Mark Tremonti is a big reason why Creed became a favourite.
To anyone who listened to me after “Weathered”, I called him the modern day Jimmy Page, as he can move between fast metal riffs, to blues rock riffs, to heavy groove rock riffs to folk rock and even classical. Plus he did it by using various open string tunings. There was a lot of variation on the albums.
Similar to how Page moved between so many different styles, so when you got a Led Zeppelin album, you had a lot of variation between each song. And Page did it by using various open string tunings.
My Own Prison
The debut released in 1997.
It took me a while to get used to Scott Stapp’s “Vedder Voice”, but from the outset the music made me want to pick up the guitar and play it.
Album opener “Torn” moves between the light in the verses and dark in the Chorus. Plus it’s got two breakdowns. And at 6 minutes long, I was in.
The intro in “Ode” has got some serious Metal overtones. Plus it’s got a head banging chromatic riff in the interlude.
“My Own Prison” deals with being responsible for creating your own prison.
“In America” almost sounds folky and Chilli Peppers like with all the open tunings that Tremonti employs. The Chorus sounds like it came from the British Rock explosion.
“Unforgiven” has a groove metal riff which could have come from Pantera.
“What’s This Life For” is a favourite. The way it starts off with the clean tone strumming, it could have come from the 70’s folk rock movement. But it’s the 2 minute outro that really hooks me.
And the album closes with “One”, a pure Creed classic.
Two of their best songs to close out.
The follow up, released in 1999.
I don’t think anyone had any idea as to how big this album would get, like 11 x Platinum in the US and 4 x Platinum in Australia.
And “Are You Ready?” kicks it all off. The heaviness of the groove riff had me ready to listen to more and “What If” continues the groove metal set with the opener.
How good does “Beautiful” start off?
“Say I” musically is a metal song. It could come from a thrash album. The clean tones just keep percolating until it explodes into a Tool like riff for the Chorus.
“Faceless Man” is one of those fan favourite cuts, as it moves between hard rock and groove metal, between light and shade and dark. And Tremonti even pulls out an open string lick.
“With Arms Wide Open” and “Higher” are up next and these songs sold the album to the masses, but its “Wash Away Those Years” which I like more. Its cuts like this, “Faceless Man”, “Say I” and “What If” which really made this album for me.
“Inside Us All” closes the album and it’s another cut which moves between a clean tone verse and distorted chorus which I like. Plus there is another cool and fast melodic lick which Tremonti chucks in at the outro of the song, a precursor to the things to come in the shred department.
Released in 2001, and it blows me away from the outset with “Bullets”.
That riff from Tremonti, with the fast alternate picking, palm muting and open strings is addictive. They opened with this song when I saw em live in Sydney.
Bassist Brian Marshall was out and Tremonti did the bass parts for the album.
Then “Freedom Fighter” has this Texan blues groove but done in a Pantera style for the verses.
“Who’s Got My Back” is typical of the style of the Creed songs I like, with atmospheric finger picked riffs in clean tone percolating in the verses, which leads to open string tuned chords and eventually crunching and distorted chords.
How heavy is that verse riff in “Signs”?
Then you are treated to the excellent finger picked lines of “One Last Breath”.
“My Sacrifice” pushed this album to multi-platinum status in Australia and the U.S and the streaming counts for this song are huge, way higher than “Higher” and “With Arms Wide Open”. And while I liked the song when I heard it on the album, it wasn’t until I saw Creed live that I really enjoyed the song and the way they played it. It was the closer, it was delivered with power and a lot of pyro and they made sure they left you wanting more.
“Stand Here With Me” came next and its similarity to “My Sacrifice” made me ignore it, but the riff stands on its own. And there is a lead break in this song, which got me paying attention.
“Weathered” is my favourite track, especially that whole interlude/bridge section from the 3.27 mark and that riff. It reminds me of heavy metal from the 80’s.
“Hide” is “My Sacrifice” part 3 and although it is derivative, it doesn’t get boring. “Don’t Stop Dancing” has a nice little melodic lead from Tremonti, who really picks his small lead break spots to perfection.
It came out in 2009.
Alter Bridge had traction by now, releasing “One Day Remains” in 2004 and the excellent “Blackbird” in 2007 and I was like, why would Tremonti get back with Stapp. But it’s a fitting way to go out, the four dudes who were in the initial band to come full circle.
The anti-Creed press made sure they kept repeating how the sales of the album didn’t match the sales of the previous albums and that the album is a dud.
But it’s not a dud and the tour did well at the box office.
“Overcome” kicks it off in typical Creed fashion, but this time around the band is angrier and a bit more weathered from life. “A Thousand Faces” and “Rain” are my favourites. “On My Sleeve” is also worthy.
“Away In Silence”, “Full Circle” and “Time” round up the album for me.