Saturday, 6 November 2021

ZORNHEYM - The Zornheim Sleep Experiment - [2021] - Album Review by NPH - Rate 10+1/10



01. Corpus Vile
02. An Evil Within
03. Dead Silence
04. Keep The Devil Away
05. Slumber Comes In Time
06. Black Nine
07. The Veiling Of Bettelheims Eye
08. The Revelation
09. Keep Cutting
10. The Madness That Lurks Within (Epilogue)
[Release Date: 2021-10-22]


Zorn - Guitars
Scucca -
Guitars and Backing Vocals
Steve Pygmalion - Drums

The Zornheym String Quartet:

Karin Liljenberg Månsson - Violin
Matilda Brunström - Viola
Monika Gango - Cello
Alan McCahey - Double bass

Zornheym’s Chorus Tenebris recorded and conducted by Scucca and Bendler:
Richard Andersson, Alan McCahey, Lars Palmqvist, Anette Gunnarsson, Frida Matsdotter, Karin Edstrand and Eva Eriksson

All bass on this album was written and performed by Zorn.
Synths and samples by Zorn and Scucca


Recorded, mixed and mastered at Wing Studios by Sverker Widgren with Zorn between 2019-2021

Produced by Sverker Widgren and Zorn



Cover art by Pedro Sena - Lordigan
Cover concept by Bendler and Zorn
Photos, layout and booklet design by: Jens Rydén
logo by Christophe Szpajdel

ZORNHEYM - The Zornheim Sleep Experiment - 2021 -
Noble Demon Records
Genre: Symphonic Extreme Metal

"(...) “Welcome to the depths below,
Settle in to your new home,
Such sights to show you…
Bring them in, let’s begin, seal the door!
No sleep! You’ll remain awake;
That’s the aim of the experiment
Endure this for 30 days
You will have prevailed” (...)"
The Zornheim Sleep Experiment | "Corpus Vile"


Swedish Symphonic Extreme Metallers Zornheym have returned, 4 years after the release of the brilliant debut album "Where Hatred Dwells... and Darkness Reigns", the wait sure was more than worthy, as the band has surely outdone themselves and brought forth their new conceptual album and horror story to be told over the "The Zornheim Sleep Experiment". This is an absolute magnum opus of its kind, an authentic maelstrom of terror combined with the most creative and grandiose symphonic extreme metal experience you might have heard, ever! I dare to say that "The Zornheim Sleep Experiment" is the best and most ambitious album of its kind I've ever heard; I know it's a bold statement but this horror meets symphonic extreme metal grandiose conceptual and theatrical masterpiece deserves all the credit and recognition. Why? Because it is That Good and Unique!

is Stockholm (Sweden) based symphonic extreme metal band that has been founded and led by the multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Zorn who is known for his previous work with bands such as Devian, Dark Funeral (live), etc. after parting ways with the last one, he decided to revolutionize the traditional "Metal-meets-Symphony" standards and take them to the next level, an ambitious idea that grown into an outstanding and dramatic musical experience to its listeners, combining both musical and visual creations in an absolute new level with their cinematic music videos and terrorizing comic books which enhance the whole narrative driven concept of horror over this wicked asylum called Zornheim and its sick and twisted inmates, doctors, experiments... and beyond!
Four years passed since the gates of this mental institution and it's prisoners where imagined until the first album "Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns" [2017] was released via Non Serviam Records. The gates of Zornheim have been opened and the horrors revealed, a terrifying experience exploring the most horrendous characters who are incarcerated within this institution for the clinically insane! Ever since, the band been developing this cinematic and strong horrific identity which has reach its peak (so far) over the new conceptual and terrorizing experience "The Zornheim Sleep Experiment" which occurs at the depths of this asylum. Imagine an adrenaline increasing gas inducted sleep deprivation experiment with 9 guinea-pigs... ehrm mean Zornheim patients, which shall need to endure 30 days without sleeping. Some of these inmates have a range of aggressive personalities and violent history others a control group of calmer patients, all incarcerated in a high-security hermetic sealed chamber with only one observatory and intercom allowing this experience to be observed by the wicked asylum doctors! Expect no other than true mayhem, carnage and chaos... but will not spoil the fun with too much details by now!

have once again overcome any expectations and present a very own strong sound wall using a real choir and string quartet which creates the essential atmosphere to bring this horror story to life in the most vivid way! Symphonic extreme metal can't simply sound better than this majestic creation where black and death metal elements combine in perfection with the traditional heavy metal vocals and melodies, the omnipresent symphonic elements are beyond amazing and take you deep into the action of this horrid scenario. A delicacy to one's senses which elevates this piece of art to an absolute new level of symphonic and extreme metal.
"The Zornheim Sleep Experiment" is without a doubt proof of the musician's top-quality skills and inborn talent. The symphonic monumental elements combined with exquisite ear sticking melodies and extravagant guitar solos performed by Zorn and Scucca are virtuous expressions of grandiose proportions, in the same way impressive is the whole vocal performance by Bendler (ex-Scar Symmetry, ex-Facebreaker, etc.), putting him in the pantheon of metal singers, from clean vocals to vicious growls and vociferations, this singer can do about everything in the most perfected way. Long since I follow his work and here, I can only say he sure outdone himself. A big hail to Zorn (Tomas Nilsson) who is the founder and mastermind of this whole band for materializing his long-time master plan. No words can describe this creation well enough; you need to listen to the music while reading the horror story attached to witness the true power of this colossal and theatrical symphonic extreme metal creation!
Once again, the band used the Wing Studios and the extreme metal guru producer Sverker Widgren (Diabolical, October Tide, Demonical, etc.) for the new album recordings and production, I can only say that this hard task of recording and combining all the endless channels of music couldn't be handled by a better and more experienced producer than Sverker, he also has outdone himself on this grandiose epic music creation!

bring forth an absolute new theatrical horror meets metal experience! Their debut album "Where Hatred Dwells... and Darkness Reigns" presented and introduced the listeners to the tale of some of Zornheim asylum inmates who were incarcerated on this dark sinister place. Now the new album pretty much starts where the previous one ended and the connecting link of both is Angelika Engel, the patient that was visited by demonic figures on her dreams ("Whom the night brings" - song from the debut album). She claimed that while dreaming these demons were slowly possessing her and making her leave her humanity behind, succumbing in this way to our prime evil essence! Curious about this and in search for the fundament of "why we humans needs to sleep?" and also why we lose a third of our lives sleeping, the wicked Dr. Bettelheim and Dr. Gutzmann decided to conduct the infamous "Zornheim Sleep Experiment".
This 30 days sleep deprivation experiment  (so it was planned) pretty much consisted in incarcerating nine patients, some with known aggressive behaviour and a control group of calmer individuals all locked in a hermetically sealed "Chamber" in Zornheim basement, this hermetically sealed room only had one round observatory and an inner intercom allowing the subjects to be monitored by the doctors while applying increasing doses of an adrenaline raising gas called Adrenochrome, which reduced the patients need to sleep.
The first days where quite calm. Patients where using writing material, reading books and talking to each other's, this seemed to keep everybody busy at the time, but as the first sleepless days where passing things got silent, too silent... but when the inner demons of the experiment subjects (Z-SES) finally caught control, all hell broke loose in a bloody gore spectacle caused by the increasing gas addiction and sleep deprivation effects, reminding us all that our primal hidden instincts can be exposed once we are tested to the limits and deprived of our most natural needs!
The essence of this whole frightening scenario was remarkably recreated over the album cover art done by the Portuguese raising art genius Pedro Sena "Lordigan".
But well... since I don't want to spoil you fun, you must buy and listen to the whole album and read the comic book/horror tale to experience this most addicting piece of art in all its splendour and most monumental form! 

"The Zornheim Sleep Experiment"
is one of those extraordinary albums where I can't find one lesser good track, the whole compositions for the main songs, intros and outro fit on each other in such an astonishing way that you can't stop listening this cohesive symphonic extreme metal masterpiece on repeat as I did once I first got the chance to witness the full brilliance of the new Zornheym opus! Jaw dropping tracks one after the other with a very strong connection bonding them all, with this, the band creates an increasing tension and an easy-to-follow narrative that shall give you Goosebumps just by listening to it. Each new listening shall get you more and more addicted and take you deeper into the outstanding details of this whole horrid scenario!

"Corpus Vile" song introduces us to the new tale to be told, unveiling the details of this mischievous experiment, an outstanding symphonic piece of art, combining in perfection the extreme metal aggression with the traditional heavy metal melody and outstanding clean vocals, all without losing any heaviness to the whole sound and majesty of the symphonic elements. The choruses, guitar leads and solos are about brilliant... love the Latin sung ending chorus together with the whole melodic essence of this song, so powerful and absolutely jaw dropping!

"An Evil Within" introduces one of the best and most compelling songs of this masterpiece, "Dead Silence" is one of those tracks that shall hook you since the very first listening, fast and vicious this song is absolutely amazing. The chorus shall be haunting your brain and force you to listen to this delicacy on repeat! The main solo is a true mind-blowing delight to the tortured ears, what elegance in a neo-classical inspired piece. The combination of fast and absolutely demented moments on this song express this album dynamics at best...
While silence reigns in "the chamber" of horrors to come, something wicked grows inside of our subjects minds, fear rises as the demons inside are yearning to be unchained!

The first reactions to sleepless nights and anxiety are being revealed as the patients are trying to "Keep the Devil Away", gathering in a circle and grabbing the gas masks in a sort of revering, seems the gas is taking over their minds!
"Keep the Devil Away" is in my opinion one of the best tracks ever created by the band. Hard to categorize such brilliance and amazing combination of melody and deranged vocalizations. The classic music driven guitar solos are proof of the virtuous talent of both guitarists, love at first listening, I say! This stunning musical blend should be driving you insane already by now... no wonder you might be caught singing along with main chorus in the most addictive way... this album is simply mind-blowing! No words can describe the feeling!

The ritual worship of the gas... masks continues over "Slumber comes in Time", Z-SES tormenting whispers are confusing the impatient doctors, should it be an emerging plot or pure paranoid behaviour? This is yet another outstanding epic track with highly addictive choruses (some sung in Swedish) and orchestrations, this time with the aid of some folk elements. This is without a doubt another of my personal favourite songs of this whole piece, a sing along majestic and melodious piece of art!

"The Black Nine"
was the infamous name to honour the ninth disastrous day of the experiment. Lunacy rises, screams invade the chamber and all hell is breaking loose in this blackest day where "The observatory" was all covered up in the most disgusting way! An eerie chorus haunts this whole song and gives you shivers just by listening, a frightening powerful track of epic proportions that takes you deeper into the horrors of this cinematic masterpiece! Sinister, bleak and disturbing... this is one of the darkest tracks of this album combining symphonic black and death metal elements in the ghostliest way!

"The Veiling Of Bettelheims Eye" (observatory) introduces one of the heaviest Zornheym tracks entitled "The Revelation". Deep and obscure, it's the perfect track to unveil the macabre spectacle that was found by the asylum guards and doctors once they entered the "the chamber". The food was untouched by the patients but yet they fed (wonder of what?), a spectacle of gore not for the faint-hearted. "Stay away, don't want to be Free" was the chant repeated by the patients that shall torment you just by listening to it! These deprived and addicted assailants have requested that the gas was turned back on, meanwhile they were attacking violently the guards.
This is undoubtedly an amazing and mesmerizing theme of horror of the most epic proportions that shall drag you deeper into this chamber of horrors.

"Keep Cutting" is another frenetic masterpiece of pure dementia, a mirror to the chaos that is reigning over the whole Zornheim Sleep Experiment. The doctors are trying to save the mutilated patients at all costs as they're slowly losing conscience and dying instantly, those who remain conscient begged to remain awake by any means necessary, so... "keep cutting" some said with a psychotic smile on their lips!
Absolutely amazing how the band combines such aggressive and fast sound with the most melodious elements like the marvellous solo and the psychotic driven insane vocals by Bendler, who undoubtedly gives his best vocal performance ever on this album, particularly on this track!

"The Madness That Lurks Within"
is the epilogue for such imaginative conceptual piece of art, another smashing symphonic instrumental song that ends this masterpiece and terminates "The Zornheim Sleep Experiment" and the horrors that it has been revealed! At the end of this monumental carnage, we understand what we may yet become under sleep deprivation. We should fear the awaking of our deepest animal instincts and in this way becoming the frightening beast we so often fear at night. This was the conclusion the Zornheim doctors might have reached after shutting down this chamber where the savage and primal instincts of man have been revealed in such a horrid experiment!

Zornheym "The Zornheim Sleep Experiment"
is without a doubt one of the best and most addicting albums of 2021! In my opinion it's one of the best symphonic extreme metal creations ever done!
"The Zornheim Sleep Experiment" is an ambitious work of excellence that goes beyond the realms of music, this disturbing conceptual masterpiece of theatrical art takes you deep into Zornheim asylum horrific sleep deprivation experience conducted by its mischievous doctors. This is a perfect marriage of symphonic extreme metal and terror/horror tales. This is a whole new elaborate experience born from the genius minds of its creators! Zorn long-time master-plan has reached epic proportions with this new Magnum Opus. This is one of those theatrical/cinematic conceptual works that takes the bands creations to a new level in a class of its own!
From time to time an extraordinary piece of art is created, so unique that becomes impossible to qualify in a regular basis, "The Zornheim Sleep Experiment" is one of those creations that shall leave no one indifferent. That is why I given the rate of 10+1/10, simply an album better than anything I heard in a long, long time. A grandiose and extraordinary piece of art in all aspects!

Embrace the realms of human madness inducted by sleep deprivation, discover the most primal beast locked within us all, awaken from slumber from our mind's deepest abyss!

RüPä - NeKronos Promotion HELL

RATE: 10+1/10 +


"Keep the Devil Away" : Music Video:


"Slumber Comes In Time" : Lyric Video :

"The Revelation" : Lyric Video :

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