Baleful Creed are a four piece rock and roll band from Northern Ireland. The line up is Fin Finlay on Vocals / Guitar, John Allen on Guitar, Davy Greer on Bass / Vocals and Dave Jeffers on Drums. The line up for this album though had Stephen Flemming on Bass and Rhythm Guitar on Misanthrope and Mark Stewart on Drums / Vocals. The band was formed in 2009 and this album was released in 2013.
If you like gutsy rock and roll which comes at you like a wall of sound but morphs into something softer on occasions and surprises you, then this is the band for you.
The album opens with Baleful Creed, which starts with a formidable drum and bass line with a heavy guitar overlay. Then Fin’s gravely vocals kick in and it is time to turn the volume up to the max and prepare to head bang along. The song has a really catchy chorus and there is plenty here to make you smile, great riffs, a thumping bass line which combine to form a powerful rock song.
Autumn Leaves is up next and starts with a deep, sludgy guitar, the vocals, though have a softer quality which shows that this band is multi layered and that they are capable of doing so much more than just in your face, back against the wall rock. This track has dual vocals from Mark Stewart.
Illuminati has interesting drumming, sounding like a conversation between drum, bass and guitar, the conversation flows back and forth and then Fin’s lyrics kick in sounding like an attack. Behind it the conversation is kept fluid and moving by the drums, heavy bass and cascading guitar. This is a politically based song about the smiles and deceit leaders use to control by fear in the name of freedom.
We again see a softer side to Fins vocals in Crazy Man, however this is a darker track, “Falling short, Falling apart” seems to tell the tale of the struggle within, how you have to be strong at times even when inwardly this is not what is happening. The softer lyrical quality give this track a great poignancy but the sorrowful guitar riffs and drum beats keep this song feeling current with a nod to the past classic rock tracks.
Misanthrope shows a different sound from the band as the vocals are led by Mark Stewart. Apparently about hatred of mankind, this has a slower start but builds into a heavier, drum fuelled sustained guitar solo.
Double F.S. has rhythmic drums and bass with a powerful guitar that builds into the lyrics which seem to be about the aftermath of a gig and the trouble you can get into!
Hex, for me, has a bluesy feel in places with flowing drums that change pace and tempo combining with sledgy guitars and a great beat, this will start your head nodding and foot tapping, if indeed it ever stopped whilst listening to this album.
Her promise brings shimmering guitars which seem to be reaching towards a climax much like the lyrics to the song. This song that seems to be about the traditional rock and roll theme about getting to “the promised land” with the object of your desire. It is very much a sexual song and you can feel that in the pulsing qualities of the guitars and the banging of the drum.
Thorazine starts off heavier and darker “I used to be OK” and “You people don’t have a clue” shows the more menacing side of this band. The track then slows down completely into a dream like quality, which is heart-breaking then we are back into the beat of the track again, with rolling and thundering bass lines, crashing and mesmeric drums and overlaid with the dream like guitar.
Suffer in silence is a duet about a couple splitting up and the opposing points of view they have. Fin’s gravely vocals are a prefect counter to Mark Stewart softer, the track moves through slower moments and into a reaching guitar solo with a bouncing drum beat and interesting bass line.
This is a heavy and intense album in places with softer overtones. The influences seem to come from Black Sabbath and Metallica in my opinion. It is an album filled with light and shade and one that I cannot wait to hear played live, where I bet it will be even more in your face!