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Bevar Sea : Bevar Sea

Stoner Doom from India may not be as sitar-based as one might expect, it is still very enjoyable, as Bevar Sea proves it.

It’s not that Bevar Sea’s self-titled EP is deficient in any way; quite frankly there is no evidence of that. It’s just that when I told my Lord and Editor that I was interested in reviewing Asian Doom- particularly Indian and South East Asian bands- I had something else in mind. I imagined more of a transcendental, albeit spiritual sound saturated in Sitar and Tambour. For me, the idea of an Indian Doom band seems a likely game-changer for Doom Metal; closing up the loop of musical culture’s retro-active time-lines back to when the Beatles hooked up with the Maharishi and began dropping acid. Certainly, the climate of Doom Metal as a genre seems to be pointing to that era, having gone way past 70s hard-rock mimicry and into mid-to-late 60s folk and psychedelia! The latter is not the case with this Bangalore, India five-piece.

Once I recovered from my disillusion, I began to appreciate this on a different level. Although there would be no Charras-inspired fogginess nor sonically-induced opening of third eyes, this 4-song record does have some way heavy tone with playing chops to match. Bevar Sea have a big, crisp sound to them. After a couple of listens, musically speaking, they began to remind me a bit of Cathedral, only with a different vocal style. The recording quality is also surprisingly clean and bright; and though a bit brighter than anything from the average band doing the Doom thing right now, it worked well with their style and didn’t rock the record off of its kilter.

“Abishtu”, the second track on the record is the standout here! Opening with an austere, almost monastic mood, it slowly builds into some hard-rocking guitar riffing over diligently rolling toms. The mid-section of the song (about four minutes in) gives the band’s lead guitarist the limelight as he breaks into a beautifully melodic, yet minimal solo that closes out this tune. The epic riff at 7:14 that then rides the song out could not have been a better fit to punctuate this jam memorably.

All in all, my curiosity was aroused for any future full-lengths from Bevar Sea. I hear a lot of musical prowess in this self-titled, but something tells me they have yet to have unfurled fully. These cats have proficiency with their instruments, showing clear potential for something truly great in the makings. I would like to see a warmer, dirtier tone in future releases, but this is a reasonably good jump-off point. For now, I’ll have to continue searching for something that plays a bit like Ravi Shankar peaking on Red Skull and Crossbones blotter!
Sitar version of “Planet Caravan” anyone?!

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. The Smiler
2. Abishtu
3. Universal Sleeper
4. Mono Gnome

Duration : Approx. 43 minutes

Visit the Bevar Sea bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-09-30 by Frank Lopez
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