Monday, April 22, 2013

Bevar Sea - S/T

When I think of great stoner/doom capitals in the world, many names come to mind.  Birmingham, the home of Sabbath.  The California desert, home of Kyuss, and really, any place in Sweden, because Sweden, well . . . rocks.

But I don't think of Bangalore.

At least not until now.

I know nothing of Bangalore.  Nothing of the atmosphere and climate that could breed a band this heavy.  This mammoth.  This seeped in the classic sounds of early Sabbath and the doom fathers that followed.  But some quick tapping at the keys revealed that earliest reference to what became Bagalore was found in a ninth century stone inscription on a "vīra gallu" (ವೀರಗಲ್ಲು)  which literally translates to, "hero stone", a rock edict extolling the virtues of a warrior.  And perhaps that's the key.  Because the band Bevar Sea are nothing if not warriors, extolling the virtues of the hard and heavy in the world of doom.

With Sabbath as a foundation, these warriors chiseled into their rock the inscription of southern sludge, the  carvings of the wasted california desert, and finished it with the artistry of progressive/darkened psychedelia, all of which as combined to form their monument to heavy rock.  Their own vīra gallu to extoll their belief in the heavy.

43 minutes and only four songs with nary a minute wasted. The riffs come one after another like cars from a barreling freight train, each one hitting me with the impact of that locomotive.  "The Smiler" mutates the riff from Iron Man and combines it with the grizzled vocals of a weary warrior--one who has seen too much and swallowed too much and needs to vent.  And the guitar wail away and the riff gets heavier and harder and it's all just so . . . perfect.

But this isn't an album to dissect each individual song.  Rather, each track works like another hammer to that chisel, inscribing the stone with the power of Bevar Sea's rock.  Together, these four tracks comprise one massive epic, made up of four smaller epics.  Each song takes it's own time to evolve and develop, each one telling it's own tale in time and pace, tempo and exploration.  And not to put too much into the "warrior" analogy, but damn, I'd swear listening to tracks like "Abishtu" that I can see ancient troops marching, battlefields and bodies and war and armies.   And doom.  Lots of doom.  Almost as if Bevar Sea have created their own genre of the stoner/doom world, "battle doom."

Guitar leads when they come are restrained and tasty, like a brief reprise from the bloodshed.  The rhythm section is always dead on keeping the soldiers steadily trudging towards their doom.  The vocals add the menace.  And the riffs are the war.  Battle doom.  Inscribed on an ancient rock.  A warriors creed.

Bevar Sea have found it.  They embody it.  An album I can't listen to enough.

From now on, we'll all remember Bangalore. 

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