Thorns was the idea of Snorre Ruch (guitar/multi-instruments) and would grow to become a strong influence over the Norwegian Black Metal scene. Thorns would prove to be a bit of an enigma in the Death Metal genre by producing only a few demos under their original configuration, and half an LP shared with Emperor. But in the Black Metal world they would become a massive influence to those wanting to incorporate elements of Electronica and other similar styles, most noted those being expressed by Arcturus and their lot.
But their history was broken during this influential period between their original demos and the debut album due to Ruch's involvement with the boys in the Black Metal Circle cult that murdered Oysten Aarseth (of Mayhem). Ruch drove the getaway car that helped Vikernes get to and from the flat; Ruch has always claimed he had no idea what was going on inside the apartment, however.
The aforementioned split album, Thorns/Emperor (1999; with Emperor) was the first to emerge after Ruch got out of the slammer, but the multi-instrumentalist couldn't do it all alone for a full album so he joined forces with Bjorn Aldrahn Dencker (vocals), Satyr Wongraven (of Satyricon; guitar) and Hellhammer (of Mayhem; drums) to release his debut album proper, Thorns (2001).