Devil To Pay - A Bend Through Space And TimeRecently here at Angry Metal Guy, there has been an unexplainable outcry from our devoted followers for nipple art. I don’t know why. Actually, I do. And wouldn’t you know it, here comes another album cover catering to our baser instincts. Only this one features a six-armed, alien-headed Nipple Creature. It could almost be interior art for those old Advanced Dungeons And Dragons modules of the 1980s (Yer Gaming Is Olde?). So, the cover for this new Devil To Pay record is good but also not good. Which direction will the music go? And who are these guys? Turns out the band has been around since at least 2003. Devil To Pay is the brainchild of guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Steve Janiak. A Bend Through Space And Time is their fifth album, and follows up 2013’s Fate Is Your Muse. Both records focus lyrically on the metaphysical and anything one hallucinates about when in a drug-induced coma, as Janiak was a few years ago. Musically, Devil To Pay exhibit influences such as Kyuss, Crowbar (not the cool Canadian version), and Mötörhead. It’s a catchy, fuzzy, riffy blend of metal and the musicianship displayed throughout this album is top notch.

The ten songs on A Bend Through Space And Time clock in at a svelte 44 minutes. There’s no self-indulgence here. These guys hit the ground running with “On And On (In your Mind),” the whole band coming in with a grandiose opening racket before giving way to a huge riff with fantastic, sweet, fuzzy tone. Guitar harmonies gallop along, interrupted on occasion by the aforementioned Riff, and Janiak’s whisky-soaked vocals are a perfect match for the tune. Good stuff, and it doesn’t end there. “Don’t Give Away The World” opens with a menacing riff, and the rhythm rolls through the song with a great behind-the-beat desert jam feel.

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The album ends with a bang, starting with the slithering rocker “Kerfuffle,” which leads into the Mötörhead tribute song “Your Inner Lemmy,” a scorcher that channels the Metal God to perfection. “Fuck your gods, fuck devils too, fuck your church, and then fuck you! I did it all, whatever I did, I can’t remember but I’ll never forget,” Janiuk rasps as the band propels headlong down the Mötörhead highway. The crowning glory of the album is the closer, though, “The Demons Come Home To Roost.” Nearly eight minutes long, it leads with a thick, fuzzed-up riff before kicking into an explosive double-time, take-no-prisoners gallop. Three minutes in, after the obligatory wah-wah solo (the last song on every album should include a wah-wah solo), the band breaks down into a slow, heavy, Sabbath-esque twist before kicking back into overdrive for the last minute and a half. Truly a killer track.

Why didn’t I mention the middle of the album? Because things are a little tenuous there. Weaker songs take up residence and make us yearn for the beginning and the end. Aside from the stoneresque “The Meaning Of Life,” the middle of A Bend Through Space And Time won’t beg for a lot of replay time. The songs simply aren’t as strong as those bracketing them, But regardless of the quality of songwriting (overall really good, with the aforementioned missteps), production on A Bend Through Space And Time is stellar. Guitars are crunchy and fuzzy all at once, Janiak’s vocals sit perfectly in the mix and the rhythm section thunders mightily. All this is aided by a decent mastering job: the DR 9 rating is audible and clearly helps the material.

When the songs on A Bend Through Space And Time are on, they’re really on. Vocally and instrumentally, the guys in Devil To Pay know how to cook with oil. The production is outstanding and the dynamic range makes this a pleasure to listen to. A few weak, unfulfilling tracks disrupt the flow and bring the album back down to reality, but Devil To Pay have put out a quality release with some great desert-influenced metal. Definitely worth checking out.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 160 kbps mp3
Label: Ripple Music
Websites: deviltopay.net | facebook.com/deviltopay
Releases Worldwide: August 12th, 2016

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  • Boobery from Beyond.

  • Iain Gleasure

    This could be worth it. Your Inner Lemmy wasn’t brilliant but it was a lot of fun to listen to. Thanks Huck.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    The cover art looks like the aftermath of this guy eating an arm pumped with hallucinogens.

  • Diego Molero

    Am I the only one who gets a bit annoyed when bands write words like “to”, “and”, “of”, and use capital letter on the first one? I mean, usually bands write them in minuscule, so why the hell some bands have to use capital letters on those words?

    Anyway, maybe that’s just me, nevertheless this is good stuff.

    • Huck N’ Roll

      I can’t stand that either; however that’s how the promo came to me so I gritted my teeth, took a Gravol pill, and capitalized the hell out of it. :)

      • El_Cuervo

        It’s a good thing that our Overlord hasn’t been around much lately. He abhors such stupidity and has previously implemented rules on how to write titles, even if it’s how they write their title. But you weren’t to know haha

        • This.

        • Huck N’ Roll

          For my next review I will be referring to the tracks as “Titelnummer 1,” etc, since that’s how they were named for me.

    • [not a Dr]

      I thought that was a rule in English: all the words in a title require capital letters.

      • Diego Molero

        Well I wouldn’t actually know as English is not my language, but if it is an actual rule then I can pass it, still I prefer when those words aren’t written in capital letters.

        • [not a Dr]

          You’d like French: only the first word in the title is gets a capital letter (and the proper nouns).

          • Diego Molero

            But in French you have like 4 fucking accent marks, is hard enough just 1 in Spanish.

          • [not a Dr]

            Spanish is my first language, and I can’t even remember where the accents are implicit and where they are explicit.

          • Diego Molero

            Damn, you don’t speak Spanish very often now, do you?
            It is very tricky though, can’t even imagine 4 types of accent marks.

          • [not a Dr]

            There are only 3…
            The ^ isn’t hard, especially if you speak Spanish or English: it marks where the Latin root had an “s”.
            Hôpital for Hospital, Forêt for Forest, etc…
            The other 2 change the sound of the vowel, as opposed to the Spanish accent that changes the syllable on which to put emphasis.

          • AlphaBetaFoxface

            As a student of Chinese and Japanese, I can confidently say I have very little issue with capital letters or accents when writing in either language.

            For example:

            1. With capitals – “悪セイウチ”
            2. Without capitals – “悪セイウチ”

        • Huck N’ Roll

          English isn’t even the language for most of us whose primary language is English! er, something like that…

          • Hulksteraus

            Indeed, take a look at the regional dialects and accents in England alone…

      • Morrowind542

        Generally that’s true, but articles are excluded unless they start the name. So the band’s name should be “Devil to Pay” and the album should be “A Bend Through Space and Time”

        That having been said, rules in English are descriptive not proscriptive. Unlike French, for instance, we don’t have a governing body that sets the rules, so the “correct” way is just whatever is most accepted by the intended audience.

  • ars_nihili

    So we’re adding metal umlauts to the first o in Motörhead too? Let’s take the next step and add it to the other vowels also: Mötörhëäd.

    • [not a Dr]

      Öxxö Xööx would be proud…

  • ElectricEye

    That guitar riff is a direct rip-off of Overkill’s “Bring Me the Night.” I hope they gave them credit, because they didn’t try to disguise it.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    And so it seems summer brings boobs on the album covers…

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    That embedded track sounds a lot like Diamond Head’s Helpless.

    • Scourge

      I thought they were gonna play Motley Crue’s Live Wire there for a second.

      • Dead1

        I totally hear Diamond Head’s Helpless too. I’m curious to hear the rest of the album given the old school vibe these guys manage to conjure.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          It’s almost exactly the same riff…

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Motley Crue was my favorite band ever for all of High School and it’s still one of my favorite bands… I didn’t hear any Motley Crue on this but I went and listened to Live Wire after your comment and they share certain similarities there. I think it is mostly due to the guitar tone.

  • Blueberry Balls

    Sweet chocolate alien tits batman!!

  • Matt slatz

    Grace Jones is about to bitch slap Solomon grundie on that cover