A sym­phonic burst of dark metal es­capism

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents -

These Swedish sym­phonic met­allers want to give you the keys to their asy­lum.


Metal is no stranger to grandiose no­tions and mu­si­cal ex­trav­a­gance, but few al­bums in re­cent years have come close to the in­tri­cate hor­rors of Zornheym’s de­but al­bum, Where Ha­tred Dwells And Dark­ness Reigns. A dis­turb­ing, in­tri­cate con­cept al­bum set in the fic­tional men­tal in­sti­tu­tion of Zorn­heim, it’s an ex­plo­sive show­case for the Swedes’ sym­phonic melo-death at­tack and a real treat for fans of hor­ror, sci-fi and comics too.

“Each song presents one of the more in­fa­mous in­mates in the asy­lum and how they came to be in­car­cer­ated,” says lead gui­tarist Zorn. “The phys­i­cal al­bum will in­clude a fur­ther look at the in­mates through their med­i­cal records writ­ten by the head doc­tor at the fa­cil­ity, Dr Bet­tel­heim. Each in­mate is also brought to life in a graphic novel that we’re mak­ing to­gether with the su­per-tal­ented Fin­nish artist Anu Bring. So the con­cept of­fers a lot of dif­fer­ent lay­ers for the lis­tener to dis­cover. This al­bum is an in­tro­duc­tion to the asy­lum, and the next al­bum will let you travel deeper into the chaos…”

Clearly fans of un­earthing the devil in the de­tails, Zornheym are the snarling an­tithe­sis of many of to­day’s vis­ually non­de­script metal bands. From its stun­ning art­work to the fu­ri­ous com­plex­ity of its con­cept, Where Ha­tred Dwells… is a fe­ro­ciously vis­ual af­fair and, not en­tirely sur­pris­ingly, in­di­cates that Zorn and his band­mates are nerds ex­traor­di­naire. For the gui­tarist, though, it’s sim­ply a mat­ter of do­ing things prop­erly.

“Ev­ery medium for ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the con­cept is nec­es­sary to cre­ate an im­mer­sive world for the lis­tener to ex­plore with their other senses,” he states. “We’re lucky to know so many cre­ative peo­ple that have been ea­ger to help us by lend­ing their skills to bring­ing the vis­ual side alive. I’m a huge King Di­a­mond fan and it was his al­bums that got me into the whole con­cept al­bum idea, but there have been a wide ar­ray of in­flu­ences. For in­stance, when I wrote the lyrics to the first three songs for the al­bum, I was play­ing a mag­nif­i­cent at­mo­spheric hor­ror game called The Evil Within, and I re­mem­ber that its en­vi­ron­ment re­ally sparked my imag­i­na­tion.”

Recorded at Wing

Stu­dio in Swe­den with Sverker Wid­gren, Where Ha­tred Dwells… has been in the works for a long time, largely due to the as­ton­ish­ing num­ber of in­stru­ments be­ing used on each song. The end re­sult sounds suit­ably mas­sive, but Zorn ad­mits that his am­bi­tious urges haven’t al­ways been help­ful.

“Sverker ended up mix­ing 300 chan­nels for each song, so as you can imag­ine the al­bum got de­layed sev­eral times due to the amount of work!” the gui­tarist smirks. “He re­ally put the work in through­out and we’re in­cred­i­bly grate­ful for the amaz­ing results. It was all a dif­fi­cult al­bum to cre­ate but also an ex­tremely fun al­bum to make.”

Given the in­tense level of cre­ative over­load on dis­play on their de­but al­bum, Zornheym are plainly not a band con­tent to limit the po­ten­tial of any as­pect of their art. As Zorn avows, this band are de­ter­mined to aim high and de­liver some­thing truly spec­tac­u­lar, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to live shows and spread­ing this elab­o­rate mad­ness around the world.

“Even­tu­ally we hope to per­form all the mu­sic en­tirely live, with no back­ing tracks and ev­ery­thing per­formed by a live orches­tra and choir,” he says.

“We want to of­fer peo­ple the show that I think our mu­sic de­serves. Our love for the the­atri­cal el­e­ment is al­ready ob­vi­ous in our mu­sic video for The Op­posed, and we’ve been go­ing over­board with what we’d even­tu­ally like to do once we’ve es­tab­lished our­selves. A the­atri­cal el­e­ment adds so much more to a live ex­pe­ri­ence. We have some plans in ac­tion for some re­ally ex­cit­ing stuff, but you’re not go­ing to find out about that just yet...”

Where ha­tred Dwells and dark­ness reigns is out now via non serviam

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