ZORNHEYM is 5-piece Symphonic Extreme Metal band, that explores a variety of styles within the genres of Black and Death Metal. They deliver a refined blend of Dark Melodies, Crushing Riffs, Technical Percussion, Dramatic Orchestration, and Poetic Story telling. The Opposed is the first single off their debut album “Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns”.
The single has received excellent reviews from all over the world.
I reached out to “Zorn” who is the founder and lead guitarist of “ZORNHEYM”.
Q1. Tell us something about yourself.
Hi! About myself? Well , I’m a music loving 34 year old living in Stockholm, Sweden. I play guitar and I also work as a guitar teacher from time to time. When I’m not working with music I like to watch series, movies, and I read a lot. I like going to the gym and just enjoy music out in the beautiful forests of Sweden.
Q2. What are your influences?
My main influences for the metal part of Zornheym are Dissection, Dimmu Borgir, King Diamond and Behemoth. When it comes to the orchestral arrangements Hans Zimmer, Glenn Stafford, Danny Elfman, J.S Bach to name a few. King Diamond has always been a lyrical influence. Urban legends and real stories about serial killers are also a very good source of inspiration for lyrics.
Q3. Which guitar and amplifier do you use for recording the music? What made you choose?
In 2012 I got an endorsement deal with Fernandes Guitars and I used one of the guitars I got back then for the recording… It’s a Fernandes Guitar Revolver with a fixed bridge. My guitar is also dressed with the killer Deathbucker pickups from Lace pickups, the perfect blend of new and old – and no batteries needed. We used a marshall 4×12 cabinet and for the main guitar we used a Peavey 5150 and to crunch it up we added an Engl top for the second guitar. For acoustic I used Peders guitars. I recorded the bass with my old touring comrade, my Fernandes ravelle bass with man’o’war pickups from Lace pickups.
Q4. Are you a full time musician?
Right now I’m not working as a full time musician, I have done it though. When you are starting a new band, a new business, that’s rarely your sole income. In the beginning you need to invest a lot and after a few years you can start to harvest the fruits of your labours. I think things are looking very promising for Zornheym though.
Q5. When the idea of forming a new band did came to your mind?
The idea for the asylum concept started forming in my mind in my early 20’s. At one point I started writing an opera based on the “Evil Dead” movie but never finished it… So the urge for doing something big, especially including so real strings and a real voices for the choirs, have been a very long dream of mine. In 2014, I think it was around Easter, I decided to to put everything together. I spent the whole summer studying orchestral music and reading up about serial killers and spent countless hours watching documentaries. When I had solid material I started reaching out to people to join me on this musical Journey…
Q6. Zornheym has released “The Opposed” on 19th August ’16. What was the recording process like?
I loved every second in the studio. I love being in the studio. Before Zornheym I had spent several years on the road… So I had this huge urge with Zornheym to enter the studio again and see something I composed come to life. It was my first experience with Sverker Widgren of Wing studios and I was really satisfied with the sound he got for us. He has a very good ear for how to dress a production and is a very easy going person to work with. It’s always a very satisfying feeling when you switch sampled sound to real instruments. The strings were recorded in an old asylum in Vadstena in Sweden by Dies Iona Ensambly, lead by Petter Möller, and the choirs were recorded and conducted by Scucca. I remember when me and Sverker loaded in those in studio, I was blown away by the sound, it sounded so epic and real! Mixing it was a task of its own… We ended up with over 280 channels for “The Opposed”, but Sverker showed us why he is the guy for Zornheym by delivering a killer mix for us!
Click on the link to stream and buy “The Opposed”
Q7. What is the idea behind the debut album “Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns” and how did it come up to you?
The idea is simply to bring concept albums to a whole new level and create a whole universe around it that bleeds over to other art forms as well. The place where hatred dwells and darkness reigns is Zornheim, the asylum for the criminally insane. This is also the first time in my music career where I feel that I’m taking all of the music that has inspired me and seeing those inspirations come forth through the songs I’ve written. I can not stress how insanely proud I am of everyone’s performance and contribution to this album. Without any doubt in my heart this is by far the best thing I have ever been involved with. Again I wish to express my gratitude to everyone that has helped and supported us on this amazing journey!
Q8. Describe the music which metalheads can expect from this album?
I would say that it’s cinematic metal orientated pieces with a heavy focus on strong melodies! The riffs really hit hard and the sons are composed with enough dynamics to allow the riffs to gain depth through context. I also really think that the experience is a lot better because of there being authentic instruments involved in the production.
Q9. When can we expect the album to hit the stores?
We are right now finishing up the last things in the studio and we are also working with the layout for the album. There are so many people involved so it takes some time to finish it, but I promise you that it will be worth the wait! I’m actually on the way to Scucca’s studio now to watch the ladies in our choir add their voices to the last tracks.
Q10. Any cryptic message behind Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns”?
Hehe, no not really… Zorn means anger in german and heim/heym means home… so the band name means Home of Anger, and the album title is like a longer way of describing the asylum.
Q11. Any horror filled or weird experiences while recording the music video for the single?
We did record parts in it in an old prison in a city called Gävle, in the northern parts of Sweden. I mean it was a really cool place but real people have been suffering there and I think that kind of leaves its mark in the walls so to speak. We also got visit this cellar part where the basically just had a pit to relieve their bodily functions and that was about it. It wasn’t hard to envision the agony the inmates must have felt there. We also saw some really gruesome torture devices…
Q12. What about touring? Any plans regarding that and any chance you people coming to India?
Once we are done with the album we will start planing on how to bring this to life on stages. Once we are ready we do want to go everywhere. I have never played in India, so that would be very cool! The best way to make this happen is to go to your local promoters and make them understand that people want to experience Zornheym live, so they can book us!
Q13. Any last comments, advice or suggestions you would like to give to the readers?
I wanna send out a big thank you to everyone who has supported us so far and if you haven’t checked us out, please do… I think we offer something fresh and new to this genre. First single is already out on all digital platform and the second one is coming on the 21st of October!
Click on the link to buy the single ” A Silent God”
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