Tuesday 26 July 2016

Devil To Pay - A Bend Through Space And Time (Album Review)

Release date: August 12th 2016. Label: Ripple Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

A Bend Through Space And Time – Tracklisting

On And On (In Your Mind)
Don't Give Away The World
Kobold In The Breadbasket
The Meaning Of Life
Recommended Daily Dosage
Your Inner Lemmy
The Demons Come Home to Roost

Band Members:

Steve Janiak (Vocals/Guitar)
Chad Prifogle (Drums)
Matt Stokes (Bass)
Rob Hough (Guitar)


After three years from their last album, Fate Is Your Muse (Ripple Music), the Indianapolis-based quartet, Devil to Pay, back in action with a new stunning release, A Bend Through Space And Time, out on 12th August 2016 through Ripple Music.

The album continues the heavy, riff-oriented and introspective songcraft journey that have distinguished their past productions, characterized by great and elaborate vocals and guitar phrases. Devil to Pay are not just another stoner rock band as well as they don’t play just stoner rock. They play hard rock mixed with stoner, doom and grunge, and their sound is a mix of different influence, spanning from Black Sabbath to Corrosion Of Conformity, passing through Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, especially for the voice of singer Steve Janiak, sometimes very close to a mix between Layne Staley and Chris Cornell.

Devil to Pay are certainly no spring chickens in the music scene, having more than 10 years of experience behind. Over the year, their music was heavily influenced by a song-writing characterized by a some sort of “metaphysical realms of consciousness”, given (in no small part) by the personal experience of the front-man Anyway, Devil to Pay play a kick-ass rock’n’roll with no frills and no compromise. A Bend Through Space And Time is a pure concentrate of heavy riffs masterfully sustained by a great rhythm section and by one of the most beautiful and touching voices in the scene.

The album starts with two powerful tracks, On And On (In Your Mind), whose refrain will easily fix in your head without leaving for days, and Don't Give Away The World, a pure “grunge” song very close to a mix between Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. Kobold In The Breadbasket and Laughingstock, with their lilting gait are two songs that spread over more typical stoner, sometimes doom, land, where the singing of Janiak always add little extra to the final result.

The jazzy/bluesy intro of The Meaning Of Life reminds me in some ways typical breaks of some songs of Kyuss, and introduces one of my favourite tracks of the album, a fantastic song with trippy atmospheres where, in the middle, the upbeat tempo of the battery introduces the final ride. The accelerated time introduced in the final part of the previous track proceed virtually in Recommended Daily Dosage, a fast and heavy song whose title never been more appropriate.

Devil To Pay are such fucking musicians, they know how to play and are able to displace the listener with kick ass tracks like Knuckledragger and Kerfuffle, where the sound is more heavy and intense, thanks to the groovy bass lines and the lilting riffages. It follows Your Inner Lemmy, the single proposed so far by Devil To Pay. Well, the name says it all, a song composed before the Lemmy’s death and, perhaps because of it, an even more true homage in a pure Motorhead style. The Demons Come closes the album with another great song where the rhythm gets up and even stronger thanks to a full loaded bass line sustained by a great drumming and killer riffs.

Now that the review is over I can be honest with all of you and confess that I was worried about what I would have expected. The risk of being trapped under the “speculative bubble of stoner/rock/metal” (thanks to my friend Matteo for sharing such a cool term with me. Maybe one day I will be more clear about!) is always around the corner. Anyway, after the listening I came to the conclusion that with A Bend Through Space And Time, Devil To Pay still remain faithful to their last productions, releasing about 44 minutes of pure and massive hard-rock with no frills, spanning from stoner to grunge and doom. If you like riffing, loud basses, heavy drumming and impressive singing, well, let’s check for the next Devil To Pay release. I’ll do it.

Words by Bruno Bellisario.

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. A Bend Through Space And Time album will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Ripple Music from August 12th 2016.