Tag Archives: Mono-gnome

Bevar Sea by Bevar Sea


Firstly, to all the old school metal Nazis out there – I am no patron of old school metal. I happened to stumble upon the band Bevar Sea when I was in Bangalore this summer. The name, which means bastard in Kannada, immediately caught my attention. So I went to their Facebook page and was blown away by a lot of their art work, branding and promotion strategies, and of course their music.  This five piece Stoner/Doom metal outfit from Bangalore comprises of Ganesh Krishnaswamy on vocals, Srikanth Panaman on lead guitars, Avinash Ramchandar on bass, Deepak Raghu on drums and Rahul Chacko– who plays the guitar and does all the cool artwork for the band.

The band has been around for two years now and although they are almost unheard of up north, the band is making all the right noises in the city where it matters most – Bangalore. With their self-titled debut album, Bevar Sea has proved that they are no pushovers in the Indian metal space and have, beyond a doubt, played a key role in pioneering the stoner/doom metal genre in India.

The album consists of four tracks – no, it’s not an EP – and clocks in at a little over 40 minutes and is an intriguing mix of heavy, stoner, psych and doom metal. Srikanth and Rahul competently create thick, heavy tones with their low tuned guitars to create the soul of the song, while Avinash plays some massive riffs in accord to form a bass-heavy wall of sound. Another characteristic of the album is its focus on slow tempos and large amounts of distortion to produce a heavy, grinding sort of sound. However, the most fascinating part of the album for me is the lyrical themes adapted by Ganesh Krishnaswamy in the song writing process. The writing is generally pessimistic and includes various themes of suffering, gore, fear and anger.

The first track of the album, ‘The Smiler, gives you the first glimpse of what to expect in the next 30 minutes or so. Much like the rest of the album, ‘The Smiler’ almost takes you through a nostalgic journey through the 70s, but the track doesn’t fall into the 70s genre: it is no nonsense modern-day music with massive riffs, 70s rock inspired clean vocals and enthused lyrical themes sung with a sense of desperation and despair.

The second track on the album is the anthemic crowd favorite – ‘Abishtu’(Brahmin term for a retard). The song is about a dwarfed serial-killing biker who goes around killing hipster douchebags without any remorse. If Bevar Sea gigs are anything to go by, this song already has a lot of takers. Musically, the song retains the characteristics of the album with long groovy riffs, heavy bass lines, minimalist guitar solos and heavy distortions. This song was my favorite Bevar Sea track for the longest time till I heard ‘Mono Gnome’.

The next track of the album is ‘Universal Sleeper’ and the song clocks in at slightly under 10 minutes. This song arguably has the catchiest of all riffs in the album. However, the riff sounds too familiar for comfort. Every time I hear the song I get an uneasy feeling that I’ve heard the riff before but still haven’t been able to put a finger on it. Musically, the song has a bluesy chilled-out feel to it, which adds depth and versatility to the entire album. Lyrically, the song is aspirational for people who like sleeping – which is probably everyone.

The next track on the album is my new favorite and also the album ender – ‘Mono Gnome,’ which is 17 minutes long. In an era where the demographics of music fans are changing so rapidly and music is being produced according to what listeners want to listen to, hats off to Bevar Sea for writing this song. The song is about a gnome who has an enthralling affair with the devil’s mistress. This seventeen minute epic ends with the witch setting the world on fire after making love to the gnome on top of a mountain – what an end to a debut album!

If I had to rate this album out of 10, I’d give it an 8 because they’ve set the bar so high for other Indian bands in terms of production quality, branding, merchandising, art work and even distribution.

I would definitely recommend this album to anyone who has $3 to spare (for digital download, physical copy options start at $8). However, is this the best metal album of the year so far musically? Well perhaps – although I really liked Limit Zero’s album too.


Riff ’em All at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore


Riff ’em All was scheduled one day prior to Metallica’s much-looked-forward-to concert in Bangalore and was meant for all the out-of-towners who had descended upon good ol’ Bangalore to see what would hopefully be Metallica’s maiden show in India, and also for some Bangaloreans who were planning to skip the Metallica concert. Riff ’em All held a lot of promise and was all set to showcase some of Bangalore’s best metal bands.

After battling the rains that evening, I walked in right when Culminant had just taken stage (I had unfortunately missed Corrode’s performance). I’ve seen quite a few of their performances this year, and this is one band that has grown stronger with every performance. Starting off with ‘Wrath of the Fallen’ they held everyone’s attention and electrified the stage with their very first song. They played two more OCs – ‘Innate Instinct’ and ‘Realm of the Tyrant’ much to the crowd’s delight. What was supposed to follow was their cover of Slayer’s ‘Raining Blood’ which didn’t happen because the bass drum’s skin gave way and since there seemed to be no alternative means of going ahead, their set came to an untimely end. The band said their goodbyes, apologized for the short set and left despite people cheering for more.

Riff 'em All at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

The next band on stage was Gorified, Bangalore’s mainstay goregrinders. They played a longer set this time around, which included two covers. Gorified gave the crowd a good, strong dose of brutality and put on a pretty intense show despite the usual sound problems that plague Kyra, playing seven OCs. The first and the last songs from their setlist, ‘Autopsy Devourment’ and ‘Vulgar Display of Genital Flatulence’ elicited the best response from the crowd. They finally ended their set with two covers – Cannibal Corpse’s ‘Stripped, Raped and Strangled’ and the other surprisingly, Metallica’s ‘Damage Inc.’ this time with former Abandoned Agony drummer Shreyas Kamath on drums. They were the first and probably the only band that night which managed to get the crowd into a violent mosh!

Riff 'em All at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

The mighty Dying Embrace, one of the oldest bands in Indian Metal, the grand-daddies of the scene so to speak, finally came on stage. This performance was highly awaited and they did not disappoint. The horns thrown high up in the air and frenzied chants of ‘Dying Embrace’ stood testament to this fact. They played quite a great selection of songs, their set had ‘Blood Rites’, the Sabbath inspired ‘As Eternity Fades’, ‘The Passing Away’,  ‘Spawn of the Depths’, ‘Dagda – His Time has Come’, ‘Grotesque Entity’, ‘Oremus Diabolum’ and they ended with their tribute to one of the bands that have inspired them, a cover of Autopsy’s ‘Twisted Mass of Burnt Decay’. Great music apart, the showmanship was brilliant, each song had its own artwork displayed, Deepak’s drumming was impeccable, Jimmy’s solos were met with wild cheering and applause and had the audience hungry for more while Vikram Bhat absolutely owned the stage with his spirited performance. The set finally ended with them stating that their next appearance would be alongside Japanese Black/Thrash band Abigail in 2012’s edition of the Trendslaughter fest. Dying Embrace was most certainly the highlight of that night.

Riff 'em All at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

Bevar Sea, the penultimate act of the night was up next. The band has only played a handful of shows and yet is popular for its stellar performances and this night was no different. They kicked of their set with ‘The Smiler’ and the riffs and thundering rhythm sections hit the crowd with the force of a sledgehammer. The heavy onslaught continued with them playing ‘Universal Sleeper’ and finally a cover as was the trend that night, Black Sabbath’s ‘Lord of this World’. ‘Abishtu’ was up next and had a majority of the ecstatic crowd screaming along. What followed was a pleasant surprise – Bevar Sea, fresh from their Sabbath tribute in Chennai, decided to play yet another cover – this time it was Sabbath’s ‘The Wizard’. They played one of their original compositions ‘Mono Gnome’ and just when people thought their set had finally ended, they pulled yet another Sabbath number from the hat, ‘Sweet Leaf’. Though the set had a couple of fumbles along the way, it was one of the best that night.

Riff 'em All at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

The headliners Kryptos took stage after a slightly lengthy sound check. Decked out in trademark denim and leather, they brought forth their brand of blazing, old school metal. Their setlist for Riff ’em All was slightly different from what they had played throughout this year and it included two songs from their upcoming album The Coils of Apollyon. They started off with ‘Satyr-like Face’ and then played songs from the first two albums including ‘Order of the D.N.A.’ and ‘The Revenant’. ‘The Mask of Anubis’ and for the very first time ‘Spellcraft’ from Coils followed. ‘Tower of Illusions’ and ‘Forgotten Land of Ice’ were up next and the band had a surprise in store for the crowd, not another cover, but ex-member of Kryptos and current vocalist of Bevar Sea, Ganesh joined them on stage for the final song of the night ‘Descension’.

The organizers had arranged a massive merchandise stall which had everything from CDs, t-shirts and posters from a variety of bands, which included bands that were playing that night among others. It also served as a great place for interaction with fans and bands from other cities. All in all, the gig was great, had a responsive crowd with a massive turnout of around 350 people and some brilliant performances – a perfect prelude for the Metallica concert.


Trendslaughter Fest 2011 at Kyra Theatre, Bangalore





The Trendslaughter Fest was held on Saturday, 19th March 2011 at Kyra Theatre, and was organised by Cyclopean Eye Productions in association with Undergrind Productions and Gigbox. A lot of the crew for Trendslaughter seemed to be the same as that for the Undergrind Fest in January and it’s remarkable how gigs are organised by them with little regard or none as to how many people will come to see or like the acts and preference being given on keeping the lineup extreme and having only those bands play which they themselves would like to see. Headlining this fest was the straight-forward Death/Thrash Metal act from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Orator whose music deals with the occult, the Left Hand Path (Vamachara) philosophy of Hinduism.

Bevar Sea took the stage first. A relatively new band with a bunch of chilled out guys with a sound like they put it “No bullshit stoner-doom with an old-school heavy rawk foundation”. Their influences of a Black Sabbath sound rings through and you in some way cannot help but fantasize being in a time capsule, taken back to a time in Birmingham when metal was raw and majestic. Ganesh on vocals gave an edge to the slow, grinding and chugging guitars. Their infectiously catchy number ‘The Smiler’ was the first on the list. A new track titled ‘Mono Gnome’ got its first live play. They also covered a Black Sabbath song. Like their earlier show, each song was matched with catchy artwork and beer can treats to head bangers who could the catch attention of the band.

Back to the future, Culminant geared up to play next. However during sound step up, there were unexpected technical difficulties with guitarists Pranay and Anup’s gear. With a little help from the Dying Embrace and Gorified, both were armed with different guitars again and the show was all set to get a notch crazier. A very well played cover of ‘Heartwork’ by Carcass was the teaser sound check. After which followed a set of their original compositions which included a new track and a hell raising ‘Reign in Blood’ cover. The band headed by Bharad commanded a tremendous sonic presence, and drove the moshpit, which pulled in quite a crowd. We later learnt that technically the sound was not at their usual settings. However, the technical issues were not a hindrance to putting up a great show. This goes to tell why this band has been picking up attention in the scene lately.

Warhorse Chained from Cochin were also supposed to play at this fest but it couldn’t happen since their drummer was unavailable due to his exams.

Dying Embrace, with absolutely sick bloodcurdling growls by Vikram “Sik Vik” Bhat and a sickly bright and thick guitar tone by Jimmy Palkhivala, was probably the most loved act of the night. On drums was Deepak Raghu of Bevar Sea and Rat King. Their brand of Death/Doom Metal has a creepy feeling which you are engulfed into but at the same time has an ecstatic one as well due to the heavy metal Black Sabbath-esque vibe in their music. Autopsy is one of their prime influences and a cover of ‘Twisted Mass’ was done. They ended their set with an improvisation to their song ‘Daagda : The Time Has Come’ with Jimmy churning out a facemelter of a guitar solo at the end. And while most rock/metal musicians would be parting with their drumsticks or guitar plectrums if at all they wanted to give anything to the audience but the Dying Embrace guys went further as they gave out copies of their 2000-released Grotesque EP especially re-issued for their 20th anniversary as the Trendslaughter Fest special edition. Surely a treat for the fans who were lucky enough to get one.

The Gorified boys, Charlie and Ganesh, with Holi around, were totally in the mood of playing it with blood. The familiar drum recordings rolled on and as they went about with the soundcheck it was great to see that the sound was going to be better today than it was at the Undergrind. A little more hiccups with the sound as they started but as it went on they displayed no mercy as Charlie belted out his roaring abrasive vocals and Ganesh lashed out his ear-grinding guitar attack as the monster called Gorified slashed, devoured and committed several other heinous acts upon the populace (especially on those of the fairer sex). The sickos in the audience had plenty to headbang and mosh to and they did, ensuring that there was open space among the audience, with the sound being good enough to satisfy most of them.

Orator comprises of Amit on Vocals and Guitars, Cezan on Bass and Partho on drums. As they started their set, sound volumes were found to be low and even after raising the levels up the sound wasn’t at its best. There were some complaints about Amit’s guitars not being audible at the back. Performance-wise, the band hit spot on though. Comparing it with Western Metal, think of theirs as some of the unholiest; with Satan arriving in all his fuming glory and bringing destruction along with him. But perhaps a better way to describe it would be as if you and all your surroundings are being vaporized as Kalagni (the flame of time) attempts to consume every manifested being and object. But before that happens, what would be ensured is that your skull would be thoroughly crushed as the nerve-pounding drums, the thundering bass and riffs after riffs of melded metal keep piling on top of you. One of their songs ‘Samhara Tandava’ is dedicated to Shiva, the Lord of Destruction. Mayhem ensued and mosh flowed freely as the audience were left enthralled and spellbound by this death/thrash metal madness.

Looking at this fest overall, it provided immense satisfaction for the extreme metal cravings. Bangalore extreme-heads and those who attended the gig from other places are thankful to Orator for coming all the way from Dhaka to do a show here. Kudos to the organisers for promoting extreme metal, giving such bands a chance as well as for giving the fans exposure to them.


The Mighty Riff at Alliance Francaise, Bangalore





Recently, there’s been a lot of DIY-ism when it comes to metal gigs in Bangalore. The Mighty Riff was one such gig, organized by the musicians themselves, with a very spacious hall at the Alliance Francaise de Bangalore being used as the venue and an entry fee of just Rs 99. The bill consisted of CulminantBevar SeaInner Sanctum and Pillbox 666.

The venue seemed great. First impressions are often the last ones and we got a great impression of how loud and strong the sound could be, when Culminant started off. They started with one of their OC’s, covered Slayer’s ‘Raining Blood’ and followed it up with two more originals. The volume given to Bharad’s vocals seemed a bit low but the other instruments seemed perfect in the mix. Next up, they were covering Death’s ‘Misanthrope’ which was going perfectly until a technical glitch stopped them in between. Another attempt at the song, and the same result. They went on to perform another original and a third attempt at ‘Misanthrope’ resulted in the same glitch, which is where they decided to end their set. However, despite the technical issues they had made their mark and it was already a great start to the fest.

Bevar Sea, due to performing in a bigger venue, seemed less bassy this time and they were as good as they’ve always have been, if not better. Their set list consisted entirely of originals, which was great because they already have some very formidable compositions. Their set was lengthy, but had a flow of its own. They started with their often-used opener ‘The Smiler’ , followed by the Bangalore debut of their new song ‘Sleeping Pool’ , which managed to bring in loads of doom, especially in the last few minutes of the song. It was followed by the very catchy ‘Abhishtu’ , the upbeat ‘Universal Sleeper’ and the heavy set crawled to it’s finish with ‘Mono-gnome’ . Their sound always seems impeccable. Finding flaws in their set is like finding a needle in a haystack, and it was the same case in this gig as well. Another noticeable part was the crowd joining in on ‘Abhishtu’ something very rare in the Indian metal scene.

Inner Sanctum was the next much-awaited act, evident by the surge of crowd before their set, and the drop in numbers afterwards. Before the band got on stage, the artwork was on display, which was very impressive, to say the least. Shortly afterwards, the band took control of the scene, every song being as hard hitting as the previous one, with the sound seeming just right. Inner Sanctum has developed a dedicated following among the younger metalheads in namma Bengaluru, the mosh-happy kids expecting a mosh-worthy performance every time these guys play. This gig was no different, they delivered and how! The limited space in the hall was well exploited, with the crowd going berserk over their set list. The last track intensified their act with a Wall of Death which, though miniature, saw a good number of arms flinging around, kids thrown around. Now isn’t that just sweet? As it turned out, this was to be Rajeev the guitarist’s last gig, as frontman Gaurav Basu informed us that he’d be leaving the country for higher studies. This of course came with serious objections from the crowd, flipping the finger at the mention of ‘studies’. Rajeev was pulled off the stage for a crowd-surf by the fans (again a first, for any gig here!). A final group hug by all the members of the band and they were off! 

With covers of their “Gods” done “as they should be”, Bangalore’s new supergroup Pillbox 666 was the last band to take the stage. Their set list remained the same as their debut gig, but with an addition of Metallica’s ‘Whiplash’ Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’ was also included, which had been skipped at their previous gig due to a broken guitar string. They started off with Black Sabbath’s ‘Black Sabbath’ followed by Slayer’s ‘Black Magic’, Black Sabbath’s ‘Electric Funeral’, Metallica’s ‘Whiplash’, Candlemass’ ‘Dark Reflections’, Autopsy’s ‘Ridden with Disease’, Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’ and Motorhead’s ‘Overkill’, each cover ranging from great to magnificent. The guitar tone had that old-school raw edge and the bass was extremely prominent. The growling by Vikram Bhat provided chills, especially on songs like ‘Black Sabbath’, and ‘War Pigs’, and the drumming was absolutely perfect (Mr Raghu hasn’t disappointed us with any of his other projects, has he?). And it wasn’t just the tight covers. Pillbox 666 are an amazing live act, with Vikram Bhat clearly at the helm of affairs. Ganesh was on the vocals for ‘Whiplash’, (surprise!), the song itself a reminder of how Metallica was the band we all loved! Sigh. The TSF/UG crew (you know who you are!) deserve a special mention here, their controlled recklessness having fueled many a gig here in Bangalore before, and Pillbox 666′s set had them at full strength.

Apart from the live music, the fest did great with merchandise. All the four bands came out with t-shirts. At least four such poster designs could be seen for the fest, all of them with great artwork, two of which were put up for sale before the fest. CDs were also on sale at the merchandise stall and it’s always great to have something like that at a metal fest.

A great turnout despite the rains had proved that the metalheads inBangaloreare always up for a good gig, come rain, come shine. As we walked out of the venue with our necks aching and our ears still ringing from the onslaught, the only question on everyone’s mind was, “So, when’s the next one?”