With members linked to Dark Funeral, Devian, Diabolical and Facebreaker, this band cannot be ignored. Zornheym from Sweden add to their black metal roots a string orchestra and their own chorus, called “Chorus Tenebris”.
The result is a powerful symphonic affair. Comparison to Therion cannot be avoided. Starting with “The Opposed”, this is pungent, dark and majestic. The drama and presentation of it recall Carach Angren too, but it’s not so over the top. “The Opposed” is watered down by the sinister and creepy “Subjugation of the Cellist”, before symphonic fire and darkness return with the black “A Silent God”. Drums trigger and the weight is overwhelming, but there is forward motion, albeit of a very heavy kind. A strange and disconcerting chorus line accompanies the dark yet grandiose metal. The album doesn’t follow a straight line pattern, rather it veers off into the menacing cosmic interlude of “Prologue to a Hypnosis”. But heavy and imposing are the main characteristics. Dark symphonic tones enter the fearsome, thunderous march of “Trifecta of Horrors”. A clean voice enters proceedings momentarily but this is about domination, and the heavy instrumentals, symphonic power and lofty chorus to end it are what’s most memorable. Cue deliberate symphonic disharmony and more sinister soundwaves. I’d got used to the pattern by now, and expected something more upbeat to follow. This happens in the form of “Whom the Night Brings …”. I wasn’t greatly impressed with the power metal style vocal work on this rousing and epic song. Choral chaos then descends upon the typically vibrant “Decessit Vita Patris”. The clean voice alternates with the growls amid the triggers and the fiery scene. “Hestia” finishes the album off with one last tale and suitable black metal pomp.
Although essentially a symphonic metal album, the interludes and variations give “Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns” a wider edge. I can’t say it all worked for me, but I cannot deny the drama and powerful combination of its black metal, symphonic and choral elements.
(7/10 Andrew Doherty)