Thorns
Thorns


4.5
superb

Review

by lostforwords USER (36 Reviews)
August 4th, 2009 | 37 replies | 10,458 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An incredible album by one of Black Metal's most respected bands.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

It’s virtually useless to explain why Snorre Ruch, the main man behind Thorns has been more than a key figure to the Norwegian Black Metal scene. Let’s just say that if black metal abandoned the “Celtic frost meets Bathory” style for a more “eerie” approach (reflected perfectly in Burzum’s “Jesu Dod” for example), it’s all because of this man and his two really bad sound quality demos he did in the early 90’s. Such was the admiration for these demos that Emperor, Satyricon and Burzum completely changed their sound, without ever forgetting to acknowledge the role Snorre Ruch had played in this change, and Euronymous (of Mayhem fame) struggled to get Snorre to play for his band.

However, due to legal problems, this band didn’t manage to record something until 1999’s split album with Emperor (“Thorns vs Emperor”) where legendary songs like the magnificent “Aerie Descends” or the terrifying “Melas Khole” were re-recorded by Thorns, the first one being also covered by Emperor. The anticipation for a full album with new material was huge in the black metal scene.

That album came in 2001. It was tagged “Intelligent Black Metal”, a term used to describe bands like “666 International” -era Dodheimsgard or “Grand Declaration of War”-era Mayhem. It featured Thorns’ trademark eerie riffs but also had a clear industrial metal influence, as indicated by the high pitched analog sound of Snorre’s guitar, or the heavy loops used in “Shifting Channels”. Don’t go thinking of Ministry or Godflesh though; think more of the way Voivod or “Grin” -era Coroner absorbed their industrial influences. More than anything, by recruiting Helhammer (who uses no triggers this time!), Satyr’s venomous voice and Aldrahn’s paranoid screams, Snorre left no doubts about his desire to make the most original Black Metal album in years.

“Thorns” is an album dominated by Snorre’s strong personality; His unbelievable riffs would be nothing if they didn’t add up to songs that climax the appropriate way to create sinister atmospheres and a sense of impending doom. Snorre has always bragged about his ability to create graphic songs with strong imagery and one gets that in every single track of the album. “Interface to God” has a spiral riff that gives a sense of ascending, “Vortex” is chaotic, “Shifting Channels” is chocking and “Existence” must be the most intense moment in post-2000 black metal history.

It is perfectly clear that “Thorns” was by no means your run of the mill Black Metal record. It was adventurous in the sense that Snorre would not record similar tracks (to one another) and he obviously despised the urge for monotony most black metal bands had. That is why this album sounds so complete; it leaves no space unexplored and Snorre does anything that is required in order to achieve the desirable mood.

“Thorns” is the pinnacle of Intelligent Black Metal, it was absolutely refreshing to a genre that was desperately searching for a new direction and for new leaders. Unfortunately the band disappeared again (up to now they have released no other album, we are expecting one in 2009) and missed their chance to dominate the scene. If anything, all Black Metal fans should check this album, as it represents a different approach to a genre that is becoming more and more introvert every day



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user ratings (87)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
August 4th 2009



15919 Comments


That third paragraph completely sold me on this. Good review.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

quaazi
August 4th 2009



200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thorns is indeed great. Got into them through the mentioned Emperor collaboration.

BallsToTheWall
August 4th 2009



44202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Talk about a band that needed a proper introduction on sputnik. Great review and underrated album. Snorre got arrested with Varg, I believe right? Wasnt he his driver...

Digging: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

Fxxkit13
August 4th 2009



1559 Comments


Yeah, and apparently Snorre ratted out Varg. He was pissed.

lostforwords
August 5th 2009



445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the feedback!
He was his driver but still claims that he had no idea about Varg's intentions. He claims that all he wanted was to show Euronymous some riffs he had written (they were both in Mayhem at the time)

ReturnToRock
January 18th 2010



3448 Comments


I can't get into this. black metal isn't my thing at all. MY MUM talked me into buying this after reading a review of it in MY METAL MAGAZINE (yeah, my Mum's cool!). I didn't really like it, but I kept it anyway since it was expensive and my Mum said maybe I wasn't listening to it right.

anyhow, only song I really like is World Playground Deceit. rest is too samey and far too blackish.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2010



6013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Timeless.-

Digging: Troldhaugen - Obzkure Anekdotez For Maniakal Massez

Hawks
May 24th 2010



35662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I still need this.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

scissorlocked
July 14th 2010



3509 Comments


good review man

black metal at its' best

panagiotis
November 15th 2010



192 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Very well written. It is one amazing album.

AndYetItMoves
October 22nd 2011



1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great album of course. It looks like reissue is now available! Great!!!

Hawks
February 6th 2012



35662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yet another album that took me like two years to listen to after I initially said I was gonna listen to it. Anyways, this rules.

Hawks
February 6th 2012



35662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Eh, same difference lol.

CaptainDooRight
February 6th 2012



28864 Comments


gotta hear this tonight

CaptainDooRight
February 6th 2012



28864 Comments


cum right in

CaptainDooRight
February 6th 2012



28864 Comments


same time

1...2.......................... "3"

Hawks
February 6th 2012



35662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just realized that this sounds a lot like Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia by Dimmu Borgir. Maybe that's just me, but I hear a lot of similarities.

Hawks
February 6th 2012



35662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

GOOD ONE YOU MOTHERFUCKER!

Hawks
February 6th 2012



35662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I knew you were joking, if that's what you're getting at lol.

Hawks
February 6th 2012



35662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, it always is.



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