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Thorn > The Encompassing Nothing > Reviews > Sweetie
Thorn - The Encompassing Nothing

Mess With The Bull, Get The Thorn - 70%

Sweetie, February 3rd, 2021

It's always nice to find a cavernous trail of doom/death that resides on the brief side for a change. The one-man act out of Pheonix, Arizona called Thorn are here to deliver just this on their debut outing The Encompassing Nothing. While this style often takes a while to grow and multiple listens are usually needed, Thorn are rather to the point. In other words, it's far more digestible than what it lets on.

A big part of that is because of how choppy the songs are and the lack of stretched boundaries. There isn't a lot of trudging build in the guitar work, rather you get an effort that's far more riff-oriented than feeling-oriented. Higher harmonics and wails work in unison with blasting drums that come far above the surface. On the contrary, the vocals are quite marshy and get beaten under by the instrumentation a lot. Having that howling echo certainly plays a big part.

Speaking of which, vocals aside, the production on The Encompassing Nothing is also pretty clean for this style. Everything feels very concise which worked well for the angle of approach. If the construct was rooted in longer songs with more repetition, this could have actually hurt it. "Returning To Dust" brings this feature to its biggest height, leaning entirely on clean and somber licks with a dash of melancholy, likely to represent that inevitable return to nothingness. Others like the brooding title track or the booming "Pagan's Monolith" shine some of the superior songwriting. I also love how "Fields Of Blight" casts such a horrid aura over a traditional OSDM aesthetic thanks to its strum patterns and drum-blasts.

Basically, I'd say that this EP is a great start from two perspectives. It's a good start for the project itself, displaying what almost feels like a sampler of what could come in the past. The frequent fade-outs definitely set that idea in stone for me. It's also a good starter for fans who are newer to the doom/death scene. For a genre that's as tough to swallow as it's known for, this one contains reigns far easier to grasp to newcomers.