Until the Light Takes Us // Thorns

I was watching Where the Light Takes Us again last night. I’ve only seen it from beginning to end once. So last night I was kind of skimming through it again. I think the first time I saw it I was a little distracted by the shock and awe of it all. This time around I was paying closer attention to some of the subtleties—such as, some of the statements that Varg makes. He’s definitely more of a cult leader than he is an actual brilliant philosopher, or should I say Filosofem… Some of the points he makes kind of make sense, but I think his delivery is more convincing than the facts. I think the main issue is that a lot of his conclusions are based on logical fallacies—so the logic is correct, but the initial basis for the logic is not. Anyway, I’m not going to get into that today.

Today’s blog is going to be short. There were several new things that I noticed last night, but my favorite take away is the band Thorns. I didn’t catch if they were talked about or not, but their song Stellar Master Elite is used in the soundtrack. I recognize most of the music in the soundtrack, but this one I did not. So I looked it up. And how have I missed this all these years?

This is the song from the Until the Light Takes Us soundtrack.

These days, it next-to impossible to find new, good black metal. I’m kind of stuck listening to all the old bands (Satyricon, Emperor, Mayhem, Burzum, etc). It’s incredibly rare that I hear black metal that I haven’t heard before that I actually like. So it was pretty refreshing to hear Thorns for the first time and be an instant fan. Now if only they had more material than just their single self-titled album and a few hard to find demos.

What do I like about this band? Superficially, it’s cool to hear new music from musicians that I already like. In a way, Thorns is a “super group.” Although, I kind of hate that term because most “super groups” suck. But this is a super group that doesn’t suck. Band members have rotated in and out of the band since their formation in 1989. But the notable members include Satyr (vocals from Satyricon), Hellhammer (drummer extraordinaire from Mayhem and many other bands, including Dimmu Borgir), Aldrahn (vocals, Dødheimsgard), Faust (original Emperor drummer) and lastly the main dude in the band, Snorre Ruch. In some respects, styles and genres can be confining. So it’s cool to see the results of band members from so many different styles within black metal come together and make something totally original.

Underneath the Universe 2 is a good example of some of these black metal guys pushing the boundaries for what it means to be black metal. Like other tracks on this album, this is a slower song bordering drone. And yes, there is an Underneath the Universe 1—it’s the track prior to #2. And listening to UtU 1 followed by UtU2 is totally worth it.

Pretty much every track on this album is worth its place within the album. Every track has its place and every place has its track. I think what I like most about this album is that the style is leaning towards industrial (rather than romantic natural themes typically derived in black metal) and the mysterious cosmic space themes too. This album feels very Aliens or even Event Horizon (which are both terrifying—this album is kind of terrifying). The lyrics are very cosmic and existential and they fit the sound very well.

I’m going to end this post by sharing the first track on the album: Existence. This one is just downright brutal, yet still weird and interesting. It’s definitely a strong track with which to begin the album. Happy listening.

ps. I wrote this while brewing a batch of Double IPA.