Friday, August 4, 2017

CD Review: ZORNHEYM Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns

ZORNHEYM
Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns
Non Serviam Records
To be released September 15, 2017
As I gathered when I discussed the making of Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns with Zornheym founding member Zorn, it’s an album of no small undertaking. When it’s released this September you’ll be able to experience the hard work that went into preparing the theatrical horror awaiting you. A taste of what was to come was revealed in two advance singles, The Opposed and Silent God. The latter advance single had an impressive response after its release, receiving 27,000 Spotify downloads. Needless to say this has generated quite a buzz and I can imagine what the response to the full length will be. Before founding Zornheym, Tomas Nilsson was working with Dark Funeral, Devian and Suicidal Seduction and became the guitarist for Aktiv Dödshjälp a Swedish band fusing death metal, black metal, crust and grindcore. After parting company with Dark Funeral, Nilsson transformed a sudden idea into a full band that would pose a greater challenge to one-sided notions of extreme music. He made his vision a reality with vocalist Bendler (also of Facebreaker), drummer Angst (also of Diabolical) and guitarist/songwriter Scucca. Together they construct a monumental recording that incorporates black metal, symphonic metal and a living, breathing narrative of a mental asylum, from the perspective of its inmates. I remember this idea was touched on by King Diamond on his conceptual album The Graveyard, and I’m sure many bands have made similar efforts. Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns takes it further, acquainting you with the personalities you meet within and giving each their own identity so you get to know them. The band takes you on this journey with the assistance of a full orchestra. The addition of violin, cello, acoustic guitar, keyboards, harpsichord and a chorus has been done for many years, but on this album it adds new dimensions you still may not have expected from extreme metal. The keyboards and choral voices in particular give the songs a semblance of algidity, lightlessness, derangement and hysteria that is felt as much as it is heard. As research for this album, Nilsson watched several televised documentaries about serial killers and conducted interviews with prisoners incarcerated for various crimes. This was an important development in preparation for it as it furnishes the characters with a sense of humanity. The advance stream from Qabar Public Relations didn’t include the lyrics, but it did include a link to the first part of a graphic series illustrated by Anu Bring and scripted by Nilsson as a companion to the album. According to an article in Toilet Ov Hell where the series is previewed, the unfortunate tale of “Patient ZH000A27” may have been inspired by the true account of one Edward Mordake, who according to legend was driven insane by “a malevolent second face on the back of his head.” Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns will be released on CD and digital formats, and a special edition featuring the graphic series. Contact Qabar PR for more information. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
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

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