Thorns ‎– Thorns

Moonfog Productions ‎– FOG026
CD, Album, White Disc

Tracklist Hide Credits

1 Existence
Lyrics By – Snorre RuchRecorded By [Co-recording Of Longwave Radio] – F.O. Holthe*Vocals – Bjørn Dencker
2 World Playground Deceit
Lyrics By, Vocals – Satyr Wongraven
3 Shifting Channels
Lyrics By, Vocals – Bjørn Dencker
4 Stellar Master Elite
Lyrics By – Snorre RuchVocals – Satyr Wongraven
5 Underneath The Universe
Lyrics By – Bjørn DenckerVocals – Bjørn DenckerVocals [Co-vocals, Second And Third Verse] – Satyr Wongraven
6 Underneath The Universe
Lyrics By – Bjørn DenckerVocals – Bjørn DenckerVocals [Co-vocals] – Satyr Wongraven
7 Interface To God
Lyrics By – Snorre RuchVocals – Satyr Wongraven
8 Vortex
Lyrics By, Vocals – Snorre Ruch

Companies, etc.



Recorded between 1998-2000.
Postproduced and mixed in Studio 1, Oslo, Norway, 2000.

℗&© Moonfog Productions, Norway 2001

Total running time: 48:09

There are two slightly different versions of the disc, white disc with black text and blank disc with black text.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Printed): 4 029758 165720
  • Barcode (Text): 4029758165720
  • Matrix / Runout (Variant 1): TOCANO DK 40851
  • Mastering SID Code (Variant 1): IFPI LP51
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 1): IFPI 2Z12
  • Matrix / Runout (Variant 2): TOCANO DK 40851
  • Mastering SID Code (Variant 2): IFPI LP51
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 2): IFPI 6E02
  • Matrix / Runout (Variant 3): TOCANO DK 40851
  • Mastering SID Code (Variant 3): IFPI LP51
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 3): IFPI 2Z04

Other Versions (5 of 10) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
FOG026 Thorns Thorns(CD, Album, RP) Moonfog Productions FOG026 Norway Unknown Sell This Version
CDVILED352 Thorns Thorns(CD, Album, Enh, RE) Peaceville CDVILED352 UK 2011 Sell This Version
FOG026 Thorns Thorns(CD, Album, Promo) Moonfog Productions FOG026 Norway 2001 Sell This Version
VILELP379 Thorns Thorns(2xLP, Album, RE) Peaceville VILELP379 UK 2012 Sell This Version
CDVILED352 Thorns Thorns(CD, Album, Enh, RE) Peaceville CDVILED352 UK Unknown Sell This Version


Reviews Show All 4 Reviews

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August 30, 2012

Thorns is a band that has been dabbling in the world of Black Metal since 1989. I first came across this band on the Nordic Metal compilation released by Necropolis, with the song "Ærie Descent." Of that compilation this is one of the songs that had the most profound affect on me as a listener. One of the most infuriating parts of this is that I could not track down anymore Thorns tracks, nor could I find any bands that even remotely came close to their genius. So you can easily imagine that when I found out Thorns was releasing new material again I was very excited.

The main musician behind this project, Snorre Ruch, has a rather critical history in the forming of this genre and it's eventually explosion of publicity because of one man's murder. Ruch (a.k.a Blackthorn) and Euronymous knew each other in the early 90's, and eventually Ruch would become the second guitarist in Mayhem. Ruch would also be a creative force in the composition of the now infamous "De Mysteriis dom Sathanas" recording, as is evident by the use of his riffs from the "Grymyrk" demo tape. Euronymous saw something special in his composition and writing ability, which is obvious to all of us now. Ruch had his own problems as well, such as mental problems of his own, and his outlet was clearly art and music. However, knowing Euronymous eventually led to making an acquaintance with Varg Vikernes, the man who would eventually murder Euronymous. Ruch's role was fairly minimal in the actual murder, he merely drove the car. He was later sentenced to prison for eight years because of his accomplice to the murder. There has been some speculation as to whether or not Ruch actually knew Varg was going to murder Euronymous on that night. I figure he drove away because after seeing Varg stab someone and get into the car with a knife, I would probably drive off when ordered as well. I think Ruch may have been a victim of circumstance, rather than a genuine accomplice, and I think that belief is held up by the fact that he is still friends with Hellhammer and Faust.

Thorns' return was announced with the split with Emperor, featuring the music completely composed and recorded by Ruch and vocals by Satyr. While the album is fairly decent, it did not live up to my expectations of the older recordings. I really didn't expect it to, mostly since Ruch would have a lot more technology available to him. That album also featured reworked songs of earlier material and some new stuff. However, now that the self titled has been released it not only met my expectations, but in some ways exceeded them. I wanted that eerie chord structure that was present in the first songs, and Ruch built on that style and enhanced it so much more on this recording. He also added in some ambient and other electronic sounds to give it more of an ominous, yet spatial feel to the album. So it sounds otherworldly and surreal through most of the recording.

Ruch pulled together some other well known figures in the industry to perform some of the elements of his album, probably to achieve a level of perfection he felt he couldn't achieve simply by himself. "Thorns" features Satyr (Satyricon) and Bjørn Denker, a.k.a. Aldrahn, (Dødheimsgard, Zyklon-B) on vocals. I have always enjoyed Satyr's vocals and I think his work on "Stellar Master Elite" gave the song the presence it really deserved. Aldrahn has always seemed like a very versatile vocalist to me, and that was made ever clearer on "666 International" and his opening work on "Existence" gave the song a heavier and more emotionally driven feel than Satyr's dryer vocal style would have given it. However, Satyr's vocals sound all the more vile and angry by comparison so that's where he fits into the picture. I think this is why Ruch used more than one vocalist, because their styles give the songs a different feel altogether. Hellhammer, obviously, played drums on this recording and he has more than outdone himself here. While the drum work is fairly straight forward on most of the album, it is by far a lesson in endurance. There is no fast blast beating that would rival the likes of Frost, but the real feature here is the double bass work. By far some of the fastest endured double bass is played on this album. When you listen to tracks like "Interface to God" and the song shifts in tempo from fast to even faster, any musician will be shocked to hear that shift. I'm not entirely disappointed that the drumming is fairly straight forward because it shifts the listener's focus to the guitar work and gives the album a fairly mechanical feel. And judging by Ruch's use of such elements, it's what he wanted the listener to get out of it as well.

By far one of the most impressive features on this album are the lyrics. Ruch has proven to be a very impressive and meaningful writer, while nothing that would rival great poets of the past, he does write songs that I can identify with. Such as "Existence", which he stated in an interview is how he best views humanity. The fact that humanity is presented as a parasite makes sense to me. When a human is born they are, by all rights, a parasite growing within the mother. They change the mother's body and chemical structure to fit their own needs so that they can feed off of her. Tracks like "Stellar Master Elite" and "Interface to God" stay in line with Black Metal ideology that religion is a conspiracy of the ones in power on this world and that God is far from a "real" God. Lyrically the album gives off the ever present feel of a general evil in the universe without stating specifically that Satan is behind it all. Something I felt was a fresh move. Far too many bands venerate Satan whether they follow the being or not, and many just spout the name to anger the Christians. While angering Christians is great fun, it does become a tiring lyrical concept after a time. Thorns lyrics delve deeper than that, and I think this is a good influence into the growing Black Metal genre. Many other lyrics deal with the concepts of dream versus reality, which is a concept I think was obviously influenced by the Matrix, which made everyone question such concepts.

Obviously this will be getting album of the year from me. I think this album is an elevation to the ideology of Black Metal and Ruch has proved again that he can develop very new sounding music even when a genre is getting fairly generic as a whole. While I do enjoy some bands that stagnate, I do enjoy some bands that can push the envelope correctly. Thorns is doing just that, but I doubt there will be anyone out there who can truly pull off a sound that is similar and presented as perfectly as this album, other than possibly Ruch himself.


July 22, 2011

Great indeed, sad to have so litte output of Mr. Ruch... Considering quality over quantity he definitly did best!


April 6, 2011