Italian crust destroyers Thørn put physical, mental strains to test on mauling debut ‘Inferno’

You should not throw a match into an open container of gasoline, and I’ll give you a few seconds to write that down so you don’t forget. It’s a bad idea, and nothing good can come from it unless your intent is to destroy everything surrounding said container. But it seems there are some bands that are just on the tip of committing such a dangerous act, and I can’t find the strength to change their minds.

That comes to mind when taking on “Inferno,” the debut full-length album from Thørn that sounds like its intent is to leaves cities in ash. These blackened crust Italians are out of their minds with intensity and chaos, punishing over nine tracks and feeling like everything around you is encased in flames. The band—vocalist A. Mossudu, guitarists L. Laugelli and M. Dia, bassist M. Ferrua, drummer A. Colombo—unleashes hell and leaves you immersed in it, pounding away and exposing your prone body to punishment that won’t soon heal. By the way, the two labels responsible for this insanity—Vita Detestabilis Records and Fiadh Productions—have a slew of new releases out alongside this one, and the stressful month I just had personally made it impossible to write them all up. But there’s some killer stuff there (Stygian Love and Lesath are awesome, and Fiadh has even more stuff such as Haunter, Indrid Cold, Dratna, Lust Hag, and a great split with Crown of Asteria and Canis Dirus among other), so get your money ready. You won’t be sorry.

The title track opens the proceedings with the guitars whipping like a tornado, Mossudu’s wails scraping and dark fury unloading. Dark clouds gather as the intensity gets more insane, battering and letting everything succumb to the fires. “Gallows” explodes with mauling black metal and relentless grind, splattering and treating you viciously. A strange haze suddenly sinks into the soil, but it’s not long until everything explodes, vicious playing turning your ribcage to powder. “Drowning” brings a dark fury, savagely stomping and dicing flesh, guttural howls liquifying your guts. The pace darkens before the playing rushes faster, slicing and dicing before mercifully fading. “Monolith” sludges and trudges before blazing playing stabs, the lead guitar work scorching. Black metal-style melodies lick the shore, crazed howls split eardrums, and the playing whips through and leaves carnage behind. “Flegias” begins with a dreamy haze that is devoured quickly as the growls destroy, and destructive morbidity blacks out the sun. The insanity multiplies, pummeling and plastering, leaving you choking in the exhaust.

“Heretic” explodes with destruction, the vicious, drubbing pace smashing boundaries and faces along the way. The guitars jolt as the playing mashes, and while your mind might float off at the brief moments of levity, it’s violently brought back to reality and driven into the ground. “Seventh” is moody and strange when it starts, and then the hammer drops as the drums rumble, and vicious howls batter you out of your senses. The playing thickens and then brings magnetic heat, the playing sounding like black metal oil drums have been scorched, choking you out with the thick, noxious smoke. “Tongues” is murky and disorienting before the playing comes unglued, the drums destroying minds as the shrieks gets more violent. The playing drills with force, chugging and drubbing, delivering concussive damage. Closer “Traitors” bathes in feedback wail, serving up a deliberate pace that crushes with pressure, vicious howls raining down cinders. There are mesmerizing bends that fall into bludgeoning terror, continuing to destroy until nothing but ash remains.

“Inferno” is the perfect title for Thørn’s debut record, because this entire thing feels like being locked inside a raging fire, the emotion and heaviness eating away at you. Their relentless mix of black metal, hardcore, and crust is a devastating experience, one that will leave bruising all over you mentally and physically. It’s a massive attack, one that explodes to life and refuses to relent until everything in front of it is fully torched.   

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