SATAN was slinking out of the Louisiana swamps, a half empty bottle of Jack Daniels dangling from his taloned hand, and a throbbing need for real, down and dirty rock 'n' fuckin' roll is tugging at his black heart. He knew there was a reason he chose to leave the sterility of heaven - it was to find a place on this forsaken earth where the melancholy melodies could plunge him to the depths and at the same time raise his fists in unadulterated joy.
His goat feet took him on a journey, a long and lonely journey, strumming his guitar, strung with the guts of scenesters, pseuds and the unenlightened ignoramouses who watch TV's pathetic 'music' talent shows.
His journey was to a land becoming all too familiar to this lord of light, a land where be bathed in the fire, fury and angst of A Little Bitter, where he partied with Trucker Diablo, and had his corrupt soul tortured with the southern groove of Double Wide. It was a land where he had watched the fires of youth rebellion ignited by Stiff Little Fingers and laughed with the sick humour of Therapy? It was a land where he had danced around the fires lit by The Answer; it was a land with the dark beating heart of rock and roll, where he could bathe in the hardcore battering of By Any Means and feed Hunger's Mother and refresh himself in Swanee River.
It was to the land known as Northern Ireland.
But what was rousing the Dark Lord from his slumber? What was that low-end rumbling that called him with mournful tunes and soaring guitars? What was that Baleful Creed that he felt the need to pledge a rocking soul to? Was it the sound of heaven? If so it was a heavenly blast even he could get down too!
Baleful Creed have been calling to the faithful and the faithless with their two 2011 eps, Killing Time and Buried Beneath. It is a calling summed up in the opening blast, their crie de guerre and eponymous naming of their band and their intent. Buried Beneath opener Baleful Creed revs up the riffs and makes sure you are in no doubt that this is a band with intent - an intent to rock.
Killing Time features two tracks that will have you panting in agony that the mix is a little off; but the sheer majesty of Fortune Seeker and Throne of Thorns will have a heavenly host coming down to this patch of earth and joining Satan and his minions in a party blur of Jack Daniels; heads-a-nodding, arms interlinked and getting down to the low end.
And, it is the low end that rumbles through all of Baleful Creed's two eps to date; sometimes overwhelming on Killing Time, but perfected on Buried Beneath; an ep which would have Geezer Butler grinning and Tony Iommi reaching from his sick bed for his trusty SG.
Make no mistake - these are not 'metal' eps. Nor are they strictly hard rock tales of excess, instead tales that are tempered with the memories of consequences. This is a melding of styles, southern groove, metal, rock - all delivered with aplomb. Crazy Man has lyrics to challenge and a groove that has the gators in the swamplands wondering if they are outclassed. Hex - well, it's gonna put a hex on ya! And as for the lead guitar throughout? Well there are tones here that just show why there are times when an axe just has to be wielded.
Vocally, there is a sneer to the melacholy: as we've said before in the heart of a cynic beats the murmur of romantic hope. It also knows there are times when you must stand up and rock...
Nodding his approval Satan hooked his arms around the heavenly host, his former brothers; maybe, just maybe they could work this disagreement out. As another bottle of Jack emptied to the strains of Baleful Creed's Suffer in Silence all seems better. This place Northern Ireland, they reckoned they could settle down in it nicely; the Tayto Cheese and Onion crisps, the Ulster Fry and this font of rock 'n' roll? Why not stick around for a bit in the only place where someone would say: "Oi Satan! It's your round!"
Baleful Creed - when melancholy melodies, groove, and low-end can solve the metaphysical puzzles of the universe.