Remember MD.45? The frankly magnificent but seemingly forgotten team-up between Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine and Fear’s Lee Ving. No? Shame, it was great but fret not heavy rock fans as Northern Ireland’s Baleful Creed are here to blast your brains clean out the back of your head with their own throwback brand of foot-stomping anthems.
Dark and ladled with groove, Baleful Creed revel in the rifferarama of prime stoner rock and the guitar tag-team of John Allen and Fin Finlay is a formidable one. Leaning on Danzig’s classic albums, the heft of prime Alice In Chains and Soundgarden and all manner of classic influences dating back to the mighty Sabbath, riffs, riffs and more god-like riffs are peeled off at an astonishing rate.
“God’s Fear” rocks the senses with a desert rock feel that prompts ultimate neck-wrecking movements while “Grind” offers a similar laid-back style that comes with a serrated edge; pure power backed by expressive songwriting. In fact, it’s when Baleful Creed channel the dark heart of early 90’s alt metal/hard rock (often recalling the aforementioned MD.45) that they are at their very best, with “Memento Mori” also delivering the goods via crunchy riffs and a soulful blues edge surrounded by the darkest heart imaginable.
However, it’s the bounce of “Levy” that provides Seismic Shifter‘s finest moment, a chugging thrill ride propelled by the somehow smooth yet gravelly tones of frontman Fin Finlay. It’s catchy as fuck and proof positive that a simple hard rockin’ ditty delivered with plenty of panache can be just as effective and impressive as your tech obsessed noodle-monsters who try to impress with a million ideas a second.
We realise we’ve thrown in a lot of lofty comparisons in this review but Baleful Creed sure as hell live up to them. Here is a band that has encapsulated many of the finer facets of rock and metal over the last 45 years and fashioned their own irresistable take on them all. Frankly, Seismic Shifter reeks of class and is equal to, if not better than, Baleful Creed’s cracking self titled debut.
Fuckin’ beezer! 8/10