It seems important to note that A Bend Through Space and Time is Devil To Pay’s shortest album to date. Ten songs and a forty-three minute runtime isn’t exactly compact, but it also suggests a lack of room for bullshit either. Either way, Devil to Pay’s fifth full-length album shows the Indianapolis rockers still going strong nearly fifteen years into their career.
For the most part, the album picks up right where 2013’s Fate Is Your Muse left off and offers more of the same catchy stoner grunge metal. However, it does feel a little more upbeat and aggressive than their usual approach. The production isn’t quite as polished as their last couple efforts, the tempos pack more of a punch, and the mid-tempo tracks scattered throughout are full of busy guitar work. Fortunately, the band never forsakes its ear for melody and the balance between loose jams and purposeful vocal lines is kept in tact.
There’s also still a lot of variety covered throughout the ten tracks here. Lead single “Your Inner Lemmy” predictably makes for an excellent Motorhead tribute (And not the only one we’re seeing in the Indy metal scene thanks to Kvlthammer’s Oath) though the opening “On And On (In Your Mind)” may be the best track due to a hard hitting shuffle similar to “Prepare To Die” off the previous album. They also squeeze a couple slow burns in with all the upbeat material as “Kobold In The Breadbasket” in particular has a smooth doom-laden main riff.
Overall, A Bend Through Space and Time is a pretty good stoner metal album by a group that knows exactly what it is doing. It could probably stand to be catchier in spots, but plenty of songs leave memorable impressions. As long as Devil To Pay continues to place emphasis on careful songwriting in a genre that seems to often lack it, they will always have a place in the scene.
“On And On (In Your Mind)”
“Kobold In The Breadbasket”
“Your Inner Lemmy”
I went to Ball State University and graduated with a BA in Creative Writing. Currently specializing in writing album reviews when I should be working at my day job.
My Grading Scale
A: An essential classic regardless of genre preference
B: A good album recommended to fans of a given genre
C: A flawed album with elements that are still enjoyable
D: A dull album that may only be redeemable for fans
F: It is a goal of mine to never review an album like this
I also play in a couple different bands and take it as much as I dish it out. Feel free to check them out!