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Devilfire – Dark Manoeuvres


Devilfire – Dark Manoeuvres

Although you may not have heard of the Birmingham-based band Devilfire, I am almost certain that you may recall the name of the mind behind the new melodic hard rock quintet. They are the brainchild of Alex Cooper from Quireboys fame, and this debut album has been a work in progress which has taken four years to perfect. Out on the 6th October, ‘Dark Manoeuvres’ is a thirteen track release of absolute magic and has been mixed by one of the magicians behind the work of Motorhead, Bring Me the Horizon and Bullet for my Valentine- producer Romesh Dodangoda. Working together with Devilfire front man Cooper, Dodangoda has mixed an album which will stun listeners and is scarcely believable that the piece is a debut from a newly formed band.

I personally found there is hints of Anathema and Fall Out Boy in the sound of this album, though it also brings influence from Motley Crue – along with the band’s image – and Cooper’s previous work Quireboys. First track Ready for War slams right into the meaty goodness of full-on, balls-out rock; literally living up to its name by warning you that Devilfire mean business with a chunky guitar riff to open, and Cooper’s fine vocals. It is chock full of delectable melodies and harmonious singing, before it ends and you barely have time to recover before you are catapulted into second track She’s Like Fire. It begins with another top-notch opening riff, the band continuing on their mission to impress featuring disco undertones and Cooper’s sultry vocals; with more than a hint of influence from Fall Out Boy, but in a good way, with tight instrumentation and an intoxicating beat.

Another chance to barely catch your breath before (In and Out of Love) All of the Time begins, and whilst it bears the longest name of all songs on the album, it takes on more of a ballad stance with just the slightest tinge of blues on the soft guitars and some sublime synth work entwined into the mix with the striking riff and spectacular bass line. The softer side of Devilfire continues with the next track up, Waiting for a Rockstar which has been chosen as their first single; though this time with a touch more attitude worked into the soothing synths and catchy riff. We then head into Lay it On the Line which is more of the same, however that is no means a disadvantage – it is an intoxicating mix of vocals, hooky guitars and more solid instrumentation from all of the quintet.

Kill Your Love is yet another blinder; with wailing, distorted guitars and more stunning vocals, with a atmospheric solo in the last minute of the song. Tear Me Apart and God Give Me Vengeance head back into a softer beat once again but continues with the hits and features many catchy riffs, which is one distinct consistency throughout this spectacular debut release.

Devil in Your Eyes features a distinct Eighties vibe with hints of disco and more of same, yet with a faster pace once again, like an endless roller-coaster going from fast to slow to fast again and again; unleashing a wave of emotions within the listener as they follow Alex Cooper through this biographical narrative of his life. Revolution and Somehow are more top tracks, becoming my favourites also with their beautiful melodies; the latter featuring an acoustic backing and soft vocals much like Tear Me Apart but without the breathtaking guitar solo.

All in all, Devilfire have released a charismatic and alluring debut – which should be expected considering their backgrounds – and they certainly live up to expectations, the whole album a masterpiece from beginning to end, keeping you entertained throughout and your feet tapping to the addictive beats and riffs. They are most certainly a band that will be taking their rightful place in my music collection, and one can only guess where they head next.

Niki Flynn