BALEFUL CREED - SEISMIC SHIFTER - ALBUM REVIEW
In 2017 Belfast-based hard rock outfit Baleful Creed released their 10-track sophomore album, Seismic Shifter...
Words: Anne Estella
Seismic Shifter is the follow-up to Baleful Creed’s self-titled debut album, which was released at the end of 2013. Influenced by artists such as Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Kyuss, the debut record took on a hard stoner rock, grunge sound. The album was a remixed and remastered edition of their last two EP's, which were not previously available on CD.
Seismic Shifter maintains the groove-laden stoner rock sound of the first album and also incorporates hints of Black Sabbath and The Doors in one or two of the tracks.
It gives off a slightly heavier vibe than the debut album, delivering honest lyricism centred around some serious and emotive subject matter. The album’s title is itself a comment on the changing political landscape both at home and abroad and is an indication that this album isn’t afraid to tackle difficult social issues.
The songs deal with a variety of topics including fake celebrity culture (Faux Celebrity), sexual desire (Grind), and most notably the uncompromising anti-religion track, Lose Religion, which has a punk rock intensity and lyrics that don’t pull any punches. Devil’s Slide is a truly great opener - it gently lures you in before announcing its presence the moment the drum beat kicks in - giving you a good indication of what’s to come! The wonderfully dark and anthemic The Wolf, which provides the ideal closing track, competes with Levy for the title of best song of the album. Other close contenders for me are God’s Fear and Walking Wounded.
Forgiven displays bluesy overtones, while God’s Fear retains that laid-back desert rock sound. Memento Mori, Forgiven and Walking Wounded reveal a darker edge, due largely to their expressive lyrics and vocal delivery. All the tracks on the album have great intros and enough variation to hold your attention. Listen out for the unexpected but very welcome addition of the harmonica in Levy – a really nice touch that fits the song like a glove.
The simplistic and unapologetic nature of Seismic Shifter is partly what makes it so appealing. Strong, gravelly vocals combined with impressive, chunky guitar riffs and backed up by a solid rhythm section give Baleful Creed a dynamic sound.
Setting a generally slow pace and then switching it up to a faster tempo (and then back again) is something that they excel in and is evident throughout the record. Fin’s powerful voice lends itself perfectly to the often gritty lyrics and hard-hitting sound created.
This year Baleful Creed will be playing gigs in Comber on 2nd February and Belfast on 25th February and then heading over to Dumfries and Carlisle for gigs on 4th May and 5th May respectively. Future plans include festivals appearances and venturing further south into England and Wales.
The four-piece band consists of Fin Finlay (vocals / guitar), John Allen (guitar), Davy Greer (bass / vocals) and Dave Jeffers (drums).
Photo via Baleful Creed