1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the solo project?
I come from a Mexican doom/death metal band called 'Shiri' (2003-2016), we toured nationally with very good public acceptance, but after a long time without writing any music, I needed to form 'Sahlm' in 2020.
I set out to create an album by myself so that I could reflect all the emotions I have felt since I was a child and bring to light the music that was always playing in my head.
It wasn't easy to write all the music and lyrics, record all the instruments and vocals, as well as the mixing and mastering the album by myself.
There were moments of despair, but in the end I was able to put all the pieces together to create the album.
2. In December you had released your first full length, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?
It was never my intention to create music of a specific genre. It developed as the writing progressed, and in the end, I realized that it sounded like a mix of Post-black metal with some Shoegaze.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?
As a person who has had depression since childhood and attempted suicide several times, it was hard to write an album about it.
It became easier when I embraced healing. I used to want to die, but today I want to live. I have so many reasons to live.
“Sense Of Light” is an intensely personal album that pulls back the curtain of depression to expose the light I’ve been searching for. The light to heal and live.
It’s my hope that people will be able to find a narrative in this album that will bring them a sense of healing through the darkness.
In the depression, pain, and suffering of this album - may you find the glimmers of hope.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Sahlm'?
I am a South Korean living in Mexico for more than 30 years, and 'Sahlm' means "the journey of a lifetime" in Korean.
I thought the album was about my life and what I've been through during my life, so the name of the band came to me perfectly.
5. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The album cover photo was taken by Rin Lapham, Damian's girlfriend.
Damian is the owner of Colloquial Sound Recordings, he proposed me several photos for the album cover and I think that photo represents the whole concept of the album: depression, suicide and hope.
6. With this project you record everything by yourself but have experiences working with musicians in a previous band, do you prefer to work solo?
When I was in a band, it was fun to get together and write music together.
And when I worked solo on "Sense of Light" the experience was different, because I was demanding more and more from myself, and it was fun but in a different way.
I don't think I prefer one over the other.
7. The new album was released on 'Colloquial Sound Recordings', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Colloquial Sound Recordings is from Michigan, USA, run by Damian Master, who is also a musician and has several bands under his leadership such as "A Pregnant Light", "Aksumite", "Purple Light", "Alluring", among others.
Damian has an affinity for Mexico, its people and culture, and from day one we talked about 'Sahlm', he has been wonderful, he has supported me in every way and always asks me before making any decision.
The label has an incredible aesthetic and supports all of their signed bands in a wonderful way, it's a great label to work with.
8. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black, doom and post metal?
I don't know about the fans of those specific genres, but metal fans have really liked 'Sahlm's album.
The album "Sense of Light" has reached the Top 5, Top 10 and Top 25 of Mexican metal albums of 2023 of several digital magazines in Spain and Mexico, and has also received reviews with very good ratings in Austria, Columbia and other Latin American countries.
I am very grateful to each one of the people who have listened and reviewed "Sense of Light".
9. Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
I am about to start rehearsing with the musicians I have chosen to play live with 'Sahlm', so playing live is the priority at the moment.
Also, we are about to reactivate my former band 'Shiri' to start writing music for a new album.
So there will be a lot of music in my life ahead.
10. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
My main influence since I was a kid has been Anathema. Somehow, their music has always calmed me down in the most difficult and darkest moments.
Also, as a kid I loved Norwegian Black Metal from the nineties.
When I was writing music for 'Sahlm', I listened to bands like Deafheaven, Rolo Tomassi, Crippled Black Phoenix and A Swarm of the Sun.
What I am currently listening to is Lord of the Lost, End of Green, Leprous, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Ashbringer, Sylosis, Svalbard, Darkseed, among others.
11. What are some of your non musical interests?
I love food, traveling and design. Actually, I have a digital design and web development company.
12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very much for all the support and for considering me for the interview.
A big shout out to all the fans who have read and listened to 'Sahlm'.
Please support and give a chance to new underground bands.
CHEERS TO THE BLACKENED DEATH METAL ZINE TEAM!
P.S. If you’re thinking about suicide, worried about a friend or a loved one, or would like emotional support, please call one of the numbers of your country.
It is available 24/7: www.findahelpline.com. If someone is in IMMEDIATE DANGER, please call your local emergency number.