Tuesday, 11 July 2017

ZORNHEYM - Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns - [2017] - Album Review by NPH - Rate 10/10


Cover Artwork: Pedro Sena Lordigan


1. The Opposed
2. Subjugation of the Cellist
3. A Silent God
4. Prologue to a Hypnosis
5. Trifecta of Horrors
6. ...and the Darkness Came Swiftly
7. Whom the Night Brings…
8. Decessit Vita Patris
9. Hestia

Total Playing time: 38:00

Vocals - Bendler
Lead guitars, Bass - Zorn
Guitars -  Scucca
Drums - Angst

Clean & oriental vocals on “A Silent God” - Cain Cressall
Guest vocals as “The Monster” on “Trifecta of Horrors" - Jonas Magnusson
Boy vocals as “The Son” on “Decessit Vita Patris” - Algot Jacobson

Zornheym's Chorus Tenebris recorded and conducted by Scucca:
Lars Palmqvist, Dick Lundberg, Jesper Karlsson, Adrian Lundberg, Marco Baas, Alan McCahey, Magnus Eriksson, Christina Sand, Ingrid Lundin, Hanna Magnusson, Margareta Odenma, Helena Widén, Frida Eurenius, Eva Eriksson.

Strings performed by Dies Iona Ensembly with konzertmeister, Petter Möller.

Wing Studios by Sverker Widgren [2015 – 2017]

Layout and band photo by Jens Rydén | Comic illustrations by Anu Bring | Zornheym logo by Christophe Szpajdel

Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns - 2017 - Non Serviam Records
Genre: Symphonic Extreme Metal

"Our darkness is learned. It is bred through an existence of hatred. But we can fix you.
Give yourself into our care. Submission is key..." ZORNHEYM

Symphonic Extreme Metal has been reborn in the cold dark lands of Sweden! "Where hatred dwells and darkness reigns" is the name of the both ambitious and impressive debut conceptual album of Zornheym, a band founded by the genius mind and multi-instrumental songwriter Zorn (ex-Dark Funeral, ex-Devian, etc.) who quickly harvest for the remaining souls to fulfil his horrid creations, fiends like Bendler (Facebreaker, Engulfing Rage, etc.) a singer that owns some outstanding and dynamic vocals that can go from black/death metal vociferations/growls to clean heavy metal vocals, Angst (Diabolical) a top quality experienced extreme metal drummer and finally Scucca (Encrowned, etc.) a damn talented guitarist as well as a great music composer!
The plot of this conceptual masterpiece has its final destination at Zornheim, an asylum for the criminally insane! Each of the stories to be told on this release deals with one of the many inmates incarcerated at this devilish place! With such a background you can easily imagine that this debut album is allot more than just musical piece of art as it embraces a whole new horror story concept from visual to musical experience, an impressively detailed dramatic piece with 9 songs, *book with all comic strips (* on limited edition) and detailed journal/clinical files from each of the Zornheim asylum inmates which tales are to be told on this poetic horror story!

I can only say that Zornheym are to extreme metal the way King Diamond is to heavy metal. This symphonic extreme metal opera explores a wide variety of styles within both black and death metal and the final result is beyond impressive, an exquisite blend of scorching riffs, addictive and ear-catching dark melodies, dramatic orchestrations and an authentic theatrical experience on each story to be told, in all, a true delight to all our senses! Zornheym musical experience will probably please adepts of bands as distinct as Dimmu Borgir, Dissection, Emperor, Behemoth or even the master of horror King Diamond!
 "Where hatred dwells and darkness reigns" is the final result of an exhaustive work polished to perfection. The whole symphonic extreme metal experience is a proof of that, something I personally long waited for and in no way disappointed me! The whole album composition is so rich in details, so technical and melodically addictive within its dynamic symphonic extreme metal combination. In this camp the
Chorus Tenebris choirs combined with the Dies Iona Ensembly string orchestra conducted by Petter Möller and ultimately the band members’ talent taken to its peak makes all the difference!
Such a colossal piece of art deserved the best audio expert to make it all come alive, none better than the Swedish extreme metal guru Sverker Widgren of Wing Studios (Demonical, Diabolical, October Tide, Etc.) to create one of his most demanding and epic productions.

theatrical creations go far beyond the extreme music they play! "Where hatred dwells and darkness reigns" has been enriched with six gruesome horror stories told through the nine tracks of this album, they have also been magnificently illustrated by Anu Bring (Märvel, Evil-lÿn, Satan’s fall) who brought Zornheym creations to light in form of comic book strips.
Let me go deeper into this horrid scenario... Zornheim is an asylum for the criminally insane; the epicentre of all Zornheym narrative, here is where the sinister Dr. Bettelheim operates and admits the new asylum inmates.
Well, since I don't want to become a "spoiler" I will let you go deeper on each of the horror tales on your own, yet and to spice things up I let you know what deranged critters you will find on each of the songs:
"The Opposed" and "Subjugation of the Cellist":  The gates of Zornheim open with the tale of a diprosopus cellist with suicidal tendencies.
- "A Silent God": Tells you the tale of
an Orphanage janitor who killed and disposed the institution orphans in a very macabre way.
- "Prologue to a Hypnosis" and "Trifecta of Horrors": Tells you a tale of
a split personality orphan raised by a paedophile priest.
- "...and the Darkness Came Swiftly" and "Whom the Night Brings…":
 Tells you the tale of a devoted church cantor and her haunting dreams at night.
- "Decessit Vita Patris": Tells you the tale of
an alcoholic father who tried reassemble his dead son back to life using several other children as a vessel for his means.
- "Hestia":
 To finish this graphic novel we have the tale of an unknown woman victim of a mob burning with a damn aggressive behaviour! ... And with it, the gates of Zornheim close till new horrid tales are to be told!

"Where hatred dwells and darkness reigns"
is allot more than just a musical experience, it's in fact a whole new "horror meets metal" experience that will make you jaw drop and yearn for more... and more!
Musically this album is quite impressive, having several musical layers all put together in this grandiose piece of symphonic extreme metal art, the more you listen to it the more enriching details you will find! The whore structure with songs, intros and outros shall keep you captive to the whole piece, making you go deeper into the horror scenario painted in each song. The melodies are superb with such outstanding solos, choirs and orchestrations! Such delightful morbid creations that easily captivates you! My own personal favourite songs are "
The Opposed" (the powerful videoclip track), "A Silent God", "Trifecta of Horrors", "Whom the Night Brings…" and "Decessit Vita Patris", their strength, catchiness and melody are something else! The virtuous guitar solos and demonical riffs by Zorn and Scucca, the amazing vocal reach of Bendler, his variants from clean vocals to extreme vociferations are quite outstanding, the technical percussion by Angst and the ear catching choirs and orchestrations are beyond impressive forcing you to listen to this songs and album again and again, yet it's an easy task since I still I can't find one bad song on this whole piece.

The debut album of Zornheym is part of a long time ambitious and colossal work crafted by extreme dedication and devotion by all the band members and guests! Zornheym brings Symphonic extreme metal into a whole new horror cinematic concept, a work of true excellence! In fact, this has been the whole master-plan growing inside Zorn's mind once he departed from Dark Funeral at a time his genius was eager to embrace a more demanding metal experience who could satisfy properly his creative mind! The final result is without any doubt a whole new and fresh experience to ones senses! 
Just check... together with each song we a comic book strip and detailed medical journal with the whole story behind each demented inmate of Zornheim asylum! What more can we ask for in such times where extreme metal music industry is so damn saturated and monotonous!?
In my opinion this is the best and most addicting symphonic extreme metal album I heard in years! In all "Where hatred dwells and darkness reigns" will shake traditional extreme metal grounds, making you eager for future endeavours of this band! This is the rebirth of Symphonic extreme metal... without a doubt, the best 2017 album of the genre!

"... In the end of each listening you might feel as if you are already part of this horror scenario! You might ask yourself if you are still sane!? Or are you already ravaging your way into Zornheim asylum?"

RüPä - NeKronos Promotion HELL

RATE: 10/10

"The Opposed" : Official Videoclip :

"A Silent God" : Audio Clip :


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