Very few bands can lay claim to having their demo tapes lay the foundation for an entire, enduring genre of music. Thorns is one of those bands. In 1989, Snorre Ruch and Marius Vold formed a band called Stigma Diabolicum. That project yielded two demos before the Latin moniker was dropped in favor of the more memorable name Thorns. Three more demos were recorded and ended up being circulated amongst the “inner circle” of the burgeoning Norwegian black metal scene. The guitar techniques and tones that Snorre utilized on these tapes were widely imitated and are often cited as the very genesis of the second wave of black metal.
Unfortunately, Thorns would enter an extended hiatus before their debut full-length album could be recorded. Snorre had the misfortune of being present the night that Varg Vikernes murdered his Mayhem bandmate Euronymous. Snorre’s silence about the events and lack of cooperation with the authorities led to a conviction for being an accomplice to murder and an 8-year prison sentence.