Best of 2014 is a 5 piece series where we sit down with artists from across the globe and ask them their favorite albums of 2014. Featured in this edition, is none other than Srikanth from BEVAR SEA!
Bevar Sea have become synonymous with Doom Metal in India after the release of their self-titled debut album back in 2012. Since then the band has been active and played various festivals across the country. The band is set to release its sophomore album in 2015, along with a performance at the prestigious Maryland Deathfest in May.
We sat down with guitarist Srikanth Panaman for a small chat about the band and their plans, as well as his personal favorites from 2014.
Hi Srikanth, pleasure to have you here on Metal Melancholy.
MM: Bevar Sea entered the studio a month back to record the
follow up to the much acclaimed debut album. How are things progressing on that
front? Any release time-frame in mind?
Srikanth: We've recorded a killer sounding album, and now we
have to go through the tedious but critical mixing and mastering processes. Don’t
worry, it should be out in 2015. Chacko is working on the art for the release
while we’re doing the mix, and we’re working on getting a lot of other things
together in preparation for the release as well.
MM: How is the musical approach in the upcoming album
different from the self-titled debut album?
Srikanth: The first album was written entirely before the
present line up came together. This album was done with me writing as before,
but with the whole band arranging it in the jam room so it’s something that we
made as an entity, as opposed to the last album which was already written and
somewhat arranged when these guys joined the band in 2010-11. Musically we're
not doing the 70s rock on this one - it covers some of our other sounds while
keeping it true to the stoner doom and metal blend we've always had. There are
faster metal bits this time around, and this meant that Deepak had to indulge
in some double bass drum action which we purposely stayed away from on the
first album. The slower bits are also slower than on the first album, so this
one has a wider song range. This also has a much tighter sound, but is still a
stripped down to the meat and potatoes riff music like before.
MM: Rahul Chacko has been more than just a guitarist for the
band with his amazing artworks as Scribble Bandit. How important is the art
that he brings in to Bevar Sea?
Srikanth: He's definitely indispensable. Chacko was going to
jam with me from a while before he even moved to Bangalore in 2009, and even
back then, we were collaborating on fun comic strips on our site that we were
running circa 2006-8. He was working for a game development company and was
beginning to take his art more seriously and my idea for this band came along
at the right time. He has been growing as an artist, as the band has gone from
being a hobby project to something far more serious. He definitely gives us a
unique look and that will continue to evolve as the band evolves, and it’s
great to have someone in-house doing all of this to your band. But it's not
just about his art. Chacko and I take on a lot of the band work - like how I
learnt audio engineering for the band, Chacko's learnt some video editing so we
can document and promote the band better. We bought a decent camera which I'm
de facto in charge of, so I've been learning the basics of taking photos and
shooting videos too. Point is, we seem to exploit the talents we have within
the band, and we pick up new skills on the way all the time too. The more
control we have, the better.
MM: “Abhistu” is an absolute fan-favorite, given that you
are forced to play it even at tribute shows. Do you think that at any point in
the future, the fans will let you retire that song from your set-lists?
Srikanth: We just hope the newer songs get the same kind of
love. I'm not against playing older songs but not at the risk of not giving the
new ones the airtime and exposure they deserve. We'll most likely not play The
Smiler and Mono Gnome again, but I don't think the crowd will forgive us if we
retire Abishtu at the moment. We'll have to revisit the question in a year or
MM: Your favorite albums of 2014.
Srikanth: I heard a lot of great albums this year, but for the sake of
sanity, let’s go with 15 of my most listened to albums in no particular order.
Expect a lot of slow music obviously.
1. RIOT V - UNLEASH THE FIRE: These guys put out a killer album in spite of the death of
one half of the driving force. And they brought in a new vocalist who totally
rips too. My most listened to album of 2014. Absolute must-hear for fans of
2. MARS RED SKY - STRANDED IN ARCADIA: These psychedelic rockers have gotten a little heavier on
the new one and have kept the same hypnotic quality songwriting from the last
one. This rules.
3. SKULL FIST - CHASING THE DREAM: Along with the Riot, this album did it for me in terms of
new classic metal in 2014. Just awesome straight up metal played with great
4. EYEHATEGOD - EYEHATEGOD: Many years in the making, this one was nasty with a sound to
kill for if you’re into sludgy nastiness.
5. THE BUDOS BAND - BURNT OFFERING: I just discovered them this year when this one was
announced. It’s dark, it has that big band jazz and the afro vibe combined into
one awesome vibe. I’m definitely checking out their back catalog after this.
6. OGRE - THE LAST NEANDERTHAL: These guys have always had the right mix of 70s heavy rock,
jammy prog, and doom for me, and it was a blast listening to the new one,
though they seem to have disbanded again. Highly recommended.
7. FALCONER - BLACK MOON RISING: And bam these power/folk metal old timers put out their best
album in a long long time in 2014. Extremely catchy and damn well executed.
8. THE SKULL - FOR THOSE WHICH ARE ASLEEP: The Trouble album this year was pretty good, and Kyle Thomas
works great in a doom setting too, but it was so good to hear Eric Wagner’s
voice and this band preserves much of the classic Trouble vibe as well. This
was a good year for a Trouble fan indeed.
9. WITCH MOUNTAIN - MOBILE OF ANGELS: It’s a good band, but one that’s taken to another level by a
great vocalist. The kind of vocals Uta Plotkin comes up with over otherwise
usual stoner/doom type backing impresses me every time. She has since left the
band, and it’s going to be some tough shoes to fill.
10. YOB - CLEARING THE PATH TO ASCEND: Probably my least favorite Yob album and that’s mostly
because of the bits of the album where things begin to sound too ‘uplifting’
for my liking. Least favorite Yob still making it to my top 20 of the year
with at least 30 other great albums around just goes to show how much I love
11. DEAD CONGREGATION - PROMULGATION OF THE FALL: This year wasn't so hot for me as far as super extreme metal
goes, but this one stood out. Not as instant classic as the first one that came
out a few years ago but still a fantastic band for those who love bands like
Immolation but are missing the grit and the dirt in their output in recent
12. EARTH - PRIMITIVE AND DEADLY: I've loved them since their comeback about 10 years ago, but
this is a much needed shake up to their sound. They've got heavy guitars now
and some vocals this time too. Killer album with some sweet guitar tones.
13. BLOOD FARMERS - HEADLESS EYES: They’re one of the most essential bands in the tradition of
Maryland doom, and this was a great comeback by them after many years of
lurking in obscurity.
14. THOU - HEATHEN: If you have to listen to one extreme doom album this year,
this has to be it.
15. RADIO MOSCOW - MAGICAL DIRT: Some serious old school rock jams inside. They have the best
of the late 60s psychedelia, British blues rock, and classic rock from the 70s
fused into one. Fucking awesome.
Best of 2014 – PART 1 – Demonstealer [Demonic Resurrection]
Best of 2014 – PART 2 – Wilhelm [The Gardnerz] Picks: HERE
Best of 2014 – PART 3 – Sam Bell [Mask of Judas] Picks: HERE
Best of 2014 – Indian Metal [Melancholy Edition] : HERE