Meet The Band is your chance to get to know a new or up-and-coming group. Beldam are a doom/sludge band from Charlottesville, Virginia. Their debut album is Still The Wretched Linger. Bassist Addison Dodds introduces us to his band.
Heavy Music Headquarters: Give us a brief history of Beldam.
Addison Dodds: Beldam was created in 2013 by guitarist Grahm and me. Like minded, we started out to create something within the genre of doom and sludge, both pulling in very different influences at the time. After completing a few initial songs we brought in Cullen to round out the sound on drums. The original vocalist at the time, Stan, was added and we went on to play a very successful string of shows and record a demo.
With the demo getting a good amount of attention and press we decided to begin recording Still the Wretched Linger. However, after the recording the band ran into a period of downtime in which Stan was replaced with our current vocalist Randall. From there we have gone on to expand our presence within the genre, complete many new songs, and put together more and more shows alongside releasing our first full length album.
Describe the songwriting and recording process of Still The Wretched Linger.
Pretty much all the songs started with riffs that Grahm and/or I brought to the table. We’d mess around with them in practice and the drummer Cullen would figure out what he wanted to do, and sometimes give some input as to song structure. Our vocalist and lyricist Randall would work out vocal lines and lyrics on his own–usually the lyrics were the last thing to materialize.
For the main recording, we did chorus guitar, bass and drums all together followed by lead guitar separate. It’s better for us and our style to get a live vibe; it feels weird to record all the instruments separately. Once we got that base we did guitar overdubs–two or three layers depending on the songs. Vocals were recorded last.
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
This album is definitely split between doom and sludge. We took the approach to combine both genres and create our own sound for this first release. We ended up pulling many influences from all over but all in all we wanted to maintain a very over driven, distorted sound quality. We aimed to keep Still the Wretched Linger to be as heavy and dark as we could make it.
What has been your most memorable live show?
We played a great metal festival at Champion Brewing company which included the bands Ruby the Hatched and Ramming Speed. It was our welcome back show in which we had just starting working with Horror Pain Gore Death and our first live show in almost seven months. It was a killer show with an even better crowd. We couldn’t have asked for anything better.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
Right now we’re lined up with some great bands. We’ll be playing along side Primitive Man and Dragged into Sunlight July 24th and we will be making a special trip August 8th to play with Castle. Currently we are pooling our resources to generate a tour through the South come early fall.
What’s your all-time favorite album?
Our tastes differ from band member to band member, but I think we can all find common ground on Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality.
What’s the heavy music scene like in your area of Virginia?
It’s growing and evolving in Charlottesville and the surrounding areas. For a while the scene had a strong presence, but over the years it slowly dwindled down. However, people have really been coming together and putting some great material out there. In surrounding cities it’s all the same. It’s been a great experience to be part of the scene as the musical taste within the city have slowly begin to change.
Anything else you’d like to mention/plug/promote?
We’d like to thank all the people who contributed and were involved in this release. Horror Pain Gore Death for working with us and making this all possible, it’s been absolutely awesome working with them. Real big thanks to the artist who did the entire album’s artwork, Stephen Kasner. From day one he has been on board doing everything he can for the band. Outstanding artwork and a pleasure to work with him. Also a big thanks to all the bands we’ve played with leading up to this and supporting us through the whole process. You can order the album at this location.
(interview published June 2016)