Bevar Sea to Release New Single “The Timeless Zone” April 30

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 21st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

bevar sea

Last heard from with 2015’s Invoke the Bizarre (review here), Bangalore sludge rockers Bevar Sea have returned and will issue their third album, The Timeless Zone, sometime in the coming months. The first single — also the title-track of the record — is due out April 30 and there’s a teaser below for the eight-minute entirety of the cut, which finds the band rocking classic Sabbathian basslines under nod-ready sludge riffs crisply captured to run alongside the throaty vocals. In other words, it’s Bevar Sea well intact despite their years of absence.

I think we’re seeing a lot of people who, either directly or indirectly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, took a look at who they are and what they’ve done creatively and maybe saw it in a new light. In addition to the glut of live records and streams, there are a number of bands making returns with new material. Maybe it was just being forced to sit on ass during quarantine, but if the result is more art, then that becomes the most righteous of positives from one of the worst crises of the last 100 years. I’m glad Bevar Sea are back and I look forward to hearing the album when the time comes. Or doesn’t, since we’re dealing with timelessness.

To the PR wire:

Bevar Sea is back with a brand new track and video – releases April 30th!

Five years after releasing their sophomore album ‘Invoke the Bizarre’, Bangalore’s Bevar Sea used the Covid-19 imposed lockdown as an opportunity to regroup and start working on the third album titled ‘The Timeless Zone’. With the backdrop of the lyrics portraying a tryst with the consciousness of man, storying into travels and visions within the self, the music on this song and over the course of the album, pays homage to the glory years of the 70s and 80s hard rock and metal with the typical rifftastic stoner/doom sound the band has embraced on the two albums prior to this.

The first single and title track “The Timeless Zone” will be released on April 30th along with a video for the track on all major streaming platforms. more details on the upcoming album will be released in the near future.

Bevar Sea adds: “The Timeless Zone, the song and the album, continues our approach of playing stoner doom music while being even more loyal to our hard rock and metal roots than before. Every band member had to step up and learn how to record themselves and work via email for arrangements, demos, and finally turn up one by one to record. This album is us embracing the 2021 way of making music while also being busy working from home, taking care of our families, and just dying to be able to play this new music to our fans live some day.”

With their beginnings in 2008, the band roared into the live scene in 2011, and in the following year their eponymous album ‘Bevar Sea’ was released, which earned them the “Best Emerging Act” at the Rolling Stone Metal Awards India and a slot in the coveted Maryland Deathfest in 2013 and rave reviews worldwide. Mixed and mastered by the legendary Billy Anderson, the album was regarded highly for their 45-min hook-laden stoner/doom experience by fans and quickly garnered the band a firm reputation in their country and internationally. The fan favourite (Abishtu) which narrates the tale of a serial killer out for hipster blood and on the run from the law became a permanent chant by fans whenever they stepped on stage, while the 14-min ‘Mono Gnome’ about a short statured man and his love for a witch closed the album and turned out to be the pick in the doom circles with their reefer-pleasing, ‘Sleep’– esque flow of slow riffing and raspy vocals.

Bevar Sea followed up their debut release with ‘Invoke the Bizarre’ in 2015. Drifting into new sonic territories, the band crafted a sinister mood for their audience in the first three tracks ‘Bearded and Bizarre’, ‘Bury me in Nola’, and ‘Sleeping Pool’ which boasted hooks over neck-twisting grooves, the down-tempo chug of the guitars and soaring lead guitars. With the vocal melody chanting ‘Look to the Sky’, the band closed the album with the epic ‘The Grand Alignment’ which comprised of a sublime cascade of riffs, solos, bass lines and vocal hooks. Recorded at a breakneck pace over 10 days at Adarsh Recording Studio and mixed and mastered by Matt Lynch (LA’s Mysterious Mammal Recording, also from the incredible band Snail), ‘Invoke the Bizarre’ was well received by the press and fans alike for their intricate song arrangements, unique story-telling, mature and well-rounded performances.

The Timeless Zone lineup (2021):
Ganesh Krishnaswamy – Vocals
Srikanth Panaman – Guitars
Michael Talreja – Guitars
Avinash Ramchander – Bass

bevarsea.bandcamp.com
fb.com/bevarsea
instagram.com/bevarsea
youtube.com/bevarsea

Bevar Sea, “The Timeless Zone” teaser

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Quarterly Review: Bell Witch & Aerial Ruin, Cruthu, Sólstafir, ILS, Bismut, Cracked Machine, Megadrone, KLÄMP, Mábura, Astral Sleep

Posted in Reviews on October 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

We’ve reached the portion of the Quarterly Review wherein I would no longer know what day it is if I didn’t have my notes to help me keep track. I suppose it doesn’t matter — the day, that is — since it’s 10 records either way, but I’d hate to review the same albums two days in a row or something. Though, come to think of it, that might be a fun experiment sometime.

Not today. Today is another fresh batch of 10 on the way to 60 by next Monday. We’ll get there. Always do. And if you’re wondering, today’s Thursday. At least that’s what I have in my notes.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Bell Witch & Aerial Ruin, Stygian Bough Vol. I

bell witch aerial ruin Stygian Bough Volume 1

The collaborative effort Bell Witch & Aerial Ruin and their 64-minute full-length, Stygian Bough Vol. I — the intention toward future output together hinted at in the title already confirmed by the group(s) — is a direct extension of what Aerial Ruin, aka Erik Moggridge, brought to the last Bell Witch album, 2017’s Mirror Reaper (review here), in terms of complementing the crushing, emotionally resonant death-doom of the Washington duo with morose folk vocal melody. Stygian Bough Vol. I is distinguished by having been written by the two-plus-one-equals-three-piece as a group, and accordingly, it more fluidly weaves Moggridge‘s contributions into those of Bell Witch‘s Dylan Desmond and Jesse Shreibman, resulting in an approach like if Patrick Walker from Warning had joined Thergothon. It’s prevailing spirit is deep melancholy in longer pieces like “The Bastard Wind” and “The Unbodied Air,” both over 19 minutes, while it might be in “Heaven Torn Low I (The Passage)” and “Heaven Torn Low II (The Toll)” that the trio most effectively bring their intent to life. Either way, if you’re in, be ready to go all the way in, but know that it’s well worth doing so.

Bell Witch on Thee Facebooks

Aerial Ruin on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records website

 

Cruthu, Athrú Crutha

cruthu Athrú Crutha

Traditional doom with flourish both of noise and NWOBHM guitars — that turn in the second half of opener “Transformation” is like a dogwhistle for Iron Maiden fans — I hear Cruthu‘s second album, Athrú Crutha, and all I can think of are label recommendations. The Michigan outfit’s 2017 debut, The Angle of Eternity (review here), was eventually issued on The Church Within, and that’d certainly work, but also Ván Records, Shadow Kingdom, and even Cruz Del Sur seem like fitting potential homes for the righteousness on display across the vinyl-ready six-song/39-minute outing, frontman Ryan Evans commanding in presence over the reverb-loaded classic-style riffs of guitarist Dan McCormick and the accompanying gallop in Matt Fry‘s drums given heft by Derek Kasperlik‘s bass. Like the opener, “Necromancy” and “Dimensional Collide” move at a good clip, but side B’s “The Outsider” and closer “Crown of Horns” slow things down following the surprisingly rough-edged “Beyond the Pale.” One way or the other, it’s all doomed and so are we.

Cruthu on Thee Facebooks

Cruthu on Bandcamp

 

Sólstafir, Endless Twilight of Codependent Love

Sólstafir endless twilight of codependent love

Whereas 2017’s Berdreyminn (review here) existed in the shadow of 2014’s Ótta (review here), Endless Twilight of Codependent Love brings Iceland’s Sólstafir to a new place in terms of their longer-term progression. It is their first album with an English title since 2005’s Masterpiece of Bitterness, and though they’ve had English-language songs since then, the mellow “Her Fall From Grace” is obviously intended to be a standout here, and it is. On the nine-song/62-minute course of the album, however, it is one impression of many, and in the raging “Dionysus” and post-blackened “Drýsill,” 10-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Akkeri,” richly atmospheric “Rökkur,” goth-lounging “Or” and worthy finale “Úlfur,” Sólstafir remind of the richly individual nature of their approach. The language swaps could be reaching out to a broader, non-Icelandic-speaking audience. If so, it’s only in the interest of that audience to take note if they haven’t already.

Sólstafir on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist website

 

ILS, Curse

ils curse

Curse is the first long-player from Portland, Oregon’s ILS, and it’s a rager in the PNW noise tradition, with uptempo, gonna-throw-a-punch-and-then-apologize riffs and basslines and swaps between semi-spoken shouts and vicious screams from Tom Glose (ex-Black Elk) that are precisely as jarring as they’re meant to be. I don’t think Curse is anyone’s first time at the dance — Glose, guitarist Nate Abner, bassist Adam Pike or drummer Tim Steiner — but it only benefits across its sans-bullshit 28-minute run by knowing what it wants to do. Its longest material, like the title-track or “Don’t Hurt Me,” which follows, or closer “For the Shame I Bring,” rests on either side of three and a half minutes, but some of the most brutal impressions are made in cuts like “It’s Not Lard but it’s a Cyst” or leadoff “Bad Parts,” which have even less time to waste but are no less consuming, particularly at high volume. The kind of record for when you want to assault yourself. And hey, that happens.

ILS on Thee Facebooks

P.O.G.O. Records on Bandcamp

 

Bismut, Retrocausality

bismut retrocausality

Apart from the consciously-titled three-minute noiseblaster finale “Antithesis” that’s clearly intended to contrast with what comes before it, Bismut‘s second LP for Lay Bare, Retrocausality, is made up of five extended instrumental pieces the shortest of which is just under 13 minutes long. The Nijmegen-based trio — guitarist Nik Linders, bassist Huibert der Weduwen, drummer Peter Dragt — build these semi-improvisational pieces on the foundation they set with 2018’s Schwerpunkt (review here), and their explorations through heavy rock, metal and psychedelia feel all the more cohesive as a song like “Vergangenheit” is nonetheless able to blindside with the heavy riff toward which it’s been moving for its entire first half. At 71 minutes total, it’s a purposefully unmanageable runtime, but as “Predvídanie” imagines a psych-thrash and “Oscuramento” drones to its crashing finish, Bismut seem to be working on their own temporal accord anyhow. For those stuck on linear time, that means repeat listens may be necessary to fully digest, but that’s nothing to complain about either.

Bismut on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Cracked Machine, Gates of Keras

Cracked Machine Gates of Keras

UK instrumentalists Cracked Machine have worked relatively quickly over the course of their now-three albums to bring a sense of their own perspective to the tropes of heavy psychedelic rock. Alongside the warmth of tone in the guitar and bass, feeling drawn from the My Sleeping Karma/Colour Haze pastiche of progressive meditations, there is a coinciding edge of English heavy rock and roll that one can hear not so much in the drift of “Temple of Zaum” as in the push of “Black Square Icon,” which follows, as well as the subtle impatience of the drums on “October Dawn.” “Move 37,” on the other hand, is willfully speedier and more upbeat than much of what surrounds, but though opener/longest track (immediate points) “Cold Iron Light” hits 7:26, nothing on Gates of Keras sticks around long enough to overstay its welcome, and even in their deepest contemplations, the feeling of motion carries them and the listener effectively through the album’s span. They sound like a band realizing what they want to do with all the potential they’ve built up.

Cracked Machine on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

PsyKa Records website

 

Megadrone, Transmissions From the Jovian Antennae

Megadrone Transmissions From the Jovian Antennae

From cinematic paranoia to consuming and ultra-slow rollout of massive tonality, the debut offering from Megadrone — the one-man outfit of former Bevar Sea vocalist Ganesh Krishnaswamy — stretches across 53 minutes of unmitigated sonic consumption. If nothing else, Krishnaswamy chose the right moniker for the project. The Bandcamp version is spread across two parts — “Transmission A” (21:45) and “Transmission B” (32:09) — and any vinyl release would require significant editing as well, but the version I have is one huge, extended track, and that feels like exactly how Transmissions From the Jovian Antennae was composed and is supposed to be heard. Its mind-numbing repetitions lead the listener on a subtle forward march — there are drums back in that morass somewhere, I know it — and the piece follows an arc that begins relatively quiet, swells in its midsection and gradually recedes again over its final 10 minutes or so. It goes without saying that a 53-minute work of experimentalist drone crushscaping isn’t going to be for the faint of heart. Bold favors bold.

Megadrone on Thee Facebooks

Megadrone on Bandcamp

 

KLÄMP, Hate You

klamp hate you

Sax-laced noise rock psychedelic freakouts, blown-out drums and shouts and drones, cacophonous stomp and chaotic sprawl, and a finale that holds back its payoff so long it feels cruel, KLÄMP‘s second album, Hate You, arrives less than a year after their self-titled debut, and perhaps there’s some clue as to why in the sheer mania of their execution. Hate You launches with the angularity of its 1:47 title-track and rolls out a nodding groove on top of that, but it’s movement from one part to another, one piece to another, is frenetic, regardless of the actual tempo, and the songs just sound like they were recorded to be played loud. Second cut “Arise” is the longest at 7:35 and it plays back and forth between two main parts before seeming to explode at the end, and by the time that’s done, you’re pretty much KLÄMPed into place waiting to see where the Utrecht trio go next. Oblivion wash on “An Orb,” the drum-led start-stops of “Big Bad Heart,” psych-smash “TJ” and that awaited end in “No Nerves” later, I’m not sure I have any better idea where that might be. That’s also what makes it work.

KLÄMP on Thee Facebooks

God Unknown Records website

 

Mábura, Heni

Mábura heni

Preceded by two singles, Heni is the debut EP from Rio de Janeiro psychedelic tonal worshipers Mábura, and its three component tracks, “Anhangá,” “III/IV” and “Bong of God” are intended to portray a lysergic experience through their according ambience and the sheer depth of the riffs they bring. “Anhangá” has vocals following the extended feedback and drone opening of its first half, but they unfold as a part of the general ambience, along with the drums that arrive late, are maybe sampler/programmed, and finish by leading directly into the crash/fuzz launch of “III/IV,” which just before it hits the two-minute mark unfurls into a watershed of effects and nod, crashing and stomping all the while until everything drops out but the bass only to return a short time later with the Riff in tow. Rumbling into a quick fade brings about the toking intro of “Bong of God,” which unfolds accordingly into a riff-led noisefest that makes its point seemingly without saying a word. I wouldn’t call it groundbreaking, but it’s a first EP. What it shows is that Mábura have some significant presence of tone and purpose. Don’t be surprised when someone picks them up for a release.

Mábura on Thee Facebooks

Mábura on Bandcamp

 

Astral Sleep, Astral Doom Musick

Astral Sleep Astral Doom Musick

It’s still possible to hear some of Astral Sleep‘s death-doom roots in their third album, Astral Doom Musick, but the truth is they’ve become a more expansive unit than that (relatively) simple classification than describe. They’re doom, to be sure, but there are progressive, psychedelic and even traditional doom elements at work across the record’s four-song/43-minute push, with a sense of conceptual composition coming through in “Vril” and “Inegration” in the first half of the proceedings while the nine-and-a-half-minute “Schwerbelastungskörper” pushes into the darkest reaches and closer “Aurinko ja Kuu” harnesses a swirling progressive spread that’s dramatic unto its last outward procession and suitably large-sound in its production and tone. For a band who took eight years to issue a follow-up to their last full-length, Astral Sleep certainly have plenty to offer in aesthetic and craft. If it took them so long to put this record together, their time wasn’t wasted, but it’s hard to listen and not wonder where their next step might take them.

Astral Sleep on Thee Facebooks

Astral Sleep on Bandcamp

 

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Shepherd Announce Breakup; Discuss New Projects in the Works

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Yeah, it’s kind of a surprise to hear Bangalore, India-based sludgers Shepherd are hanging it up, considering it was just a month ago they announced a split with Death by Fungi that’s actually out today, Aug. 15. That, obviously, will mark their swansong, and the trio played their last show this past weekend at The Humming Tree in their hometown. It seems like their calling it quits is owed more to the life situation of the three players involved rather than any kind of consuming malice between them, and that’s always a preferred scenario — at least if the alternative is “we fucking hate each other,” which it sometimes can be — and whether or not Shepherd ever wind up getting together to do anything else, at least they go out with a few marked accomplishments to their collective credit.

Chief among those has to be their 2015 debut album, Stereolithic Riffalocalypse (review here). The band signed a deal that same year to issue a vinyl edition through Helmet Lady Records and though that didn’t materialize — not that it’s in any way too late for it to do so — the songs stand up in their heft and in the memorable impression their sludgely ways left behind. Complementary offerings like the demo collection Demolithic Riffalocalypse in 2016 and Garden of Hate: Live Riffalocalypse in 2017 only reaffirmed the impact of the full-length on both the band and their still-growing base of listeners.

The band’s announcement was short and sweet, and I followed up with them to get some further comment on the end of Shepherd and what might come next. Both follow here:

shepherd

SHEPHERD (2011-2017): REST IN RIFFS

Unfortunately, the time has come to lay this old thing to rest once and for all. We’ve done a lot more than we ever thought we would when we started this band. It wouldn’t have been possible without all your support, THANK YOU!

Shepherd on their breakup:

It’s sad that we had to put Shepherd to rest, but right now, it seemed like the best thing to do. The three of us are soon going to be on 3 different continents, and even though it’s not impossible to continue as a studio only project, we figured it was the best time to call it quits. Dee and Namit are pretty much the driving force behind the band and the only remaining original members. When I moved to Sweden, it was not too hard to find some amazing musicians to stand in, but with Namit moving Stateside, it felt that it would be better to just to get the split out and bow out.

We’ve had an amazing experience so far and it’s still a bit of a shocker what we’ve managed to pull off, and it wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s support. So thank You!

The only thing we regret is not being able to get Stereolithic Riffalocalypse out on vinyl, especially when it was so close to happening. So yeah, apologies to everyone who was waiting to get their hands on it. We were as bummed out as you were when the label deal fell through.

Regarding what the future holds, I’m sure individually, we will all be involved in some musical projects. Dee’s already put out an album with his solo project, The Earth Below, and he’s already busy working on new material, plus he’s got a bunch of other side-projects.

Shepherd was:
Deepak Raghu (Drums/Vocals)
Namit Chauhan (Guitars/Vocals)
Abhishek Michael (Bass/Vocals)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shepherd/144878495627033
https://twitter.com/ShepherdSludge
https://instagram.com/shepherd.sludge/
https://shepherdrock.bandcamp.com/album/shep-dbf-split

Shepherd, “Agents of Nihil” official video

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Shepherd Announce Split with Death by Fungi Due Aug. 15; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Indian sludgers Shepherd have announced an Aug. 15 release for their upcoming split with the Mumbai-based hardcore outfit Death by Fungi. For Shepherd, the split will follow quickly on the heels of their May 2017 limited CD, Garden of Hate: Live Riffalocalypse, and to herald the arrival of the new offering, they’ve got a video for “Agents of Nihil” streaming now that you can see at the bottom of this post. It’s a quick two-plus minutes but gives a sense of their metallic vibes and adds some edge of melody to its proceedings as well, so as it’s one of five they’ll feature on the upcoming offering, it seems fair to expect a good amount of intensity throughout. Right on.

Preorders are up now if that’s your thing. Info follows courtesy of the PR wire:

shepherd-death-by-fungi-split

Hardcore Mayhem from India: Sludge unit Shepherd and hardcore band Death By Fungi release Split Album

Two of India’s most abrasive bands – Shepherd and Death By Fungi – are teaming up for one hell of a split album, Shep/DBF Split, slated to release on August 15th.

Shepherd, who hail from India’s verdant IT hub of Bangalore, have been regulars on the gigging circuit since 2011, dealing out atmospheric, slowburn sludge on the regular. This five-track side turns away from their low-end jams to become a complete ear drum-bruiser, drummer-vocalist Deepak Raghu and guitarist-vocalist Namit Chauhan picking up the tempo to channel more Black Flag, Discharge and even a bit of grunge for a puerile noise fest. The EP features guests from diverse backgrounds – veteran guitarist Jimmy Palkhivala (from doom/death band Dying Embrace) ripping out a noisy solo on “Agents of Nihil”, Bhayanak Maut co-vocalist Sunneith Revankar and Ganesh Krishnaswamy (from stoner-doom band Bevar Sea and old school stalwarts Kryptos) adding growls on the crushing closer “Weed Dealer”.

Mirroring the rage are Mumbai’s razor-edge hardcore band Death By Fungi, started out as guitarist vocalist Vrishank Menon’s solo project in 2012, adding members over the years (drummer Aryaman Chatterjee, bassist Kamran Raza and vocalist Tabish Khidir). With two EPs (Death By Fungi – 2015, In dearth of – 2016), the (then) trio proved they can stomp their way through a near non-existent punk, mathcore and hardcore landscape in the country. Now, with four new tracks this year, Death By Fungi are pitching the hardcore flag with precision, a rawer, aggro sound that recalls everyone from Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan.

With the split set to release digitally worldwide on August 15th, Shepherd already have a blistering taste to offer for fans, with the monochrome video to the astonishingly gruesome “Agents of Nihil.”

The split can be pre-ordered below.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shepherd/144878495627033
https://twitter.com/ShepherdSludge
https://instagram.com/shepherd.sludge/
https://shepherdrock.bandcamp.com/album/shep-dbf-split

https://www.facebook.com/deathbyfungi
https://twitter.com/deathbyfungi
https://soundcloud.com/deathbyfungi
https://deathbyfungi.bandcamp.com/

Shepherd, “Agents of Nihil” official video

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Bevar Sea, Invoke the Bizarre: Move into Alignment

Posted in Reviews on December 9th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

bevar sea invoke the bizarre

“All roads lead to the Sabbath,” intones Bevar Sea vocalist Ganesh Krishnaswamy on “Bearded and Bizarre,” the opening track of Invoke the Bizarre. That may well be the case, at least as far as heavy rock, sludge and doom go, but it hardly speaks to the full scope of the Bangalore five-piece’s sophomore outing. Released in India via The Mighty Riff Records, the six-track/47-minute offering is the follow-up to their 2012 self-titled debut (track stream here) and finds the band engaged in multi-tiered progression, guitarist Srikanth Panaman pushing the material into more aggressive instrumental territory while Krishnaswamy executes a central lyrical theme through his gruff vocals, moments like the big slowdown of “Bearded and Bizarre” or “Sleeping Pool” calling Obituary to mind more than most doom, even as Avinash Ramchander seems to be nodding at Black Sabbath‘s “Heaven and Hell” in his bassline for the latter.

That lyrical theme is less narrative than would put Invoke the Bizarre in concept-record territory, but suffice it to say there are a couple wizards around. With Panaman and Rahul Chacko (also visual art) on guitar, Ramchander on bass and Deepak Raghu on drums, the tracks sound full and weighted when they’re supposed to — which is pretty much everywhere except the penultimate “Heathen” — but there’s a prevailing rawness in the tones, and though layered, in the lack of effects on the vocals as well, that keeps a naturalist thread running through the opener as it seems to dirge-march further and further toward its own oblivion, finding some acoustic strum to go along with its fervent chug when it gets there. The upshot? It is not long into the proceedings before Invoke the Bizarre lives up to its name.

It works because of an overall cohesion of sound — Nikhil Pai recorded at Adarsh Recording Studio, while Snail bassist Matt Lynch mixed and mastered at Mysterious Mammal — and because Bevar Sea are clear in their sonic intent. Invoke the Bizarre breaks more or less into even three-song sides, each comprising a shorter song sandwiched by two longer ones. The songwriting varies between tracks, and “Bury Me in NOLA” bears surprisingly little resemblance to Down as the midpoint of what would be a vinyl’s side A, instead taking on more doomed impulses as it calls for more moonshine at its apex, Krishnaswamy echoing out a few obscure lines after the instruments have finished, as much setting a sparse foundation for “Sleeping Pool” to begin as rounding out “Bury Me in NOLA” itself. The chug runs strong in the initial moments of “Sleeping Pool,” but there’s a sense of melody in the guitars and layered vocals of the verse as well.

bevar sea 1

Those vocals are a bit forward in the mix, but there’s plenty of dense tonality surrounding, and Raghu‘s drums hold the track together fluidly, dropping out momentarily as the song approaches its midsection only to return for an especially satisfying, swinging push around the five-minute mark. How it might tie into the lyrical theme, I don’t know, but “Sleeping Pool” does seem to feature the line, “All aboard the whisky train,” sort of spat out in rhythmic layers before and after a standout dual-guitar solo, so one way or another, Bevar Sea immerse themselves into a rippling morass of sludge rock, dense and punishing in kind, but still accessible for the already-converted. Effects in the aforementioned end-section of “Sleeping Pool” add monstrous edge to the creeping central riff, and the band seem well in their comfort zone riding that progression to the track’s finish, some 10-plus minutes after it began.

Side B is given a somewhat more melancholic instrumental beginning with a guitar solo at the start of “Where There’s Smoke (There’s a Pyre),” but the bulk of the song itself is geared more toward Iommic metal than emotive positioning. The drums offer liberal double-kick, and Krishnaswamy sneers out verses early in single layer as a faster guitar push veers away from some of the more riff-led fare — an even bigger shift when one considers the first album — into more of a full-band straight-ahead approach. At 7:54, “Where There’s Smoke (There’s a Pyre)” both mirrors the opener “Bearded and Bizarre” and has its own personality, later doubled vocals calling to mind Ronnie James Dio in hyperenunciating the word “fire.” A turn into acoustic strum and backing percussion is immediate for “Heathen,” which is less than two minutes long but more than an interlude as a precursor to “The Grand Alignment” for its melodic pulse and overarching adventurousness.

The closer is the longest inclusion at 11:45 and embarks on a grander feel in its chorus that’s a further show of the growth Bevar Sea have undertaken in the last three years. One would expect “The Grand Alignment” to build to a formidable crescendo before it’s done, and it lives up to that promise, but it’s worth pointing out that’s not actually how Invoke the Bizarre concludes, the band instead pushing through the chugging plod and almost sneaking in a break of jazzy psychedelic noodling before riffing out another couple measures at full assault and calling it a day with a final semi-chorus, sustained guitar noise being the last element to fade out. Even in this final moment, the fivesome don’t let an opportunity pass to make the name of the record a reality, but that impulse is also one of the strongest aspects of Invoke the Bizarre, since it’s that willingness to break with genre convention that underlines the development in Bevar Sea‘s approach. Combined with the sense of attack that Invoke the Bizarre has at times, it puts the band in a place all the more their own.

Bevar Sea, Invoke the Bizarre (2015)

Bevar Sea on Thee Facebooks

Bevar Sea on Twitter

Bevar Sea on Bandcamp

The Mighty Riff Records

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Bevar Sea Confirm Oct. 31 Release for Invoke the Bizarre

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 9th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

bevar sea

Bangalore sludgers Bevar Sea first announced the release of their second album, Invoke the Bizarre, back in May, and today they affirm that the record will be out on Sept. 25 in India and Oct. 31 for the rest of the world. A couple tracks from Invoke the Bizarre have made their way out at this point, including “Sleeping Pool,” which you can hear below, and the album is available to preorder direct from the band worldwide.

The PR wire brings info and links:

bevar sea invoke the bizarre

India’s BEVAR SEA ‘Invoke the Bizarre’ on Upcoming Sophomore Album

India’s BEVAR SEA ‘Invoke the Bizarre’ on Upcoming Sophomore Album

Bangalore-based (India) Stoner/Doom Metal quintet BEVAR SEA will release its sophomore album Invoke the Bizarre worldwide on October 31. Pre-order the album at this location.

In November 2014, after a 10-day whirlwind session at Adarsh Recording Studio in their hometown, the band completing the challenging task of following up such a well-received debut album. Invoke the Bizarre sees a musically maturing BEVAR SEA in exploration of new sonic territories while remaining rooted in Stoner and Doom Metal. The album was then mixed and mastered by Matt Lynch from LA’s Mysterious Mammal Recording between April and August 2015.

1. Bearded and Bizarre
2. Bury Me in NOLA
3. Sleeping Pool
4. Where There’s Smoke (There’s a Pyre)
5. Heathen
6. Grand Alignment

BEVAR SEA started out in 2007-2008, and became a serious performing and recording act in late 2010. They’ve since gathered an unprecedented cult following in the country based on their powerful live performances and recorded output, as well as in doom circles abroad.

The band’s self-titled debut album was released in October 2012 to great response from both the local and international audiences, and favourable reviews from critics everywhere. The album was recorded by the band themselves at The Doom Cave, and was mixed and mastered by Billy Anderson (Melvins, Neurosis, Sleep, High on Fire, Agalloch etc), and featured artwork by the band’s lead guitarist and artist Rahul Chacko.

The record showcased a fairly young band playing doom with generous influence from 70s hard rock, with all the hooks, melodies and blues-favoured riffs you’d expect from that combo. The positive response worldwide to the album went a long way to putting them on the map, even as far as earning them a slot at the prestigious Maryland Deathfest in the USA. Songs from the album became live staples since the release, and were also featured in various compilations worldwide.

Two years after the release of the first album, with more experience and skill under their belt, the band wrapped up writing new songs for the second album titled Invoke the Bizarre. The album is set for a 25th September 2015 release in India and October 31st for the rest of the world.

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Bevar Sea, “Sleeping Pool”

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Bevar Sea Announce New LP Invoke the Bizarre; Stream New Song “Sleeping Pool”

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 11th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

bevar sea

Bangalore sludge five-piece Bevar Sea will release their second album, Invoke the Bizarre, later this year. Looking to progress beyond the stylizations of their 2012 self-titled debut (track stream here), the band worked closely with Snail bassist Matt Lynch on the mixing and mastering end of the process, having recorded with Nikhil Pai at Adarsh Recording Studio.

Artwork, conceptual and practical details and the tracklisting for Invoke the Bizarre have surfaced, but even more telling of the growth the band has undertaken over the last couple years is the stream of the 10-minute “Sleeping Pool,” which one can find along with the album announcement and comment from Bevar Sea and Lynch below, as put out by the band:

bevar sea invoke the bizarre

Bevar Sea reveals second album details, premieres an entire song.

India’s doom mainstays Bevar Sea have raked in global attention since the release of their self-titled debut album back in 2012. The record showcased a fairly young band playing doom with generous influence from 70s hard rock, with all the hooks, melodies and blues-favoured riffs you’d expect from that combo. The positive response worldwide to the album went a long way to putting them on the map, even as far as earning them a slot at the prestigious Maryland Deathfest in the USA.

Two years later, with a bit more experience and skill under their belt, the band wrapped up writing new songs for the second album, and on November 2014, they entered a 10-day whirlwind recording session at Adarsh Recording Studio in their hometown of Bangalore.

Band founder and de facto producer Srikanth Panaman weighed in on the experience: “We went in with way better preparation this time around. With help from our experienced FoH engineer Nikhil Pai, we found the best drum room in town, with the kind of mics and other assorted equipment we wanted, in order to get the sound we had imagined in our heads. The recording process was a breeze, and that’s something we couldn’t have imagined in 2011 during the first album’s production. Matt Lynch (Mysterious Mammal Studios, also the bassist of the amazing Snail) had been on board from the pre-production stage, so we talked and agreed on what had to be done to capture the best tones and performances from everyone, and to have things ready for Matt to do his mixes. We weren’t going to do any editing, sampling, or time aligning, so it was important that we got things right at the source the old fashioned way. I was very happy with the results we got, and Matt has since been able to give us the mixes we deserve.”

Matt Lynch had this to say about things from his side of the fence: “I can tell they worked really hard on the preproduction and tracking process, and after hearing the rough mixes of the new tunes, it was clear that this record is going to turn some heads not just in India, but around the globe.”

About what can be expected of the music on the new album, Panaman said, “It’s still broadly stoner and doom metal, but it’s also completely different from anything we did on the first album. It’s darker, at times faster and more metal, and for complete contrast, we’ve also got two entirely slow dirges.”

“Invoke the Bizarre” is the album title, and its track list follows:
1. Bearded and Bizarre
2. Bury me in NOLA
3. Heathen
4. Where there’s Smoke (there’s a Pyre)
5. Sleeping Pool
6. The Grand Alignment

Vocalist and lyricist-in-chief Ganesh Krishnaswamy took a different approach to the album’s themes this time around. While it won’t lay claim to being a concept album, there’s still a discernible string that ties it all together. According to him, “The album is set in Elder Time; time before time as we humans know it, when practitioners of ancient magic and the occult rose up against the greed and might of a system that was knee deep in rot, corruption and avarice.”

The album’s artwork is once again being handled by in-house doodler Rahul Chacko, who continues with the underwater theme that was first explored on the debut album’s multi-panel artwork. Taking time off his busy schedule, he said, “The painting for the album cover depicts the birth of a creature in answer to the cosmic summons to overthrow the despotic regime. In a way, it represents the band’s sound on the second album – less catchy, with more of an ugly slithering feel to it.”

As for the remaining artwork for the album: “The first album had illustrations for each song, but all those were done beforehand for projection slides to use at gigs or for merch. This time, the entire album will be unified by one cohesive landscape with elements from all the songs. It’ll definitely feel a lot more ‘together’ than the first, since everything is being done from scratch and specifically designed to take advantage of the physical formats.”

Invoke the Bizarre is set to release later in 2015, with the exact date to be set soon. Until then, the band has released the ten minute song, “Sleeping Pool” on their Soundcloud channel.

Incidentally, this was the song that Matt loved the most from the demo stages. In his own words, “Sleeping Pool is the crown jewel of the record, and I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into the mix to get it as huge as possible. It’s ten minutes of sludgy doom that draws you in from the first muted guitar chugs, into the crushing swing and finally the swaggering, pummeling end riff takes you over the edge into a hypnotic, bludgeoned trance-state, devolving into a feast of backmasking and delay loops that sounds like a giant cyclops stumbling through the demonic end scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Bevar Sea are:
Ganesh Krishnaswamy – vocals
Rahul Chacko – guitars
Srikanth Panaman – guitars
Avinash Ramchander – bass
Deepak Raghu – drums

Facebook: http://facebook.com/bevarsea
YouTube: http://youtube.com/bevarsea
Bandcamp: http://bevarsea.bandcamp.com
https://soundcloud.com/bevarsea/

Bevar Sea, “Sleeping Pool”

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Shepherd Sign to Helmet Lady Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 24th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

shepherd

Cool news from the nascent Helmet Lady Records, who have just picked up Bangalore, India, three-piece Shepherd for not one, but two vinyl releases, the first an official issue of their Demonstration 2 2012 demo and the second an LP edition of their well-received Stereolithic Riffalocalypse (review here) full-length debut. The label, whose ears have proven to be on the ground in choice other pickups like Saturndust1886 and Hawkeyes, will welcome Shepherd with the first release this summer as the band’s reputation continues to grow internationally.

The announcement came down the PR wire, as announcements do:

Helmet Lady Records News- Signing Announcement!

Helmet Lady Records is damn ecstatic to announce the signing of crushing, India-based doom band, Shepherd. Our small family has grown quickly in 2015 and Shepherd serves as an important cornerstone in the development of the label as a nirvana of beautifully heavy music on vinyl.

Such big plans we have for these tunes!!

First off, Demonstration 2 is set to be released this Summer as #1 in the new HLR Ruination series as a newly mastered uber-limited, hot mixed, custom colored vinyl limited to only 111 copies featuring artwork by the band and four raw, powerful tracks that set the doom meter aflame. No phasers remained set on “stun” for this one, I can assure you!

Next, HLR will delve into the amazing full length debut album, Stereolithic Riffalocalypse, which is scheduled to be released very late Summer or early fall with limited, boutique versions available including a die hard that includes a custom, deluxe art print and a unique band only custom version.

Bludgeoning, menacing and brash, the album is a bold production that delivers the heavy in a huge way, and will leave you begging for more!

Both releases will be available on vinyl and digitally at www.helmetladyrecords.com

Shepherd is probably the only Bangalore-based sludge/heavy rock band from India. The band has been making waves in the underground, drawing Influence from the guitar-driven sounds of early 90’s hard rock (Soundgarden, The Melvins, Eyehategod) and the aural assault of 80’s hardcore punk (Black Flag,Discharge, Fear), the band has built a reputation for itself as an ever-evolving and unpredictable heavy rock entity. You don’t need more proof of that than just one listen to the eight tracks that feature on Stereolithic Riffalocalypse, which was recorded at Bangalore’s Area 51 Studio and mixed by Rahul Ranganath and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, who has previously worked with the likes of YOB, Obituary, Sourvein and Old Man Gloom.

Despite a setlist that keeps growing with every gig under its belt, the band takes it a step further by introducing improvisational elements into their music – sort of a rarity in heavy music. Shepherd being the only band of its kind in India has been slowly building a reputation as one of the loudest, heaviest three-piece band to watch out for, ready to take on the rest of the country, and the world.

Shepherd is:
Deepak Raghu – drums/vocals
Namit Chauhan – guitars/vocals
Abhishek Michael – bass/vocals

https://www.facebook.com/shepherdrock
https://shepherdrock.bandcamp.com/
http://www.helmetladyrecords.com
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Shepherd, “Five”

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