Released by: Self
Genre: Heavy Rock
Fin Finlay – Vocals / Guitar
John Allen – Guitar
Stephen Fleming – Bass Guitar (2009-2014)
Mark Stewart – Drums / Vocals (2010-2014)
Hailing from Northern Ireland, Baleful Creed are a classic rock 4 piece who have recently released their first full length self-titled album – combining elements of old school classic/hard rock with groove laden riffs and licks commonly associated with stoner/southern rock to form an insane hybrid sound which transports the listener onto a musical adventure way back into the 80’s. Not many bands nowadays can pull off such a retro and nostalgic sound without it sounding clichéd and dates, however Baleful Creed pull it off superbly, presenting 10 unique and exciting classic rock anthems which sound like they have been stripped right from Black Sabbath’s back catalogue.
Opening the album with the title track ‘Baleful Creed’ and powering swiftly through the insane powerhouse that is ‘Autumn Leaves’, Baleful Creed waste no time in catching the listeners attention from the word go, spewing forth dirty, high octane riff after riff as they pound your head with aggressive rhythm sections and soaring lead guitar lines. The musicianship on this album is second to none; not only showing that Baleful Creed are incredible musicians, but also showing that they are one of the finest bands to come out of the Northern Ireland rock and metal scene in the past few years!
Lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player Fin Finlay has one hell of a set of lungs – belting out some of the most powerful vocal hooks in the form of the foot stomper ‘Double F.S’, and the downright groovy ‘Misanthrope’. It’s his vocal lines that make these songs what they are, adding that extra bit of flare into the mix and setting them apart from similar bands through his distinctive and implausible vocal presence. When you think of Northern Irish talent in terms of rock singers, the names: Gary Moore and Jake Burns spring to mind. I think it’s time that the name Fin Finlay was added to that list!
There is only one downside to this album, and it is that there is too many “filler” tracks on the record. The songs towards the end of the album really let down some of the more shining examples on it, and unfortunately tracks such as ‘Her Promise’, ‘Thoranize’ and ‘Suffer in Silence’ are rather dull compared to some of the earlier tracks on the album. If Baleful Creed had released this as an EP or a mini album; only releasing the first five to six songs from this record then it would be a perfect release, but unfortunately the last few tracks simply don’t cut the mustard and really spoil the hard rocking vibe.
If you haven’t heard of Baleful Creed then you need to check them out as you will not be disappointed! There are only a handful of British bands who can execute a sound as classic, yet relevant as this, and this record just proves that Baleful Creed are at the forefront of this rising sub-genre which is slowly making a return onto the scene
Written by Matt Seddon