steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Devil To Pay

"Thirty Pieces of Silver" CD

Benchmark Records

Genres: stoner rock, doom rock

band website

Oct 11 - 17 2004

The stoner rock scene has been known for unearthing some impressive new bands (with debut albums often being more impressive than later releases), and Devil To Pay is no different.  On Thirty Pieces of Silver, their first album (the band just formed in 2002), we see a tight, energetic ensemble playing the type of doom-filled metal goodness they were born to create.  Benchmark Records has discovered something special; while Devil To Pay isn't particularly creative, they work really well within their genre, never pretending to be anything more than a stoner rock group, but instead maximizing the potential of their genre.

"Whores of Babylon" was the first track on this disc that really grabbed me by the collar and forced me to listen.  It is slow and grinding, attacking the ears with pulverizing onslaughts of doom guitars and gravelly singing.  I've heard plenty of doom rock, but this is still some of the strongest material I've been forced to ingest.  "Angular Shapes" follows right after, but it is a bit less memorable - though more profuse and explosive, it hasn't got the same type of infectiously suffocating power "Whores of Babylon" boasts.  Other explosively memorable rockers include "Tractor Fuckin' Trailer" and "Toreader", both of which pack powerful punches (or, rather, wallops).  Some of the album's lesser moments could use more memorable riffs ("The Lamb," "Swathe") , but these shortcomings are overshadowed by the album's other, massive successes.

Stoner rockers out there waiting for the next MeteorCity release, prepare to be blown away.  Devil To Pay may not be one of doom rock's big names yet, but with a debut like Thirty Pieces of Silver, they're certainly making a case for themselves - this is the type of disc that is so intense it'll take the wind out of you.  Figuratively speaking.  Let's hope they can keep up the energy for the sophomore full-length.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]