The GRIMM Reader: Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns

/ / By :

You can find metal, rock, punk,… back in almost every aspect of life, also in literature (Yes, we read!). Whether it’s an artist or band sharing their stories with you, a book of poetry that goes along with the music, a comic book about a band or just something that appeals to rockers and metalheads in this world, we want to bring you an idea of what goodies there are waiting for you.
Enter “The GRIMM Reader”… 

Book Passport

  • Title: Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns
  • Story & Concept: Tomas Nilsson
  • Text: Tomas Nilsson and Alan McCahey
  • Illustrations: Anu Bring / Art By Bring
  • Theme: Graphic Novel
  • Publication Date: September 15th, 2017
  • Page count: 51
  • Publisher: BRD / Non Serviam Records

In September 2017, the Swedish band Zornheym released their debut album Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns. Already being very impressed by the high quality symphonic extreme metal and the carefully crafted concept story of the asylum for the criminally insane, much to my delight I discovered that they were releasing a graphic novel to go along with the album! The record itself already gave in the booklet the background story and more information of the patients of the institution featured in the songs. With the graphic novel they want to make these stories more visual and clear for everyone who’s interested.

The graphic novel starts off with a patient register showing the patients’ names and numbers with next to each name as the “Doctors comments” the song of the album linked with them. This way you could actually time it so that every chapter you read has the ideal soundtrack to go along with it! The artwork has one thing in common: it’s haunting, often gruesome and looking kind of raw, which fits perfectly with the creepy and disturbing theme. Besides, instead of having it just colored in the standard way, every panel looks like it’s been painted by hand, which adds even more to the overal atmosphere. And linking the graphic novel even more with the album Zornheym released, there are regular moments where you’ll recognize lines from the songs’ lyrics.

While the overall style of drawing and coloring is about the same for every chapter, there are still subtle differences to be found per patient. This can go from the main color to the lay-out of the panels, all done in such a way that it again adds to the story and atmosphere fittingly. The stories themselves are true horrors one for one going from the cellist that battles a demon growing on/in his head, to a silent killer with a god complex, a patient with a split personality, a haunted woman, a father who tries to recreate his dead son from parts of children he killed to lastly a scarred woman with violence burning inside her. Besides the patients, there’s one character coming back in almost every chapter: Dr Bettelheim from the asylum.  Who seems to steadily become more sinister and giving hints of a hidden agenda…

On it’s own it’s maybe not the most groundbreaking original graphic novel, but combined with the album Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns is a great visualization of the stories told in the songs. The overall setting of several different media to build up a certain concept and atmosphere is something to praise for sure. The guys from Zornheym definitely put their work and energy with careful considerations into their first release. We’ll have to keep an eye on what they do still in the future, they could become a big thing in the symphonic extreme metal scene if they continue this way…

Reads Best With…

… of course the whole Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns album released at the same time by Zornheym! can’t be loaded: Zornheym – Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns [Full Album] 2017 (