Zornheym Invite You To Dwell Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns
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jools green
16th September 2017
Jools Green


The idea behind 'Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns', the debut full length from Swedish symphonic extreme Metal masters Zornheym, had been whirling around in the multi-instrumentalist mastermind behind the project, Zorn, since he was in his mid 20s.

That was until recently, when he felt it was finally time to make them a reality, and what a reality it is. His idea, to create Zornheym a dramatic musical and cinematic narrative revolving around the horrors of a mental institution and it's prisoners as an all encompassing concept that would shake up the traditional Metal meets symphony approach.

It is a monumental and breathtaking album and I first became aware of its ongoing creation about twelve months ago and from the moment the first track was released I was hooked. Since then the wait and anticipation has been driving me a little insane also.

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'Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns' comes in on many levels. You could just listen and enjoy the album as an excellent collection of well structured compositions and you would find great reward in the superb writing, construction and delivery of all nine excellent tracks.

Zorn has taken time and care, not just creating each piece but carefully choosing who to bring on board, finally deciding on Facebreaker's Bendler on vocals, guitarist and musical arranger Scucca and Diabolical's drummer Angst with the Dies Iona Ensembly with konzertmeister, Petter Möller, providing the symphonics and Zornheym's own bombastic Chorus Tenebris choir with Zorn covering lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars as well as bass.

Alternatively you could delve deeper as the album comes with an in-depth booklet which gives details of the patients and their medical conditions allowing you to immerse yourself and become part of the asylum and I recommend this option as there is far more fascinating information contained there than can be fitted into my review, but I'll give a brief overview.


'Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns' delves into the conditions of six inmates interspersed with three short mood creating, bridging tracks; 'The Opposed' explores Edward van Rheingold, a self harming, suicidal nobleman who believes he has an evil twin growing on the back of his head.

'A Silent God' reflects on Caesar Cain, a violent sociopath and convicted murderer with delusions of grandeur and features Cain Cressall covering clean and oriental vocals while 'Trifecta Of Horrors' looks at Johan Liebert, a psychotic murderer with dissociative identity disorder who undergoes hypnosis to try to stabilise two conflicting personalities, The Protector and The Monster, with Zorn, Bendler and Cain joined by Jonas Magnusson as The Monster.

'Whom The Night Brings...' investigates Angelika Engle who suffers from sleep paralysis and hallucinations and 'Decessit Vita Patris' delves into Adalbert von Bismark, an alcoholic depressive driven to murder after the death of his son, featuring guest boy vocals as The Son from Algot Jacobson. Finally, 'Hestia' is about a female, unidentified and mute burns victim with violent tendencies despite her severe injuries.

Musically this release is flawless, from the composition to the delivery, with fascinating characters that engage and intrigue, to the symphonics and choir which have been superbly arranged. The overall musicianship and vocals are first rate and range of styles delivered by the guest vocalists add depth, texture and interest.

There is some particularly superb lead work, especially on 'Decessit Vita Patris' and in total it makes a superb and engaging listen on all levels and gets better every time you listen and discover more. I won't be pinned down to a favourite track as that is an impossible choice.

This is one of the best extreme Metal releases of the year, if not the best.

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

'Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns' is released on Non Servam Records (Seasons of Mist) from yesterday, 15th September, and it would be sheer lunacy not to get a copy, so step onto the grounds of Zornheym, the asylum for the criminally insane, and embrace the madness because this is just the first chapter...




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