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Futuristic Black Metal Perfection - 97%

Daemonlord, July 12th, 2011

Thorns is the main project of a renowned member of the early Norwegian Black Metal elite, Snorre Ruch (he who was present alongside Varg Vikernes for the murder of Øystein Aarseth, for those who were unaware). Thorns' early demos were held in high regard amongst the majority of black metallers, rightfully earning him a place as second guitarist in De Mysteriis... era Mayhem before Øystein's death (in fact, he supposedly wrote more than a few riffs that ended up on the finished album).

After the jail term for his involvement in the murder, 2001 saw Thorns release their debut self-titled album, with guest vocal work from Aldrahn and Satyr, and drum work by the ever present Hellhammer. Crushing with its super speed Black Metal with the opening track "Existence", Snorre and co. created a masterwork of deep space futuristic Black Metal that set the blue print for a lot of bands that would follow in a similar vein. Be it the blasting attack of "World Playground Deceit", or the slow intoxicating landscapes of "Shifting Channels", Thorns do their best to completely mindfuck you with their aural mayhem. This is one album where the samples are not thrown in on a whim at the last minute either, with every second of music being primed with a foreboding almost industrial depth for maximum effect on the listener.

This was probably one of the only Black Metal albums that was welcomed by the kvlt krew, even though it didn't necessarily exude the intensive, introspective 'true' Black Metal ethos upon first listen. Multiple spins would soon prove this was every bit as dark and shimmering as the classics, albeit in a twisted, cybernetically enhanced way. The 'universal soldier' of the Black Metal world, if you will. Thoroughly convincing, and totally immersing, Thorns imbibes Black Metal and assimilates it into its own uniquely twisted form.

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