Thorns - _Thorns_
(Moonfog, 2001)
by: Chris Flaaten (9 out of 10)
More than ten years after the legendary Trondertun recordings, perhaps one of the most inspiring sources to Norwegian black metal as we know it today, Thorns finally release their debut(!) album. Contrary to what one would think, this record sounds completely fresh and original. The sound is similar to a mix of other Moonfog artists like Satyricon and Dodheimsgard, but colder, grimmer and perhaps even more futuristic. Thorns mainman Snorre has come up with some psychotic riffs that are truly hypnotising. Add to them magnificent drumming courtesy of Hellhammer and vocals by both Satyr and Aldrahn, and quality is ensured. Songs vary from soothing ambient pieces like the intro to "Underneath the Universe" to the ultrafast and aggressive "Interface to God". Like _Rebel Extravaganza_ [CoC #43], this album is black metal(R) to the bone, albeit in a quite different form from what most are used to. The production is perfect; crystal clear. Sheer coldness, laced with a synthetic, machine-like feel. _Thorns_ has a feel to it that cannot be fully explained; it needs to be experienced.

[Paul Schwarz: "Though not as mind-fuckingly weird as Dodheimsgard's _666 International_, _Thorns_ is nonetheless one of the most effectively progressed albums to come from black metal in years -- and is undoubtedly the best yet this year. A strong electronic tendency is explored to great effect without interfering in any negative way whatsoever with a remarkably tight, intense and wonderfully uncomfortable traditional-instrumental assault, iced with top-class vocal performances from Satyr and Dodheimsgard's Aldrahn."]

(article published 5/13/2001)


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