Thursday, April 18, 2013

Devil To Pay Finds A Muse In Fate

Devil To Pay
In a little more than than a year after Devil To Pay crawled out of the obscure Indianapolis music scene, it faced its first major setback. Singer-guitarist Steve Janiak was hospitalized with a drug-induced coma.

The attending doctor didn't have any hope. It was luck, or maybe a miracle, that Janiak survived. But he woke up with vivid hallucinations and visions etched into his memory. And his survival became the impetuous for the band's debut, Thirty Pieces Of Silver.

While the retro-infused, dialed-down debut may have been ten years ago, Janiak hasn't forgotten the experience. It haunted him, even as the band began to gain regional and national exposure. Two years ago, Janiak delved further into attempting to understand the link between normal and paranormal.

Fate Is Your Muse smoulders along with methodical, metaphysical metal.

Although only the fourth album for the band reinspired in 2008 after adding Rob Hough (guitar) to the lineup along with Janiak, Matt Stokes (bass), and Chad Prifogle (drums), Fate Is Your Muse plays with significantly more confidence than their last outing four years ago. If not more confidence, then certainly more solace in whatever it was that Janiak compiled for inspiration.

The 12-track album meanders back and forth between science and spirituality, which drives the mood as much as it serves as the band's muse. Songs like Ten Lizardmen And One Pocket Knife will stick with its lyrical prowess and guitar hooks. Props to Stokes and Prifogle too for laying down the rhythm that drives the song.

But you don't have to wait for the third track for Devil To Pay to leave a lasting impression. At the top of the album, Prepare To Die sets the imagery for the entire album with stomping riffs and rhythms offset by woeful lyrics. It's a foreshadow to the both the beginning and the end at the same time.

The band hasn't been using either track to preview the album. The first music video out of the box showcases their potential for intensity. Train Won't Stop is an excessive tempest, a whirlwind filled with hooks, riffs, and melodies that never lets up on the studio session despite relaxing a bit live during the additional minute of play time (and puppet cameo).

As one of several relentlessly heavy tracks, Train Won't Stop captures the strength of the band on stage. They always leave room for plenty of embellishments, giving every show a uniqueness all its own.

There is plenty that can be said about all twelve tracks that make up Fate Is Your Muse, but The Naked Truth stands out for the sheer passion that the Indianapolis foursome puts into it. It's a personal favorite, especially as the track is as empowering as it powerful.

Other standouts include the methodical and shadowy Yes Master, the blues-imbued title track Already Dead, and the jangly hard rocker Tie One On. Each track hints at the diversity of the album found throughout. Black Black Heart is also a solid track, giving up a little more sludge and foreboding to the offering on the front and back ends.

Fate Is Your Muse By Devil To Pay Grabs 7.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

There is clearly some bone-crushing heaviness across the entire album with several tracks that will stand out among the best Devil To Pay has ever produced. For its primal rawness without avoiding any finality, Fate Is Your Muse accomplishes what Janiak set out to do by walking the line between states of being as seen through several points of view.

All in all, Devil To Pay has put together one of those just under the radar albums you'll be proud to pull out or add to a playlist. You can find Fate Is Your Muse by Devil To Pay on Amazon. You can also download it from iTunes or order the CD from Barnes & Noble. The band is currently booking shows in Indiana, but you can keep tabs of them on Facebook for any upcoming tour information.
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