Devilfire ‘Dark Manoeuvres’ – Album Review

        You, our fine, and loyal, readers, may remember that a month ago I wrote about a band called Devilfire. If I remember correctly, I said that they were going to be the next big thing coming out of Birmingham, England. Well, I have been graced with the full album, entitled ‘Dark Manoeuvres,’ well before it’s October 6th release date. I am here to tell you that it is 13 hard rocking tracks, and that if you enjoy Hard Rock that is inspired by the great 1980’s bands of that genre then you will love this album. I grew up in the 80’s, and remember hearing this style become massively popular; Skid Row, Winger, Ratt, Cinderella, Motley Crue, and the list goes on, and on, and on; Devilfire brings me back to those times of my youth, in a big way. It is very apparent that the guys in this band have listened to, and been influenced by, bands of that sort, and added their own flavor to it. In singer Alex Cooper’s own words, “‘Dark Manouevres’ is very much an inside look at my life over the last four years…the good times and bad on the UK rock n’ roll scene. Love, loss, hate, jealousy, arguments, all thrown against a background of excessive drink, drugs, and ego fueled behaviour. Though not to blow these things out of proportion, it isn’t like the dye of Motley Crue in the 1980s. These things are very subtly done nowadays, hence the album title.” It doesn’t get more rock n’ roll than that, and the fact the Alex is not ashamed, or embarrassed, of “Laying It On the Line” (One of the standout songs on this release) makes for real, honest, music; something we could sue a lot more of nowadays. On to the music we go…..
         As far as performances go, these guys are top-notch. The songwriting is skillful, melodies abound throughout, and it there is never any overplaying. Even the lead guitar solos are done in a way that doesn’t seem to be showing off every scale he can play, melodic, tasteful, and just great leads. 7th track, entitled “Tear Me Apart” sounds like it could be co-written by the guys in Journey. Alex is able to capture the spirit of Steve Perry in his vocal delivery, and the music is well within the realm of that style also. It’s really a catchy, great song about love at its finest, and most powerful. My favorite track off this album is buried towards the end, it’s called “She’s Always on the Run”, and it is just so fucking good. The first time I heard it I played it probably 5 times, one right after the other. Instantly memorable, and the hook just grabs you and refuses to let go. This track is about a girl that everyone of us has met, and can never get to settle down with just one guy. Great writing, and playing from each one of the guys on this one, and it is the best song on the album, in my humble opinion anyway. I’ll discuss one more, and then let you guys wait out the official release; hopefully as eagerly as I have waited to get my hands on this early copy. “She’s Like Fire” is the subject of their next video, currently in the works. It is also an excellent song, about a girl; as good rock songs usually are. I love the opening of the song, the drums are awesome here! “She’s like fire, dancing with desire, c’mon take a lesson from me, she’s so crazy, sexy little lady, c’mon get your ticket for free!”, such a great, and memorable, chorus. I was just talking with Alex on my Facebook post about this album, and this is actually one of his favorite tracks, and “(In and Out of Love) All of the Time” as well; which is another song that is just fantastic, bluesy guitars a’plenty.
         Devilfire brings me back to my youth, and since that was so long ago that really says something about where they are at musically. It’s a modernized, unique version of bands like Ratt, Cinderella, Winger, Skid Row, Motley Crue. They took all the best aspects of those bands, and made their own blend of it. When I mentioned this to Alex he said, “that’s a massive compliment mate, totally where my head is”. I love the fact that he’s open about his music with people, and that the band has brought us this album. October 6th, 2017, go buy it, check out their Facebook and other social media outlets. It’s well worth the time.

Tom Hanno

Chimera Magazine