and arrangements are excellent, it is very difficult to sit through this song, once again made even more challenging by the fact that it's a poor live performance. 2.5/5

Windows (live)- An excellent track from "TRITSIO", They deliver an amazing performance here. The song begins with a dual guitar harmony on this recording and proceeds to go into a somewhat typical death metal groove, but makes up for it with great playing, and splendid choruses. 5/5

"The Red in The Sky is Ours/Seasons to Come (live)- Even with a superb group, there is bound to be one absolutely horrid track. "The Red In The Sky Is Ours" covers that title for At The Gates as well as The Haunted. The fact that it is also a live track in which Tomas sounds sick (as in the flu) does nothing to improve upon this. 2/5

"The Burning Darkness(live)- A completely irrevelant track, as they already put a live version of this song on here. However, they play it much better this time, but there's really no reason to put it on twice. 3/5

As I was preparing to give this album a 4/5, I realized that even despite all it's shortcomings, I still find it in rotation alot more than any other At The Gates album. While pondering this point, another one was thrust forth from the depths of my sub-conscious. This album has a distinctly more forlorn and doomed-like feel to it, a trait absent form their 1995 masterpiece 'Slaughter Of The Soul'. Throwing caution to the wind, I followed my instinct and decided to give the album a....


5/5

Ah.... Anti-climax



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other reviews of this album
Grant Hunter (4)
While short, "Terminal Spirit Disease" is a superb release, full of more than memorable songs from t...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Thor
April 11th 2006


10200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This was a decent review. I loved Slaughter of the Soul so I'm seriously considering getting this.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 11th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thank you. If you liked slaughter of the soul i would seriously recommend this.

Slapping Penguin
April 12th 2006


18 Comments


I would recommend all At the Gates. All great stuff. Eariler stuff is alot darker.

Tarantino's Tarantulas
April 12th 2006


819 Comments


The beginning of the Swarm is amazing, its just perfect how the violins fade into the guitar riff

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 13th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

0 of 1 think this review was well written. ah well. they can piss off.

John Paul Harrison
April 14th 2006


1014 Comments


Mr. Bron-Yr-Aur, although I am treading in territory unfamiliar to me by straying away form the Blues forum, I must commend you on a coherent and understandable review. I believe that the term "kudos" would be appropriate.




Shadows
Moderator
April 14th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You gave it a 5, that's good enough for me. This is my favorite At the Gates album aside Slaughter of the Soul.

Blokus
April 19th 2006


155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is my favorite album by them. Its awesome!

pattern_recognition
April 19th 2006


950 Comments


The intro to The Swarm still gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 19th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes the swarm is lovely.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 20th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I believe I will re-write this later. It was my second review and it's kinda crappy.

south_of_heaven 11
April 20th 2006


5436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I am now beginning to believe that Sputnik was created to rub in my face all the bands I am missing out on listening to...
I have never heard one At the Gates song...I am a horrible person...

Sleepy
April 21st 2006


51 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think you should've spent a little time with the band's background, and size the album up to their other releases, but otherwise this was a pretty good review.

However, it doesn't deserve a 5. Especially if it has several songs on it that you rank as a 3 or below. It's rather inconsistent, IMO, and With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness trounces it utterly.

Shadows
Moderator
April 21st 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It would've been much better if they had included some more new songs instead of a mere six with several live tracks.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 21st 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

quite, I still like the overall vibe of the album, however. Way darker than slaughter of the soul.

kill_the_animosity
May 20th 2006


26 Comments


hey man this is an awsome review, good job.
my reviews arent getting good responses, can u give me some tips?

Bron-Yr-Aur
May 21st 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

For one, use proper spelling and punctuation at all times. Go into details about the album, the band, how it compares to the groups' other efforts, and insert some wit and charm to make it interesting as well. Don't use internet lingo such as "Lol", and "Imo", and indent your paragraphs.

That should about cover it. Thanks for your vote, man.

kill_the_animosity
May 21st 2006


26 Comments


thanks, i dont use lol or imo anyway!
have u heard of the autumn offering? good band get into em

John Paul Harrison
May 26th 2006


1014 Comments


Quite a decent review. Indeed, we can see improvement.This Message Edited On 05.26.06

Bron-Yr-Aur
May 26th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I disagree with you, but thanks anyway.



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