Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Zornheym - Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns

Zornheym's latest release caught my attention not only because of the terrific cover art but also because symphonic death metal isn't something I always listen seeing as I favor the old school. I was treated to an entertainingly heavy and enjoyable listen to a band that seems to have a good grip on what they are doing. The album is very polished in all aspects-the production, the musicianship, the vocals, and so on, providing it with a clean yet consistently heavy sound that is refreshing to hear, especially in contrast with the blood and bile soaked death metal on the opposite end of the genre.

The album gets off to a decent start, the first two tracks being above average, but I wasn't blown away yet. It wasn't until the third and fourth songs that the album really kicks into high gear, introducing a barrage of blast beats, solid keyboard scales, and sweeping riffs that just seemed to be much better than what they were in the first two songs. This brings me to the conclusion that this is an album you have to sink into and that can work either in favor of the band or hurt their listeners, thankfully this definitely turned out to be the former and once I really comprehended the music, I was truly able to enjoy what I was hearing. The albums ends with an almost eight minute epic that really ices the cake on this terrific record with a searing choir and apocalyptic guitars marching to the beat of the pounding, machine gun percussion. The artwork gave me a very appropriate idea of the atmosphere and vibe, giving me the illusion this was a train that could go off the rails at any moment but always stays composed.

I had not been familiar with Zornheym before and may never have had I not received this copy. It's safe to say that I'm glad I gave this a chance because this release is a solid, clean, heavy, and enjoyable listen for any fan of death metal, no matter what subgenre you prefer. I look forward to seeing what else this group has in store.

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