It has finally become official: Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns will be released on 15th of September this year (not November last year as I erroneously stated previously). The previously released single ”The Opposed” functions as the spearhead for this record, both setting the tone and building up the momentum, that the rest of the album is expected to follow. And while they do reset the tempo somewhat with the interlude ”Subjugation of the Cellist”, the original onslaught is continued immediately following its end.
Overall the record contains nine tracks (counting the interlude mentioned above as well as two more, placed strategically throughout the album), having a running total at around 38 minutes. The inclusion of several interludes gives the entire release a feel of coherency, allowing for a certain amount of immersion into the very rhythmic and past-paced mini-verse created by the five musicians that make up Zornheym.
At an earlier date I compared this Swedish Black Metal band with fellow northeners Dimmu Borgir both in musical style and approach to songwriting – In this case referring to mental degradation and overall destruction and linking said lyrical themes with a partially religious (or variant hereof) feel; This is very evident on tracks such as ”A Silent God”, which makes heavy use of a choir-like effect during specific instances of the track (do doubt keyboard-generated – Another nod of similarity to their Norwegian counterpart).
Despite dropping a few interruptions into the mix at fixed intervals to help immersion, the band is not afraid to show off their collective muscles. Zornheym is made up of musicians from other prominent bands such as Dark Funeral and the like, and the sheer amount of professionalism and expertise these years have provided the members with is undeniable – Sure, they do not offer anything never before seen, nor unheard of, but they have mastered the mixture of symphony and Black Metal, powerful rhythms and sheer aggression. And as such, the only real complaint I have regarding When Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns, is a sad, technical one; It is quite short.
Considering that this is their first ever full-length release (under this moniker), the fact that it is below forty minutes in length is understandable; However, given the immense amount of talent and experience behind the name Zornheym, I could have longed for a bit more.
That being said, this album is a welcome addition to my collection. The single ”The Opposed” did not disappoint last year, and the remaining of the release (despite its literal shortcoming), has been performed and recorded to the same high standard. I therefore stand by my previous assumption of what the record seemed to be, and I will add that I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Zornheym managed to integrate a few clean (well, almost clean) vocals into the track ”Whom the Night Brings”. It makes the song stand out from among the rest, but not so much as to alienate it from the remaining tracks.
And since I linked to the single ”The Opposed” the last time this band was mentioned, this time I will put my focus on ”A Silent God” – An excellent follow up to said single.
Recommended for fans of Dimmu Borgir.