“Very few debut records have this clearness of vision and a sound this thick and relentless.” — Decibel Magazine
Los Angeles, California-based atmospheric funeral doom outfit QAALM, featuring former members of Act Of Defiance, Harassor, and Seven Sisters Of Sleep, will unleash their devastating Resilience & Despair full-length debut via Toronto, Ontario- based Hypaethral Records on April 15th.
Despite their collective lineage, no musical comparison can be made to QAALM, who have forged a sound unlike any of the member’s previous efforts. Combining the crushing heaviness of sludge, the melancholic harmonies of funeral doom, with the atmosphere and intensity of black metal, QAALM manifests a gloomy, depressive, and unique interpretation of the doom metal genre like no other.
Issues guitarist and principal songwriter Henry Derek Elis of Resilience & Despair, “This album represents the perfect storm of emotions. In some respects, it’s hopeful and the contrast of heavy guitars and majestic melodies are a companion to the mournful clean passages and atmospheric drones within. It’s a sonic landscape that I’ve flirted with for many years and it’s a joy to have helped create a band such as QAALM to fulfill that void. Resilience & Despair is a record that should be experienced as a whole. It’s an epic journey into the cruel uncertainty of life and at the same time a symbol of strength amidst adversity.
Wrote Decibel Magazine of the band’s first single, a truncated version of “Existence Asunder” released late last year, “The song is a lurching mammoth of Neurosis proportions, with a scorched ambience of blackened doom. The heart of the song is a gloomy, ominous churn of distorted noise. But as the song unfolds there are brighter splashes of melody. Four minutes in, clean guitars create a new chapter where the lead guitars are unchained to soar from the tar pit. It’s an expressive and suspenseful track even at half the length that will appear on the crushing upcoming album. Very few debut records have this clearness of vision and a sound this thick and relentless.”
Watch the video for the track at THIS LOCATION.
Resilience & Despair was captured at at Red Light Studios in Los Angeles 2020/2021, engineered and Mixed by Steve White, and mastered by Maor Appelbaum.
The record will be released on limited edition 2xLP (on Smoke Swirl, Silver, and Black variants) and digitally via Hypaethral Records and on CD and cassette via Trepanation Recordings. Find preorders at THIS LOCATION. Fans of Neurosis, Corrupted, Asunder, Mournful Congregation, and Isis pay heed.
Resilience & Despair Track Listing:
- Reflections Doubt
- Existence Asunder
- Cosmic Descent
- Lurking Death
Starting a band these days may seem like somewhat of an unadorned idea. But, amongst two creative and passionately involved music aficionados, materialized a kinship over various genres, which would eventually lead to precisely that.
Henry Derek Elis (lead guitars/vocals) met Pete Majors (lead vocals) shortly after moving to Los Angeles. After attending a gig and later playing a show with his previous band Harassor, the two connected and sure enough there was talk of a potential endeavor.
The early stages of the band consisted of various musicians and the underdeveloped tone of the band proved to be partially incomplete. Something was missing…and after a while, things came to a standstill. Elis took a year off to focus on Act Of Defiance and write new material from scratch. After some soul searching and a renewed approach to writing, Elis laid down the first demos with the help of Christopher Jon, whom he met several years prior through a mutual industry acquaintance.
Majors ultimately introduced a second guitarist, Brock Elmore into the fold. After a relentless run with his previous band, Seven Sisters Of Sleep he would go on to forever change the dynamic of QAALM. With the addition of David Huet on bass, the band continued to cultivate new ideas and expand sonically. The initial objective of creating an atmosphere and inevitably maintaining a stern approach to a “heavy sound” became the band’s mission. Eventually they incorporated baritone octaves, melodic overtones, dissonant chords, harrowing vocals, and ambient textures to intensify the overall sound. Dave Ferrara proved to be the final piece of the puzzle to complete the lineup on drums.
Lyrically, Majors’ presence cannot be overshadowed. Implementing the echoes of his own personal experiences, depression, and adverse aspects of humanity, his voice in essence is the pinnacle of reason. Alas, in the eye of every storm, lay many questions, some of which cannot easily be answered. The definition of QAALM’s sound may very well be one of them. The band persists in reliance of all of their influences to help forge and perfect the aesthetic execution of its prominent core. Utilizing elements of sludge, black metal, and post-rock, QAALM would outgrow any breed of stereotypical commotion regarding style over substance. The band clearly has both and isn’t shy about delivering the goods.
Formed in 2012, Hypaethral Records, are purveyors of doom and blackened metal. QAALM are a perfect fit for the label, alongside the stalwarts of doom Olde, the blackened hardcore of Spread The Disease, the crust/black metal of Ramlord, and the suffocating drone of Gates.
Pete Majors – lead vocals
Henry Derek Elis – lead guitars/vocals
Brock Elmore – rhythm guitars/vocals
David Huet – bass
Dave Ferrara – drums
Steve White – drums, keys
Kakophonix – Cello