Picture of Thorns


Thorns - Thorns ©2001 Moonfog
1. Existence
2. World Playground Deceit
3. Shifting Channels
4. Stellar Master Elite
5. Underneath The Universe
6. -part 2
7. Interface To God
8. Vortex

Thorns is a band of legend. Having predated many of the Norwegian black metal artists, Thorns (essentially a one man project consisting of Snorre Ruch) recorded a rather famous demo called "Grymyrk" and split a CD with Emperor in 1998. Otherwise, Thorns has been a non-entity throughout the heyday of the black metal movement in Norway and most likely would have remained this mythical band of lore had Satyr from Moonfog not enticed Ruch to finally wander back into the recording studio for this first official Thorns release. Enlisting the help of Satyr for production and vocals, Aldrahn from Dødheimsgard for more vocals and Hellhammer for drums, Thorns has finally given the rest of the world something to chew on.

Considering the enlisted help, Thorns has some very distinct similarities to Dødheimsgard's 666 International as well as Satyricon's Rebel Extravaganza. A certain biomechanical, cosmic coldness pervades the music throughout the eight song affair, as if Ruch beamed some of the songwriting in via the SETI project. Although Thorns is a very clinical, cold affair, the album does transcend the mood to incorporate the listener, unlike Rebel Extravanganza. The guitars are very similiar in tone and quality to Satyricon, while the vocals are obviously reminiscient of the two men providing them. The songs are machine precise in rhythm and riffing, with occasional ominous passages that give it a cosmic edge. Ruch's songwriting is occasionally very distant and requires the listener to travel a bit to catch up with it.

Thorns is definitely of interest to anyone into the most recent Satyricon or Dødheimsgard releases. It might come as a surprise to those who are familiar with the Thorns name that there is very little old school black metal sound anywhere on this release, considering how often other Norwegian black metal musicians cited Thorns as an influence. Rather, this is a very current, contemporary affair of extreme music and overall a quite pleasing release.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2001

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