Review: Devilfire – Black Soul Vendetta

September 4th 2020

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Devilfire return with their new full length album, having already released their debut ‘Dark Manoeuvres‘ (2017) and ‘Out Of The Dark EP‘ (2018). When I first heard the band’s debut it grabbed me immediately, and after the excellent EP I’ was more than ready for another full album.

If your already familiar with Devilfire and their existing material then ‘Black Soul Vendetta‘ won’t be any surprise to you, slotting in perfectly with their existing musical output.

That’s not to say it’s a boring, samey, sort of a release, there are indicators of the band starting to spread out their roots, something which isn’t easy at the best of times, even more so now of course.

If there’s one thing Devilfire do, is to reinforce this wave of new bands & music that the UK rock scene is more than happy to embrace, all under the banner of NWOCR (New Wave Of Classic Rock).

Black Soul Vendetta‘ gives us a convincing brand of hard rock, Alex Cooper‘s destinctive vocals delivering each of the thirteen tracks (no short change here) with conviction and sometimes a hint of malice, the twin guitars of Baz Blackett and Kieran Topp fleshing each song out to the max, and that bounding beat provided by Jamie Downes (bass) and Lars Wickett (drums) reinforcing everything without overpowering it.

A stand out track is kind of hard to pick as the album flows so well, but ‘Dream Evil‘ is the track which for some reason raises it’s head above the already high parapet and grabs me just that little bit more.

Black Soul Vendetta‘ is without doubt a worthy follow up, and hopefully when everything settles down the band can take this new material out on the road and give us more of their full on live performances.

Hat’s off to Devilfire for helping keep the proud tradition of British hard rock alive and well. Without doubt a solid ten out of ten!

Dark melodic hard rock quintet, Devilfire, have released a brand-new single ‘Dead Man Walking‘ available via all main download and streaming platforms.

Dead Man Walking‘ is the third single released from their forthcoming album – ‘Black Soul Vendetta‘ – scheduled for Fri 04 September 2020.

Devilfire’s frontman, Alex Cooper said of the song, “Dead Man Walking is a song about hope verses hopelessness, about good versus evil but mainly it’s about being wrongfully accused of something you didn’t do.

A while back I got very into the debate of capital punishment and the ethical debate of the death penalty. I guess it was watching an adaptation of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens that got me thinking what would it actually feel like to have to walk to my death, knowing I didn’t commit the crime I was accused of?

This I thought would make a great lyrical premise for the song. So, I tried my hardest to put myself in those hypothetical shoes.

I tend to write from what I know and for the first time I wasn’t drawing on my personal experiences, only from what I could imagine my emotions would be. Once I got my head around that, it seemed to flow a lot better. It’s a punchy song that seems to lash out with anger at injustice and I think that’s what I wanted to convey.

Devilfire are a 5-piece hard melodic rock engine from Birmingham, England formed off the back of an early studio session between long term friends, Alex Cooper (producer) and drummer, Lars Wickett. Their working project, then known as Devilstar, took 3 years to gestate before things fell into place on a lengthy tour of Eastern Europe as guests to Tarja Turunen. That tour cemented a growing reputation as a live force and what followed was the undeniable power of their debut album, ‘Dark Manoeuvres‘, released in 2017 to high acclaim.

Dark Manoeuvres‘ was followed up with further sold-out dates on the road before the release of a short-run EP Out Of The Dark to placate fans’ demands for further material.

Now, with the release of ‘Dead Man Walking‘, as a follow up to the well-received singles, ‘Dream Evil‘ & ‘Chasing The Pain‘, they introduce the world to their new full-length album ‘Black Soul Vendetta‘. And they have only just begun.

Line up:

Alex Cooper (vocals)
Baz Blackett (guitars)
Kieran Topp (guitars)
Jay Downes (bass)
Lars Wickett (drums)

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Dark melodic hard rock quintet, Devilfire, release a brand-new single on Fri 8th May 2020. ‘Chasing The Pain‘ will be available through all main download and streaming platforms.

Chasing The Pain‘ features a collaboration with former Slash and Alice Cooper vocalist, Eric Dover and is the second single to be released from their forthcoming album – ‘Black Soul Vendetta‘ – scheduled for release later this year.

Devilfire’s frontman, Alex Cooper said of the song, “During the recording stages I wanted to push a certain hook that I had in mind for the chorus and I had the sounds of an Aerosmith type horn section in my head.

Fellow Birmingham musician, Ash Sheehan, had just come back from touring with Glenn Hughes and I managed to coax him into the studio to provide the horn section. Ash was awesome. 

I wanted to write a song about split personalities and try to paint a picture of everything being perfect in a relationship but having the overall urge to just throw it all away and mess it up. It was playing around with this idea that gave me the idea for having a second vocalist.

The idea of having two vocalists to illustrate the idea of a split personality was a tough one. I didn’t know if it would work and I didn’t want someone who sounded massively different either, as it needed to be a split personality within the same person.

It was at this point I was talking to a friend who mentioned he was working with a band over from LA called ‘Lost Angels’, on their UK tour. The band was made up of some incredible players including Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper), Troy Patrick Farrell (White Lion), EJ Curse (Gilby Clarke) and a big influence in the shape of singer, Eric Dover.

Eric has played with Alice Cooper and Jellyfish. But I was most familiar with his work in Slash’s Snakepit – singing on the band’s first album, It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere. 

I was introduced to Eric at his show in Wolverhampton. I mentioned the song and the idea of the duelling vocalists/personalities and he seemed very interested. When he returned to LA he got to work sending me vocal takes and I was blown away! It was perfect and it flawlessly interwove with my own voice.

Not only does it rock but it now includes a legendary voice and an incredible horn section, all interwoven with that classic Devilfire sound. I couldn’t be prouder.

Devilfire are a 5-piece hard melodic rock engine from Birmingham, England formed off the back of an early studio session between long term friends, Alex Cooper (producer) and drummer, Lars Wickett. Their working project, then known as Devilstar, took 3 years to gestate before things fell into place on a lengthy tour of Eastern Europe as guests to Tarja Turunen. That tour cemented a growing reputation as a live force and what followed was the undeniable power of their debut album, ‘Dark Manoeuvres‘, released in 2017 to high acclaim.

Dark Manoeuvres‘ was followed up with further sold-out dates on the road before the release of a short-run EP ‘Out Of The Dark‘ to placate fans’ demands for further material.

Now, with the release of ‘Chasing The Pain‘, as a follow up to the well-received first single, ‘Dream Evil‘, they introduce the world to their new full-length album ‘Black Soul Vendetta‘. And they have only just begun.

Edgy melodic hard rock quintet, Devilfire, release a brand new single on Fri 3rd April 2020. ‘Dream Evil‘ will be available through all main download and streaming platforms.

Dream Evil‘ is the first new music to be released from their forthcoming album – ‘Black Soul Vendetta‘ – scheduled for release later this year.

Devilfire’s frontman, Alex Cooper said of the song, “Dream Evil‘ taps into Devilfire’s dark psyche. Put simply, it’s about a nightmare, your deepest fears playing out in a dream. It also kind of relates to She’s Life Fire a song on our debut album and could be viewed as a sequel.”

It’s a song that works on two levels…
Level one – I’m just talking about having bad dreams about one’s past. While level two – That I’m talking about a relationship and that it’s the ghosts from that past that are the nightmare.

Personally, I loved playing around with the different ways all these ideas intertwine together.

He went on, “Musically, we set out to create a truly nightmarish rollercoaster of a song that was both hard-hitting and epic at the same time. I think we achieved that.

Devilfire are a 5-piece hard melodic rock engine from Birmingham, England formed off the back of an early studio session between long term friends, Alex Cooper (producer) and drummer, Lars Wickett. Their working project, then known as Devilstar, took 3 years to gestate before things fell into place on a lengthy tour of Eastern Europe as guests to Tarja Turunen. That tour cemented a growing reputation as a live force and what followed was the undeniable power of their debut album, ‘Dark Manoeuvres‘, released in 2017 to high acclaim.

Dark Manoeuvres‘ was followed up with further sold-out dates on the road before the release of a short-run EP ‘Out Of The Dark’ to placate fans’ demands for further material.

Now, with the release of the single ‘Dream Evil‘, they introduce the world to their new full-length album ‘Black Soul Vendetta‘. And they have only just begun.

Line up:

Alex Cooper (vocals)
Baz Blackett (guitars)
Kieran Topp (guitars)
Jay Downes (bass)
Lars Wickett (drums)

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Heavy rock band Devilfire are set to change the way we release records.

With high expectations on their eagerly awaited second album, following their outstanding 2017 debut release ‘Dark Manoeuvres‘, Midlands and UK favourites Devilfire‘ are certainly making their mark on the music industry!

Not content to simply follow the status quo (forgive the pun) these innovative rockers are making the most of these uncertain times by releasing their new album, entitled ‘Black Soul Vendetta with the option of a subscription platform too.

Whilst fans can of course still pre-order the album as normal in physical format, which will be released on the 29th of May 2020, on both CD and vinyl. The band are also offering a subscription service called ‘Devilfire AAA‘ which will let fans hear the new tracks before the album release… for just £3 a month!

The first track will be waiting for fans upon signing up to AAA with a new track following every 2 weeks!

With ‘Devilfire AAA‘ fans will also join a exclusive community inside Devilfire‘s website! This will allow them to interact with the band directly, give their thoughts on the album as well as view videos and access content created entirely for AAA fans!

Lead singer, Alex Cooper, commented – “The new albums material is amazing and the fact that you can see a lot more with Devilfire AAA means that everyone gets a chance to see and experience what a band truly goes through when making a record. Also, it helps directly fund the band without any need for third parties. It’s different, we know that…. but! once you sign up you’ll see there is so much content you are entitled to that you would normally never get to see. It’s a true insight into the pain and emotion that comes from being in a band. If this way of releasing records catches on it could give the power back to bands!

The band is set to launch news of the new mega 14-Track album ‘Black Soul Vendetta‘ on November 1st.

As of November 1st fans will be able to ​pre-order the album or sign up to ‘Devilfire AAA‘ and hear the first new track straight away!

 Track Listing:

  1. Cruelest Animal
  2. Chasing The Pain
  3. Live A Lie
  4. Vendetta
  5. Dead Man Walking
  6. Dream Evil
  7. Justify
  8. Sell My Soul
  9. You’re Gonna Break My Heart
  10. What You Pay For
  11. Black Soul Bones
  12. Decadence
  13. Wasn’t It Love?
  14. Gimme Shelter

The physical release will be May 29th 2020.

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Ahead of their homecoming headline show, Birmingham rockers Devilfire have unleashed a new music video for ‘She’s Like Fire

Taken from their stunning debut album ‘Dark Manoeuvres‘ (out 6th October) the video follows Devilfire‘s European tour as special guests to former Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen.

She’s Like Fire‘ is the second single to be lifted from the new album following breakout track ‘Waiting For A Rockstar‘. Devilfire frontman Alex Cooper says, “Being in the rock scene you encounter some pretty extrovert people, I love that! This new song is about someone I knew that was just a whirlwind to me “dancing with desire.” I’m not afraid to say I was very into this person but not everything is meant to be. Always look to move forward in life.”

Devilfire headline the o2 Academy, Birmingham on the 26th August, and will play HRH Sleaze at Sheffield’s o2 Academy 2nd September with Faster Pussycat, Vain, Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate and more.

Ticket links:

http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/O2-Academy-Birmingham-tickets-Birmingham/venue/254975

https://www.hrhsleaze.com/tickets.html

Tracklist:

  1. Ready For War?
  2. She’s Like Fire
  3. (In And Out Of Love) All Of The Time
  4. Waiting For A Rockstar
  5. Lay It On The Line
  6. Kill Your Love
  7. Tear Me Apart
  8. God Give Me Vengance
  9. Devil In Your Eyes
  10. (You Gotta) Revolution
  11. She’s Always On The Run
  12. A Thousand Times
  13. Somehow

Line up:

Vocals – Alex Cooper

Guitars – Baz Blackett

Guitars – Richard Bloomer-Davies

Bass – Davey Bennett

Drums – Lars Wickett

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Review: Devilfire – Dark Manoeuvres

Escape The Fire Records (October 2017)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

In a musical landscape of what has lately been relatively boring releases (with some notable exceptions), there are still gems that reach out and grab you. Such a gem is Devilfire‘s ‘Dark Manoeuvres‘. Having had my interest triggered by the video for ‘Waiting For A Rockstar‘, I was looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.

This is certainly a jam packed album with thirteen tracks, kicking off with ‘Ready For War‘, quite a laid back feel but with plenty going on in the background, the instruments and vocals are not fighting or jockeying for position.

Don’t think for one minute that this is a laid back album though. Track two ‘She’s Like Fire‘ picks up the pace without jeopardizing the vocals, the sort of track that calls for the car stereo to be cranked, windows open, ‘educating’ your fellow traveler!

(In And Out Of Love) All Of The Time‘ while having a solid rock rhythm, it leans much more towards the blues end of the spectrum with some lovely guitar injections and a more soulful vocal.

Next up is that track that triggered my interest, namely ‘Waiting For A Rockstar‘. Talk about a catchy tune, another volume cranker for sure! Perfect single choice.

With ‘Lay It On The Line‘ your once again shown what an accomplished vocalist Alex Cooper is. Yes I’ve said it a 1000 times (now 1001) that if I don’t like the vocals regardless of the music then the album is lost to me. It is certainly a catchy tune to boot.

Kill Your Love‘ is leaning more towards melodic hard rock which shows the band’s diversity, it’s almost like Vega with a harder edge and a potential single.

Tear Me Apart‘ is a ballad, and before some of you moan, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With a great late 80’s style guitar break and punctuated with piano it does the job well.

God Give Me Vengeance‘ has elements of angst, an emotional track delivered with real feeling. A track that highlights the bands ability to bring everything to the fore. ‘Devil In Your Eyes‘, one criticism, it’s too short. Just as the band are building up a head of steam for what should be an all out audio assault it ends!

(You Gotta) Revolution‘ starts off with a great guitar intro, reminiscent of Reason, a memorable, punchy chorus underlined by the hard working rhythm section.

The same feel can also be found on the next two tracks. ‘She’s Always On The Run‘, love the vocal twists and turns, leading again to a memorable track. The intro to ‘A Thousand Times‘ again is so like a Reason track, this underlying similarity at times is certainly one of the reasons I’m enjoying this album.

And so the final track arrives. ‘Somehow‘, an acoustic track that draws you in and yet again shows the diversity of this band.

This album has had numerous plays at home, in the car and at work. A potential contender for my albums of the year list. Well worth checking out.

 

 

 

 

Following 10 days of gigging to 2000 capacity sold out venues as special guests to former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen, Devilfire have forged a fiery path into the European Rock N’ Roll road. Returning to the UK to a sold out festival crowd at Hard Rock Hell AOR 2017 was the icing on the cake, and the Birmingham based melodic hard rock outfit are ready to conquer the world with their debut album ‘Dark Manoeuvres‘ this October.

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. ‘Dark Manouevres’ is set to push rock’s boundaries with its honest British roots.

“I try to put my heart on the page, be as open and honest as its all I know”, says Cooper, “Dark Manoeuvres is a therapy for me. As an artist all you can do is try to put the listener into your shoes. I feel that is the greatest power of music. It’s always what I’ve loved when listening to any music that I emotionally connect with. With this debut album we’ve taken our time to curate the best possible music we can at this stage, and I honestly believe we’ve accomplished what we set out to do.”
Dark Manoeuvres‘ is such an accomplished debut album, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was Devilfire‘s third, not first full length studio release. From the opening foot stomper ‘Ready For War’, to the true immediacy of singles ‘Waiting For A Rockstar’, ‘She’s Always On The Run’, to the swing of ‘Tear Me Apart’,  and passion of closing track ‘Somehow’, this new album wears its hooks loud n’ proud, whilst easily stamping Devilfire‘s own take on modern rock music.

“The songs on this record are just so good”, agrees Romesh Dodangoda, “Devilfire are definitely a band for the future.”

Devilfire live:

26th Aug – BIRMINGHAM – o2 Academy (Headline Show)

2nd Sept – SHEFFIELD – o2 Academy HRH Sleaze

More dates to be announced.

Devilfire‘s debut album ‘Dark Manoeuvres‘ is out 6th October.

Tracklist:

  1. Ready For War?
  2. She’s Like Fire
  3. (In And Out Of Love) All Of The Time
  4. Waiting For A Rockstar
  5. Lay It On The Line
  6. Kill Your Love
  7. Tear Me Apart
  8. God Give Me Vengance
  9. Devil In Your Eyes
  10. (You Gotta) Revolution
  11. She’s Always On The Run
  12. A Thousand Times
  13. Somehow

Line up:

Vocals – Alex Cooper

Guitars – Baz Blackett

Guitars – Richard Bloomer-Davies

Bass – Davey Bennett

Drums – Lars Wickett

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