Although the birth of the band seems to date back a few years ago, it is only in 2019 that Qaalm showed the first signs of itself by putting on the net the track Reflections Doubt which was followed two years later by a new song, Existence Asunder; with this solid basis, here is the release in April 2022 of the debut full length for the band of Los Angeles. Born at the urging of guitarist Henry Derek Elis and vocalist Pete Majors, Qaalm includes musicians from all genres of extreme metal and this patchwork of influences has produced a work of rare heaviness and depth as Resilience & Despair. Sludge, black metal, funeral death doom and post-metal are absorbed and regurgitated in a venomous and exizial form with which the Californian band succeeds in the difficult task of making the monolithic pace coexist with a nature at times atmospheric, although made adequately leaden: the album consists of four long tracks, namely the two already mentioned plus the unreleased Cosmic Descent and Lurking Death, which are not affected by the different periods of composition even if the differences between the various episodes remain appreciable, without resulting in a sense of fragmentary. So, the roughness of the riffing coexists in a natural way with unexpected solutions (such as the beautiful and prolonged guitar solo that closes the twenty minutes of Existencer Sunder) avoiding any risk of listening to a predictable and gloomy work; Resilience & Despair is yet another slap in the face to those who think that in certain stylistic areas the new bands are limited to recycling ideas old for decades: here there is conviction, inspiration and the right amount of anger that makes the work of Qaalm something not to be missed for those who love Neurosis/Amenra as well as Evoken/Mournful Congregation, with everything that can be in the middle. Give yourself a gift, discover and support this excellent band.
2022 – Trepanation Recordings