Listening to 'III' , the latest effort by Northern Irish hard rockers Baleful Creed, one is struck straight away by how much more aggressive it is than previous EP 'Buried Beneath',Where the latter dealt in punchy but soulful old school heavy rock anthems with a bluesy feel ,and found the band in fairly reflective and melodic mode, 'III' sounds far more like the work of men who've maybe been dealt a few shitty hands of late.The deft melodies are still there, but there's a darkness and palpable sense of rage that hasn't been there on previous releases.The result is a more focused sounding, heavier piece of work that showcases the band in full flight.
Opener 'Double F.S' is a prime example of the new, mean and lean BC, a stomper of a tune that sounds like 'Blues For The Red Sun' era Kyuss jamming Ac/Dc tunes, the band locked into a monster groove that recalls the scattered likes of Rose Tattoo and Fireball Ministry in its feral swagger.'Autumn Leaves' is a grungy treat, singer Fin Finlay displaying his ear for a killer melody and managing to sound not unlike a less smack addled Scott Weiland in the process.'Thorazine' meanwhile is quite simply a beast, the centrepiece of the EP in many respects. Finlay howls away like a man possessed,sneering at one point:"Explain my actions to you/You people don't have a clue" , embodying the band's take no prisoners, bullshit free approach .Guitarist John Allen is also in fine form, unleashing some fantastic leads , while drummer Mark Stewart and bassist Stephen Fleming keep things ticking over, as locked- in and whip-crack tight as rhythm sections go.
And on it continues, the quality never dipping once.'Illuminati' ' is reminiscent of COC circa 'In The Arms of God', another monolithic riff welded to killer vocal hooks.Closer 'Misanthrope' finds the band back in a more melodic, classic rock vein , but still heavy as lead, the mournful melody recalling the more upbeat moments of Jerry Cantrell's classic 'Degradation Trip' record.
Overall , this is quality stuff, a fantastic collection of hard rock tunes that'll appeal to everyone from fans of sludge rock to those people who only buy Hard Rock compilation albums that appear in HMV at Christmas because they really like 'Ace Of Spades' but they're a bit iffy on that Lemmy fella and all the speed he does( you know who are). No excuse, you need some Baleful Creed in your life.
For fans of: COC, Ac/Dc, Godsmack, Speedking, Stone Temple Pilots
Listen here: http://balefulcreed.bandcamp.com/