Jan 222020


Hold onto your heads. You might want to use both hands, and possibly tether it to your torso with bungee cords too — because otherwise the song we’re about to present could spin it clean off and spiral it up into the stratosphere like one of these things, except moving about 10 times faster.

Egladhrim” has no vocals, and once you hear it the reason is obvious: A normal human voice couldn’t possibly keep up with the rocketing pace of the music, nor contort vowels or syllables in a way that would match the blinding exuberance and mercurial morphing of the music. It’s difficult enough to imagine that human beings are performing the instruments — easier to imagine the sudden appearance overhead of an alien hive swarm furiously constructing a devilishly intricate device that, when ready, will burn a hole straight through the planet.

But we’re assured that the music is indeed the creation of humans, despite all outward evidence, and they’ve chosen the name Thoren — a name that will surely be familiar to many of you as a result of their first two albums, Brennenburg (2016) and Gwarth I (2018). Their latest full-length, which is home to this track we’re premiering today, is Gwarth II, and it will be released by Drylands Records on February 7th. Continue reading »

Sep 112018


My original idea for this post has morphed a bit as I’ve discovered more music, but the core of the idea is the same. Although the music here is radically different in the most obvious of ways, all of it seems connected to me, in the sense that all of it effectively severed my usual currents of thought from their moorings and turned them in different, and bewildering, directions. The last of these songs isn’t metal at all, in the way we usually think about heavy music, but it’s just as mentally unmooring as the other tracks.

At times like these, it occurs to me again that music which knocks you off-balance, which shoves you outside your normal comfort zones, can sometimes be the most fascinating.


Roughly two years ago our friend and former NCS contributor Austin Weber presented our premiere of an album named Brenneburg by an instrumental trio from Michigan who call themselves Thoren. In attempting to capture the sensations of the music, Austin made frequent references to Dysrhythmia, while observing that Thoren “seem to be coming from an even more alien and discordant place than the off-the-wall realm where Dysrhythmia comfortably reside”. Continue reading »

Oct 262016



(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of the new album by Michigan’s Thoren.)

A number of different factors explain the rising popularity of instrumental metal of all stripes. Some say it’s because not everyone likes “extreme vocals”, others say it’s because groups like Animals As Leaders and Chon (among many others) have helped prove that you can be popular in the metal scene without having vocals. Whatever the reason, I support it as a long-time fan of instrumental metal dating back to the early days of Spastic Ink and other groups.

With that in mind, we’ve got an early stream for you today from the Sterling Heights, Michigan, group Thoren, an instrumental metal act that falls less on the bright and melodic side, and more on the dissonant and chaotic side. Continue reading »

Oct 232016



Thornium was a band I was considering for our usual Sunday installment of The Rearview Mirror. Throneum was a band I was considering for this Sunday’s installment of Shades of Black. And then in rapid succession last night I came across songs by Thoren and Thornspawn that Facebook friends had posted on their pages. How could I resist?

Well, obviously, I couldn’t. And so rather than isolate Thornium in a Rearview Mirror post, I’ve compiled this selection of songs instead.


Sweden’s Thornium recorded a demo in 1994, and their debut album Dominions of the Eclipse was released in 1995 by a label named Necromantic Gallery Productions. Two other albums followed that one (after a few stints in prison for the band’s founder Daniel “Thypheuz” Munoz), Mushroom Clouds and Dusk in 2009 and Fides Luciferius in 2010. The band’s Facebook page includes a note from May of 2015 indicating that they were set to record a new album that summer, with the title of Deathcatharsis, but I’ve seen no further news about that. When it is complete, it appears that Soulseller Records will release it. Continue reading »