Crimson Thorn-Unearthed (R.E.X.) 1995
This disc has be re-released by at least three different record companies. The first was Atomic, but it had lousy mastering and cover art. The next was this R.E.X. issue, which sported better mastering and far superior cover art. When R.E.X went under, this album became a hot collectors item. Eventually the short lived label Morphine put out a third version of "Unearthed" with a black and white cover and 6 bonus tracks, that were taken from Crimson Thorn's "Plagued" demo. The production on the bonus tracks are seriously flawed, besides the fact that Crimson Thorn had yet to find their sound yet, so the demo cuts sound weak in comparison to the technically proficient death metal that is "Unearthed." The R.E.X. version, is therefore the prefered choice of many collector's including myself, although I have owned all three versions at one time or another.
Crimson Thorn - Dissection (Morphine) 1997
This is one of the most technical and pummeling death metal albums ever! I would put this up against bands like Obituary, Carcass, and Cannibal Corpse. Crimson Thorn are one of the few Christian death metal bands that could ever be put in that category. The vocals one both albums are low and ultra-gutteral. For those who care, there is a liner note that warns than no effects were used on the vocals. "Loud 'N' Clear" is a Stryper cover. Despite the deceiving length of the song, the actual song is only just above three minutes in length. There is a hidden, experimental techno-rap-death metal joke song hidden at the end after several minutes of silence. Like their first album, this disc has seen more than one release on more than one label. The original Morphine version is hard to find, but the Little Rose re-issue is just as good and contains a superior quality print job on the cover. Morphine's version came with a red and black vinyl bumper sticker, or at least mine did.
Crimson Thorn - Purification (independent) 2002
1. "Lack of Compassion"
It's been a long time since Crimson Thorn have been heard from. Apparently over the last few years the band has just been practicing and honing their sound. "Purification" picks up where "Dissection" left off, only with improved production and songwriting. From beginning to end the blast beats, double bass assaults, gutteral growls and general death metal fury never lets up. There are a few surprises on this disc, like the occasional use of keyboards and the use of melodic guitar solos. However, melody is certainly not what Crimson Thorn were going for. Speed and aggression is the name of the game here. I would have liked to have seen more variety in the vocals however. There is no doubt Luke Reno is deep and menacing. He has always prided himself on the fact that he uses no effects to get his brutal vocal sounds but over the years I guess I have grown tired of the monotone, cookie-cutter death vocals. I must say that I was very impressed with the lyrical approach. Crimson Thorn have always been a Christian band. However, in the more brutal styles of metal, even in the Christian scene, the lyrics always seem to focus on the darker aspects of spirituality. "Purification" puts the focus where it belongs; on Jesus Christ and the forgiveness and healing that is found in him. "Submission to God is the only way to defeat evil. Our Lord & Savior Jesus is the Way" (from 'Humbled') You can't get any more bold than that. Death metal fans rejoice, for Crimson Thorn is back with a vengeance.