Devilfire began in Birmingham during a studio session in 2013 when producer Alex Cooper (vocals) was working with Uli Jon Roth drummer Lars Wickett (drums). Alex revealed his grand plan for a Birmingham based melodic rock band and gave Lars a taster of the kind of music he was working on. Lars suggested they should approach Davey Bennett (Pop Will Eat Itself) (bass) which they did however; due to touring commitments and production schedules 3 long years passed, filled with writing and planning before, in 2016, things finally fell into place.
The search was on for two more members and both guitarists (Baz Blackett & Richard Bloomer Davies) joined. Alex had been putting the feelers out to his friends in the industry and Devilstar, as it was originally known, were offered the Tarja Turunen tour of Eastern Europe. Not wanting to turn down such a great opportunity they accepted. So, with little time to prepare, and with an unplanned name change chucked in for good measure, the five seasoned rockers flew out for their very first gig, in Budapest! They, and their music went down a storm, all original tracks from an unknown band is not normally a crowd pleaser but Tarja’s audiences absolutely loved Devilfire! Fan videos started appearing all over social media during a gruelling tour with shows in Romania, Greece and Turkey.
Dark Manoeuvres was mixed by acclaimed producer Romesh Dodangoda (Motorhead, Bring Me The Horizon, Bullet For My Valentine) and co-produced by Romesh and Devilfire frontman Alex Cooper (Shy, Quireboys Spike, Ginger) at Long Wave Studios in Cardiff, Dark Manoeuvres is a mammoth 13-track album. Calling on varied influences with a darker melodic sound, this hook laden, riff filled collection of music has been carefully crafted with passion.
This debut album kicks off with Ready For War? which starts off with a catchy, melodic track. Buzzy guitars and a deep bass line are dispersed with shimmers from the guitar riffs which shriek and whine. The track reminded me slightly of Thunder as it is a great tune which will get your interest.
She’s Like Fire is a cheeky number which I could imagine Nickleback having a lot of fun with! It crackles into life with huge drums, sonorous bass and fast paced, frantic guitars. This is a track that will turn heads and make you sit up and listen. There is real depth to the vocals from Alex that harkens back to the golden days of rock.
Hitting it hard (In And Out Of Love) All Of The Time has a full, grinding bass line which is overlaid with riffs from the guitars which add a lighter tone and texture. With blues influences this track has influences from all of the major UK rock artists over the past 30 years. This is a thumpingly good track that you will have on repeat.
Waiting For A Rockstar has also been turned into a video which you can see on YouTube. There are Led Zep influences here but this does not detract from this sleezy, dirty track, The chorus is sure to get you singing along. Rich, vibrant with powerful riffs, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Lay It On The Line has a chugging bass line with texture being added by the guitars which provide a staccato, punctuated effect which works really well. Containing personal lyrics, the message comes across loud and clear. This is an accomplished track that feels timeless. The riffs towards the end add an extra layer of melting heartbreak and are extremely well executed. For me this is one of the outstanding tracks on the album.
I dare anyone not to do a spot of air guitar to Kill Your Love which rattles along at a fast pace, reminding me slightly of Those Damn Crows. Mixing the traditional rock with sizzling riffs which build adding to the emotion and drama with driving lyrics, this track is my favourite and has been on constant repeat.
Showing a slightly softer side Tear Me Apart drips with emotion and hurt, you can hear the grit and heartbreak with every note that is played. This is sure to be a hit, getting the crowds belting out the chorus, the piercing riff is placed to exert maximum emotion. A toe tapper from the start God Give Me Vengeance is an intense darker track. The guitars almost add an additional vocal element, filled with deep intent. Lush, rich riffs wind around the drums and bass, providing additional layers.
She’s Always On The Run was the debut single, understandably as it showcases what this band is about, thumping drums, driving bass, massive riffs and something slightly different from the usual rock track from the vocals. If this is the way that modern rock is going then I am a happy person. This continues to A Thousand Times, which again is slightly reminiscent of Those Damn Crows but with a sound that Devilfire make their own, with skewed riffs and angry lyrics.
Finishing the album is Somehow, leaving an emotionally intense ballad to the end. The vocals display all of the emotion, cracking sometimes with the depth of feelings, which are helped with the acoustic guitars which beautifully interweaves building the expressive quality of this track.
This is an album that should have its place on every rock fans playlist as it contains all that you would want, powerful riffs, thumping drums, deep bass which effortlessly combine with some cheeky and some heartbreakingly emotional vocals. There are tracks to have you singing along, air guitaring and simply pressing repeat. You may not have heard of Devilfire but give them a try. There are tracks on this album which you know would have mass appeal if they get played on the radio. An honest and open album evoking emotions and huge smiles.
27th Oct – BILSTON, THE ROBIN (HEADBANGERS BALL HALLOWEEN SHOW_
17th Dec – BIRMINGHAM, THE ASYLUM (W/ WOLFSBANE + LAST GREAT DREAMERS)
21st Dec – LONDON, ISLINGTON o2 ACADEMY (W/ WOLFSBANE + LAST GREAT DREAMERS)
More shows to be announced.
Showing a slightly softer side Tear Me Apart drips with emotion and hurt, you can hear the grit and heartbreak with every note that is played. This is sure to be a hit, getting the crowds belting out the chorus, the piercing riff is placed to exert maximum emotion.