REVIEW: BEVAR SEA – “Invoking The Bizarre”
Bevar Sea are a Stoner/Doom band from Bangalore, India that was formed in 2010. Their name is a clever tongue-in-cheek twist to the Kannada word “Bevarsi” that translates to “Bastard”. True to the hidden meaning behind its name, the music of Bevar Sea can be described as the evil illegitimate child born out of the unholy union of the bluesy 70’s Hard Rock/Heavy Metal bands like Black Sabbath or Thin Lizzy and the fairly modern 90s Stoner/Doom bands like Electric Wizard and Orange Goblin.
Their self-titled debut album was like a breath of fresh air, especially in the Indian Metal scene, when it came out in 2012. While their debut album was tilted more towards the bluesy Hard Rock sound, their sophomore effort ‘Invoking the Bizarre’ is a dirtier incarnation of the band and more “true” to the Stoner/Doom Metal genre, although not restricted to it. They create interesting dynamics by employing a mix of sinister doom laden riffs and faster thrashy rhythm sections.
The album kick-starts with “Bearded and Bizarre” and straight away you notice the difference in the band’s sound. It’s faster, thrashier and the riffs have a distinct ominous feel to it. Ganesh Krishnaswamy’s raspy vocals blend in the mix perfectly. The track explodes to a groovy chorus before twisting entirely into a slow doomy riff near the midway mark. Krishnaswamy’s voice completely transforms into a bestial growl from the depths of hell enhancing the evilness of the track. It picks up the pace again as Rahul Chacko and Srikanth Panaman take turns during the melodic solo backed by some super groovy work behind the kit by drummer Deepak Raghu. The track alternates between the faster thrashy rhythms and the slower doomy riffs, but the real surprise is towards the end where there’s a sweet acoustic section over which bassist Avinash Ramchander weaves his magic that simply must not be missed.
“Bury Me in NOLA” begins with a slow chug that transforms into a meaty face melting riff with Krishnaswamy’s quivering vocals appropriately enhancing the sludge. The track is a nice mix of heavy, melodic guitar parts that’s instantly recognizable as Bevar Sea’s staple style. The track slithers into a quiet ambient ominous corner after the midway mark before exploding again into a fireball of heavy riffage.
‘Invoking The Bizarre’ has much more variations in the compositions than their debut album. The tempo changes that the band employs work beautifully to hook the listener for the entire length of the album. “Where’s There’s Smoke (There is a Pyre)” is one of my favourite tracks on the album for the sheer dynamics it possesses. It starts off with a monstrously heavy riff soon followed by a melodic solo giving away to a nice groovy riff that is sure to reside in your head long after you listen to the album. Raghu is kickass behind the kit and strikes with finesse throughout this track. The longest tracks on the album “The Grand Alignment” and “The Sleeping Pool”, incorporate every element the band is known for and package it flawlessly. “The Sleeping Pool” is epic and progressive whereas “The Grand Alignment” is fast and groovy. I am not sure whether you will get lost in the ambient and psychedelic guitar passages of “The Sleeping Pool” or bang your heads to the groove in “The Grand Alignment”, but one thing is for sure, you will definitely fall in love with them.
‘Invoke the Bizarre’ improves upon its predecessor with its faster pace and dynamics. While their debut album gave us a glimpse of the headspace the band was in during its formative years, ‘Invoke the Bizarre’ gives us a sense of the band’s future course of direction. Needless to say, exciting times ahead!