Swedish black metal band, Zornheym have a new album released under the name of Where Hatred Dwells, And Darkness Reigns, also 2 singles released from this album and a video, but to find more about the new album and aswell some stuffs about the comics, band member, Zorn (guitar) had the time to answer for my interview.
Nice talking with you Zorn. At first, I’d like you to make a small history about when did you found Zornheym.
The idea for this concept album has been growing in my mind since my mid-20s. I guess that’s why it’s very thought through. Also, we’re such a great team so the room is literally ablaze when we have creative meetings! I founded the band early in 2014. Things went pretty slow in the beginning since I didn’t really have any firm members and I also became a father that summer, so my personal life was clearly in focus during that time. It was a pretty overwhelming experience. One after another the members joined and we eventually made a goal to work towards. In general there’s been a lot of trial and error in this project since it involves so many new elements. I mean I had to learn how to write orchestral arrangements, which at first Petter Möller of Dies Iona Ensambly helped me with and then later on Scucca helped out alot. We are also writing short stories to every song and scripts for a comic strip for every song, so it is a huge undertaking to just finish one song. Every song has around 300 channels in the studio as well, there is a lot of stuff going on!
Zornheym has a new album, entitled ”Where Hatred Dwells, And Darkness Reigns”, when did you start to write the album?
I started writing the songs early 2014. During that year I pretty much wrote all the songs that appears on the full length album, or at least the foundation to them. At the moment there are a few demo songs on my studio laptop and lots of ideas recorded on my iPhone.
Can we say that this album is a conceptual one?
For sure! We are trying to take the whole concept thing to the next level, really doing it full force. Everything is linked together, stage clothes, lyrics, music videos etc, it’s all part of the concept. If you are into concepts, there are so many layers to discover with Zornheym, so you should really check us out.
2 singles released by this, ”The Opposed” and ”A Silent God”, a video as well for ”The Opposed”, what can you tell me about the video, what is the story behind it?
The music video is pretty much a short movie about how inmate ZH000A27 got locked up at Zornheim Asylum for the criminally insane. Inmate ZH000A27 is born with a second head in the back of his head, a dark twin. This dark twin is tormenting him with whispers at night and is keeping him from sleep. People around him are terrified of this demonic face. The only thing he can do to get a moment of peace is to play his cello. This is also the reason why the music is based around a cello theme. He is seeking medical aid for his condition but is denied since it’s a very risky operation to execute. So when his cries for help are denied he loses it and removes the second face himself. His family then sends him off to Zornheim where the whispers of the dark twin are slowly coming back with a dark promise that it will soon be the one in control.
What can you tell me about the key from ”The Opposed” cover art?
The key is the emblem of the asylum and it’s also how the keys to the different cells look like. The asylum has a saying – “Submission is key” meaning if you obey the rules of the institution and follow your doctor’s orders, it will work out fine for you.
The Silent God cover to me might suggest also something, can you add more about it?
That cover shows a glimpse of one of the floors of Zornheim. The doors are to the inmates cells. You can also see this corridor in our music video to “The Opposed”.
To promote the album, do you plan a tour soon, maybe summer festivals?
Right now we don’t have anything booked because we’re so busy with the album. However, we are getting requested frequently and are really eager to hit the stages!
Zornheym is described as black and symphonic, what are influences behind?
I guess we are trying to label ourselves as symphonic extreme metal, the album contains a lot of metal influences in general, just not black or death metal. My reference library was build during the ‘90s. So of course bands like Dissection, Dimmu Borgir, Emperor and Behemoth have inspired me. Also bands like King Diamond, Blind Guardian and when it comes to guitar playing it’s more influenced by Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman and Vinnie Moore. We also have a very solid metal riff foundation in our music. The guitar is definitely a lead instrument in our music, we don’t want to hide the guitars behind good orchestration. When it comes to orchestral influences that’s mostly an instrument to get a certain feeling. So mostly it’s influenced by movie scores, game scores or classical composers.
You have released a series of comics, but I let you tell me about it more…
The actual graphic novel is still under production. To show our followers and supporters what’s in the making we decided to release the first chapter of the graphic novel. Each chapter in the graphic novel will go more in depth of each song’s character. The graphic novel is written mainly by me with the help of Scucca and the drawings are done by the talented finnish artist Anu Bring! Check out her page to see more of her awesome creations www.facebook.com/artbybring/
You Zorn have been active in bands such as Dark Funeral, Devian, Suicidal Seduction but you have left these bands, at the moment you’re also active with Aktiv Dodshjalp. how was the experience with Dark Funeral, what plans AD have so far?
I’ve learned so much from previous bands and I got to play a lot of festivals on my bucketlist, which was great, and my passport got several new stamps in it. AD is kind of in slumbering right now and have been since 2011. There are a lot of new songs ready to be unleashed. I talked to Roberth Karlsson (Scar Symmetry, Facebreaker) a few months ago and he told me would be ready come up to Stockholm and record the songs. So right now it’s a matter of time and priority from my side. As you can imagine, an album like Zornheym’s debut devours a lot of time to write, produce and complete. Musically right now I am extremely happy. I have never been working on a more interesting album and the people involved are amazing!
Beside touring, what other plans do you have with Zornheym?
We have a brewery making a Zornheym beer which we’re in the final stages of sorting out. More on that soon! We are working a lot with a jewelry smith and we have some really cool plans together. New songs are already taking form and my phone is packed with ideas already. Right now are focusing on getting the final mix for the album together and the layout for it. It sounds and looks amazing, Sverker at Wing Studios is a true sound wizard and the layout that Jens Rydén is making just takes our concept beyond the stars.
Thank you for this interview Zorn! All the best and hope to see you soon on stage!
Thank you for the interest in Zornheym and helping us with promotion! And thanks to you those of you who read the entire interview. Check us out, our two released singles are on all digital platforms!