Resilience & Despair


QAALM is a Doom Metal band based out of California, USA, and formed in 2017. […]
Qaalm - Resilience & Despair album cover

QAALM is a Doom Metal band based out of California, USA, and formed in 2017. "Resilience & Despair" is the band's debut album release, and contains four lengthy tracks. Their EPK did not contain any bio information on the band, so I visited The Metal Archives for this information. "Reflections Doubt" opens the album. It opens with slow, atmospheric tones and clean guitars. The main riff drops and it's heavy, but not without melody. A guarded but soothing feeling soon develops. From there, there are equal parts of clean vocals and guitars mixed with deadly harsh elements. The cleans keep the melody alive, while the harsh wipes them away. Imagine a day where the sun keeps competing with storm clouds over and over.

"Existence Asunder" is a near-20-minute beast. A mammoth sleeping creature stirs. Heavy, dissonant tones develop along with spoken words, as the beast rises and begins his slow walk across the frozen plains of the underworld. Wicked harsh vocals smack of unspeakable torture that lasts for much of the song. Around the ¾ mark, the harsh tones drop to more atmospheric and quiet elements. But, that sense of impending doom is still raising hairs on your neck. The song finishes with a faster passage as the beast closes in on his kill and races to hungrily devour it.

"Cosmic Descent" begins with sad clean guitars and plenty of melancholy tones. The main sound takes a few minutes to get established, but when it does, it's desperate and ornery, keying on heavy elements of hopelessness. The clean tones after the half-way mark butt up against the weighted elements in a fight to the death. The weighted elements win the battle. "Lurking Death" closes the album. It opens with clean vocals and some really twisted background elements. Bass guitar thuds break upon the ground as harsh vocals enter. The weight of the distorted riff combined with the harsh vocals could bring down any skyscraper. Rounding the half-way mark, the sound drops to rhythmic riffs with harrowing ambiance. Approaching the end, it dies to clean tones and spoken words, with strings. It finishes on stronger notes.

Overall, this is an album that can bring down the best and brightest of them all, and can lay waste to entire cities and wipe them clean as if they didn't exist, like a thousand-year sandstorm. The desperation imparted is as strong as anything that I have heard. Give yourself up to QAALM's world of "Resilience & Depair," and you will not come back the same person that went to them, as it leaves an indelible mark on your soul.

8 / 10









"Resilience & Despair" Track-listing:

1. Reflections Doubt
2. Existence Asunder
3. Cosmic Descent
4. Lurking Death

Qaalm Lineup:

Henry Derek Elis - Lead Guitars/Vocals
Brock Elmore - Rhythm Guitars/Vocals
David Huet - Bass
Dave Ferrara - Drums
Steve White - Drums & Keys
Kakophonix - Cello

linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram