Thorns 1992-1994 : De Mysteriis

By the year 1992, all members of Thorns finally got together in Olso. Alas, in six months’ time they weren’t even able to secure a rehearsal place. The party logically starts to wither and fall apart ; drummer Bård already joined Emperor to become Faust, and Snorre’s guitar work on the demos caught the ear and interest of a certain Øystein Aarseth, who offers him the role of second guitarist for Mayhem. Snorre puts Thorns on a hiatus to focus on this dream job. Career matters, after all.

Ironically, Snorre is not officially credited on the album. His defining work on this masterpiece has remained ignored for more than two decades, minimized even by Snorre himself. For a long time the official version was that Snorre joined the band at a time when most guitar parts were already recorded for the album.

He would only have worked out a few parts with Euronymous at best, and gave him a couple of Thorns riffs he “would have thrown away anyway”. While this may be only a small part of the Truth, it is undeniable ; From the Dark Past is very obviously a rework of Thorns’ Lovely Children.

Magnanimously throwing riffs away like bones to Euronymous to craft the all-time classic, masterpiece of Norwegian’s second wave Black Metal. What a Chad move that would have been.

But the actual turn of events, as was revealed to the larger public in the booklet of the 2019 collector 25 years anniversary edition of the album, Snorre’s role was prominent in composing the album. Euronymous was overtly and notoriously impressed and influenced by Snorre’s sound, this way to make guitars squeal in trem-picked minor chords. But Snorre was far more than an influence on this record, he was the second composer.

Why he was not credited could question, in part, the integrity of Hellhammer and the other band’s members at the time as the decision to release the album this way was theirs. But it is equally possible that Snorre himself wanted to be forgotten and crawl back to the shadows from whence he came. He did serve a prison sentence for being accomplice to Euronymous’ murder by Varg Vikernes. When he got out the affair was still fresh and wanting to stay away from the sulphurous vapours of it all would have been more than understandable.

But the fact remained, and are now beyond the shadow of a doubt : Snorre is the architect behind De Mysteriis Dom. Sathanas, at least as much as Euronymous was. For the second time he forged the history of the genre in black iron.

This might well have been his very last feat of arms, but fate did come for him, again… But this is another story. Until next time.