Creed - Full Circle
So deftly did Nickleback step into dead man’s shoes you may not even have noticed the demise of Creed; a gradual disintegration following their poorly received 2001 album Weathered. Listening to Full Circle you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’d never been away as, despite a raging torrent of water under the bridge in the last five or so years, they have apparently come full circle and slipped right back to the band that released the global smash ‘With Arms Wide Open’.
When the band claim that they have reconvened having rediscovered friendships, artistic chemistry, passion for music, and sincere love for our fans it is hard to be cynical for, in truth, there was no huge clamour for their return and no huge payday on the horizon. Musically it is business as usual, a radio friendly hybrid of Pearl Jam and Temple of the Dog which as equal part blessing and curse; being familiar enough for the casual punter to buy into but lacks the originality to inspire devotion or lasting interest. There have been minor developments however, the primary one being the increased prominence of the lead lines of guitarist Mark Tremonti who’s solo on ‘A Thousand Faces’ cascades with all the melodic grace of Brian May at his best.
The most notable feature of the album, however, is the attitude is bristles with from start to finish. Stapp’s lyrics and delivery have always been impassioned but every song here is borne forth in a spirit of absolute defiance. This is a record apparently driven by years of pent-up, impotent rage which leaves the album teetering on the edge of demanding its own chapter in the Old Testament. With a name like Creed you instinctively expect there to be an element of communal faith underpinning the band, yet this has always been flatly denied. It is hard however to consider lyrics such as Say you’re a victim but that’s just a symptom. It’s all very clear…you volunteered…Own up to the sin you bury within (‘Suddenly’) without feeling the shadow of a vengeful God passing over and, by the time we arrive at ‘Good Fight’ and its belligerent demand that we – Fight the GOOD FIGHT!, fight what you know is wrong, it’s like Stryper never went away.
If you had time for Creed back in the day then you’ll find plenty here to rekindle your love, but for the uninitiated it is unlikely that Full Circle will result in a flood of new converts.