Full Circle Review

artist: Creed date: 05/06/2010 category: compact discs
Creed: Full Circle
Released: Oct 26, 2009
Genre: Alternative Metal, Hard Rock, Post-grunge
Label: Wind-Up Records
Number Of Tracks: 12
Creed has returned with their fourth studio album entiteled "Full Circle," and it's a rocky road listen.
 Sound: 8.3
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (6) 59 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
Full Circle Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 30, 2009
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: It's no doubt that Creed has been on the love or hate train for almost as long as they've been around. Most people on the harder side of music often enjoy sharing their despise for Creed with others, but for me it's something completely different. I grew up with the "nu-metal/alt-rock" revolution in the 90's and the new millennia and even though acts like Korn and Static-X never jived with me too well, I couldn't get enough of bands like Nickelback and Creed. In fact, the riffs of Mark Tremonti and Chad Kroeger were really the reason I picked up a guitar and started my musical journey in the first place. I've grown a lot now and even though I'm a metal head now, Creed has always held a special place in my musical roots. Back in 2002 when Creed shocked the world with their break up, it stunned me as well. It seemed the band was at their musical peak and to disband at that point seemed unfathomable! Nevertheless Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti headed their own separate ways with Scott's solo career and Mark's Alter Bridge project reaching their own humble successes but never really reclaiming their musical heights that together, as Creed, had easily achieved. When all hope of a reunion had thought to have been lost, Creed shocked us all again with the announcement of a reunion tour followed shortly by an accompanying new album! Critics immediately started to rise up saying that the band could never reclaim the fire they once had with threads immediately popping all over the net. Despite what people originally predicted, the first few shows were a huge success with fans and critics alike which made the new upcoming album all that much more promising. Which now brings us all here with Creed's 4th attempt hitting music stores all over the world for critics and fans to judge for themselves what the seven years apart has done to the band. Has Creed really redeemed themselves with something new and worth listening to? Without a doubt! 01. Overcome: the first single off the album with good reason. This song does a great job of showing the world the band's heavier and faster style. Mark's harmonics and heavy playing are clearly evident here with Stapp's aggressive vocals turning a new leaf for the band. Amazing solo on this one as well showing off Tremonti's guitar prowess like never heard before on a Creed record. A great song with a complex structure of fast and strong styles interwoven very nicely! One of my favorites on the record for sure. 02. Bread Of Shame: the down tuned heavily distorted opening riff just about hit me like a ton of bricks and left me dumbfounded when I first heard it. Mark's playing almost sounds like something off a Slipknot record (I dare say) and an unusual choice for the later Creed for sure! Nevertheless, Tremonti pulls this one off perfectly! Stapp also does a nice job of getting into the harder act with more intense vocals but doesn't quite nail it as well as I'd like but still a having a nice rawness however. Definitely one of the heaviest ones! 03. A Thousand Faces: I loved the acoustic guitar intro in this one. A very modern Creed-esque song. The lyrics are delivered quite well by Stapp which makes for a great recording. Still showing a slightly darker side, Tremonti's riffs are nice accompaniment with a great heart felt solo to boot. I can really relate to this song in a lot of ways so it's up there in my opinion. 04. Suddenly: still keeping with the heavy style here, I really can't say I love this one all that much. It's a complex song for sure but I just think it could have been better with more simple pattern and vocal style. I don't know, maybe you some people will disagree with me but I couldn't really "get into" this one as well as some of the others. 05. Rain: the second single of the album and definitely one of my favorite tracks, Rain is a refreshing lighter song that brings me back to some of the more stronger inspirational Creed stuff that I've come to love over the years. In a world of heavy music and down trotted lyrics, you need a little feel good tune here or there without sounding sappy or polished. Tremonti's riffs are once again a great accompaniment to the song and like I said, it's one of my favorites. 06. Away In Silence: lighter again, Away in Silence is one of those songs that can speak to a lot of us with the issue of turning yourself around and trying to keep your beloved with you after all the things the two of you have been through. Trying to rebuild the relationship seems to be the theme here and Stapp's lyrics and execution bring out this motif well. Another great song. 07. Fear: this song has a nice hook with Tremonti's riffs and Stapp's vocals working hand in hand to achieve this. Great drums here as well. All in all, a great song with a little bit of a darker edge hidden away as well. 08. On My Sleeve: a nice shimmering acoustic intro here as well, On My sleeve once again shows a familiar Creed face with it's strong vocals and power chords. However, it does show their new modern style of theirs that works well with Tremonti's more complex style. 09. Full Circle: another acoustic intro but with a very different picking pattern that has never been apparent in other Creed recordings. Stapp's vocal style takes a more southern edge here with an accompanying rhythm style. The second half of the song takes a heavier style however with a nice complex structure and an aggressive solo added in for flavor. A great song here as well. 10. Time: yet another nicely done acoustic intro, this song takes a lighter tone with a more complex vocal style that works very well with a nice choice of lyrics and theme. I love the harmonic work laid down by Mark on this one blending into the mood of the song perfectly. Overall a great song! 11. Good Fight: another familiar Creed feel with a bit of their new modern twist added in the first half. The second half takes a heavier turn with a face melting solo to mix it up even more. I like the lyrical intent but I don't think Stapp pulls this one off quite as well like the others. Still a good song though, just not one of my favorites on here. 12. The Song You Sing: keeping with the lighter ending theme found on other Creed records, The Song You Sing does an excellent job of wrapping up this great record. Stapp lets a little of his inspirational side show that can be found on his solo album in spades but with good taste here. Tremonti again backs him up with a nice rhythm section that blends in with the overall mood and theme very well. I love the solo on this one too! A great song which happens to be a fitting ending to a great album. The recording quality here is excellent with a nice high output that doesn't crack, clip, or break up while retaining the dynamics needed. All the recordings seem to be very well mixed with a nice balance of warmth and clarity. Never once did any recordings sound harsh or too compressed. Scott Stapp's vocals were nicely refined and in front where they should be. Mark Tremonti's tone was thick and punchy with all of it extremely articulate and dialed in very well. Brian Marshall's bass line (who came back after disbanding from Creed early on) was very clear and defined with a nice separation from the overall mix. Scott Phillips had a great vibe and feel from his drum lines. From snare, toms, and cymbals a very nice blend of rhythmic goodness indeed! // 9

Lyrics: While the lyrics do show aspects of the more grandiose inspirational sort that Creed is known for, Stapp does bring a rawer and passionate side not heard since My Own Prison. I especially liked the anger and aggressive feel he brought to the recordings to accompany Tremonti's more heavier playing style. I love what Stapp delivers on songs like Overcome, Rain, and Time but didn't like the almost forced vocal styles of Bread of Shame or Good Fight. While I did still like Bread of Shame, Good Fight was in fact badly affected by this. Overall a great vocal effort that Stapp brings to the show time and time again. I did also hear Scott Stapp lose some of his original growl that was present on earlier recordings, but despite this, it still made for a an exceptional vocal effort. // 8

Overall Impression: Full Circle is a very different sounding album compared to the rest of Creed's catalog. While multiplatinum acts like Nickelback and U2 have embraced their seemingly more "attractive" Pop aspects, Creed has instead gone the more daring harder direction. It's plainly evident in their new recordings that the band has indeed evolved a lot since they were last in the studio together. You can hear Mark Tremonti's heavier side, which he showed us while with Alter Bridge, come out and shine in these new songs as he brings the raw riffage and strength that Creed's later days in 2002 were lacking. Scott's Stapp felt it best to leave much of his preachy lighter side on his solo album while bringing us a new flavor to the band that blends in nicely. Instead of the grand vocals that were present in Human Clay and Weathered, Stapp has now chosen a more My Own Prison approach to accompany Tremonti's heavy riffing. The accompanying bass lines are great with bassist Brian Marshall having a nice thump and thickness in the songs while drummer Scott Phillips has an amazing beat and hit your chest kind of drum line that you can expect with their new style. Keep in mind that this album was created from start to finish and put together in only a mere two months! An amazing feat in itself, but to make an album of this quality under those time constraints is unbelievable. While a lot of people will undoubtedly tear this new work from Creed a new one purely based on the artist alone, I think it's overall a great effort and one that I'll be listening to for a long time! While I think it could have been refined a little bit better in some areas, the release as a whole was done quite well and deserves a good listen or two. While I don't think it's Creed's BEST work to date, it still holds it's own well with the rest of them. I did however miss the pure strength and greatness that Creed was known for back in their later days as well as the growl that Stapp used to have but overall a great effort by a great band to say the least! // 9

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overall: 8
Full Circle Reviewed by: kellen.dobmeier, on october 27, 2009
2 of 7 people found this review helpful

Sound: Creed has returned with their fourth studio album entiteled "Full Circle," and it's a rocky road listen. There are a few gem tracks and a few duds. No doubt about it. What's evident in these boys' sound on this CD? Well, first and foremost, Tremonti owns as usual, though not to the extent he is allowed to with Alter Bridge. Marshall is non-existent as is every modern rock bassist in existence. Scott Phillips has more talent than he is allowed to showcase. Having seen him live, I know this is fact. Scott Stapp? Well he's Scott Stapp. Over the top, tries to do too much, but still is the focal point of the band, unfortunately. This CD is better than Weathered, but that isn't hard to accomplish. However, it doesn't touch My Own Prison and is hardly comparable to Human Clay. This is just a good band's fourth album. It's not some all-out return to form that many of Creed's early fans thirst for. There are a couple in-your-face heavy tracks, but Human Clay and Weathered also contained these tracks in What If, Higher, Bullets, and Freedom Fighter. The standouts, as usual, are the tracks that have balance. // 7

Lyrics: The lyrics are typical Creed lyrics, though it is easily decipherable that there are two lyricists/writers within this band. Singing? Scott Stapp is Scott Stapp. Not as much natural talent as say, someone like Myles Kennedy, but better overall tone and much easier to listen to. He tries to do too much at times, such as the end of "Good Fight" where he uses some stupid vocal styling that sounds like a broken record. The lyrics are fine and the music enhances them, since both aspects fit together wonderfully. // 9

Overall Impression: Once again, the only Creed album that Full Circle defeats is Weathered, which was weak despite a few tracks. "Full Circle" has some solid tracks and some weak sauce tracks, which is why I will review each: 01. Overcome: heaviest track on the album. Catchy as hell and a very uplifting song that does the trick when one is down. Love it. 02. Bread of Shame: what is this? Weak. Weak. Weak. Three cheers for weak. Get the picture? This song is not very good. 03. A Thousand Faces: tied for best track on the album with "Time." Excellent. Great lyrics and vocals and a wonderful ending solo. I could listen to this over and over again. 04. Suddenly: pretty good song. Not necessarily a standout but solid nonetheless. 05. Rain: catchy but poppy, which weakens its overall effect. Why did these boys let this happen? it's just a radio-rock hit, which disappoints me. 06. Away In Silence: Scott wrote it for his wife when she was going to leave him. I wish writing a song could fix everyone else's problems too. It's an OK track, but nothing excellent. 07. Fear: fairly solid, but nothing spectacular. 08. On My Sleeve: love this song. It's powerful and catchy. Not as good as the top two tracks but good nonetheless. 09. Full Circle: solid song with a good solo. I'm glad that Mark got to solo on quite a few tracks though the tracks that don't contain a solo are definitely weaker than the others with the exception of "Time." 10. Time: this song is epic. Great lyrics, great chorus and great musicianship will always own. Great composition. Wonderful song. 11. Good Fight: OK song. Nice solo. Scott does some stupid vocal thing at the end which weakened the track considerably. 12. The Song You Sing: pretty good track. Mark shines again with a solo, as he should being the most talented member of the band. Overall: Full Circle is solid but still doesn't touch their two earlier albums. Fans should just be happy that Creed is back and didn't release a terrible album. // 8

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overall: 8
Full Circle Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 27, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: A year ago, the name of Creed was firmly in the past, for better or for worse. But, here we stand today in the midst of a Creed re-birth, but, is this the farewell fans never got back when the band split, or a triumphant return? Bread Of Shame instantly takes me back to the earlier years of Creed, it has bite, and is deffinitly on the heavier side. This is one of the only tracks on the album that sounds 'old', not that it's a bad thing, most people didn't expect the original Creed sound to be intact, but have no fear, this is the Creed that stormed into the world all those years ago. A Thousand Faces is possibly the most anticipated song on the album after a storming performance of it at the streamed gig in Houston. I am however slightly dissapointed, it's slower than they perform it live, and for me, misses a spark. That's not to say it's not a great song, it's fantastic, it just misses something. The album for me is a tail of 2 halves, the first half is good, the second half is great. Overall the original Creed sound remains, but has be modernised just the right ammount to be current. Some will say it's not really anything new, but Creed fans have been waiting 7 years for an album they thought was never going to happen, so anything new by Creed is, well, music to their ears. I think the album is the right balance of new and old, heavy and light. Good job Howard Benson. // 8

Lyrics: As always, Stapp produces lyrics that feel real, and have an honesty about them. Many a band these days write about things that they know nothing about, but on Full Circle there is passion, pain, and anger, and all of it is real. Stapps voice has lost a little of the growl it used to have, and is now a little bit smoother, it's not masively different to old days, but hardcore fans will notice the change in the texture of his voice. Overall, a stella performance. // 8

Overall Impression: This album has a lot to prove. Critics are waiting to claw it to shreds, fans are just glad to have it, and the world is looking on to see if Creed can make it in todays very different music world. To me, the album is as good as I was expecting it to be. It didn't blow me away like Weathered did, but these are different times, and this album fits those times. In a synth-filled world, Creed have stayed true to the roots they came from, and weirdly enough, it is a fitting follow up to Weathered despite everything that has gone on between then and now. // 8

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overall: 8.3
Full Circle Reviewed by: jtalep, on october 27, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Creed have been gone for some 7 years, and in that time the music world has carried on without them. But, just like when they first broke into the scene all those many years ago, they are back, with some would say more to prove. The break up was bitter, fans were left confused, and critics all breathed a sigh of 'I told you so'. But here we stand today, with the new dawn of Creed, so does this new offering deliver? Well the album kicks off with Overcome, which I'm sure we've all heard by now and passed our own opinion, it's a decent track, and deffinity a middle finger up to all the doubters. Bread of Shame feels like old school Creed, hard, somewhat grungy, deffinitly nothing like they left us with on Weathered. At this point I was worried that this new Creed had taken the wrong direction, but then my fears were put aside by A Thousand Faces. I prefer the live version, the album version is a little slower and mellow, but nonetheless, a great track. This album is really one of 2 halves, the first half feels a little awkard, it's like when you first arrive at a party full of old friends or a college reunion, it's a little uncomfortable. But from track 6 onwards it's a stella performance. Stand out tracks on the second half for me are Away In Silence, On My Sleeve, and The Song You Sing. But to be honest I have no complaints from track 6 onward. The album is a good mix of hard and soft, and there really should be something for everyone. // 8

Lyrics: Bad times bring the best lyrics, and this is no exception on Full Circle. The lyrics are honest, heart felt, and followers of the band will be able to determine the meaning of every single one. Scott Stapp has many critics, but the man can write lyrics that make you put a fist in the air, and a lump in your throat, and that is no mean acheivement. His voice has lost a little bit of growl from the times of old, but there is a smooth tone now present. By no means has he lost his edge though, o.k, he may not have the biggest range, but he uses what he has so well, and there is something about his voice that makes me feel happy on the inside. It brings back happy memories, his voice was the soundtrack to my early teen life, and to have it back in my ears as a young adult is something I never would of seen a year ago. // 9

Overall Impression: Well, I had high hopes for this album, and I though they might not be met, then I listed to Away In Silence, and I just sat back and smiled, the band I loved and thought had gone were back, and they were proving themselves good all over again. Compared to Weathered this album is more balanced, Weathered will always be a special album, but Full Circle is a fitting return, and it really is excellent. Last year, Creed were just a happy memory, hated by many, loved by many, and although I was exited at the thought of a reunion, I was worried that they wouldn't quite be the same. I was wrong, yes, this is 7 years on, the music world has changed, but no one came and filled the void Creed left, which allowed them to sink back in and rock it out all over again. Old fans will be happy, new fans will love it, critics will love to hate it. Ahh, doesn't it feel like the good old days. // 8

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overall: 8.7
Full Circle Reviewed by: srsfiter, on december 15, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Creed is back, and they proved that when they had their outstanding tour. Well now, about this album, it is quite different from what I would expect from Creed, many of these songs are similar to Alter Bridge whose name you should recognize Well I shall get into the songs... 01. Overcome: I heard it a million times, I can not get enough of it. This song is heavy, catchy, and Stapp shows the world that he has some aggressive vocals. This song was the first single released off of this album, and its a damn good thing it was. 02. Bread of Shame: there is a WHAT! factor in this song. It is quite an unusual song for creed to play, its very heavy for Creed. It is an okay song nonetheless 03. A Thousand Faces: words can not express how incredible this song is, you can feel what Scott is singing, the guitar is so peaceful and soft. You can really dig into the lyrics and interpret them another of different ways 04. Suddenly: I will be honest, this song is okay, but not the greatest. It is tolerable but this is a song that I would like to hear Myles Kennedy sing instead of Scott Stapp. This song sounds very much like something that Alter Bridge would write and perform. 05. Rain: very catchy melody and strong vocals and lyrics. This song has a nice delivery and is an excellent choice for the second single off of Full Circle. My only complaint is that well, I wish it was less poppy, you could tell Creed were really going for a song to be played on a hit music station. 06. Away In Silence: this is a beautiful song off of the album I think this and A Thousand Faces could be my favorites off of the album. Once again you could feel the emotion in the guitar playing and lyrics/vocals. 07. Fear: I love this song, it is quite different from any creed, but it has a catchy riff, is heavy, is overall just perfect. Stapp gives a wonderful delivery of sharing the same emotion as the guitars. 08. On My Sleeve: catchy song right here, a must hear for any creed fan who also likes Alter Bridge. Powerful Lyrics Nice Picking from Tremonti 09. Full Circle: oh this sounds like modern southern rock similar to some of Down's music. It is quite catchy, the main verse is a complex finger-picking acoustic riff, with a heavy chorus riff. 10. Time: some more acoustic finger picking from Tremonti (wow he really knows how to pick an acoustic) it is a relatively soft song. This song contains the the kind of incredible lyrics, and the pretty guitar riffs that make you almost breakdown and cry. Simply a beautiful piece from Creed kudos for them, this song is a masterpiece. 11. Good Fight: this song is another great piece from Creed, it makes you want to make changes to the world, It a soundtrack to many problems people face today, very political, very powerful. 12. The Song You Sing: different from most of the album, however iit is a decent piece, potentially one of the weaker pieces on the album, but tolerable. I can't really say it is a poor song, just it is not as good as the rest of the album. // 9

Lyrics: Okay, here are the only two songs that I have been able to interpret. Overcome I have been able to interpret this one, Scott sings about a man who has been labeled, misjudged, and brought down. He is upset and wants to let everyone to know that he is "entitled to overcome" and is "completely stunned and numb" because of their labels, and crude judgment. Because of everything said, "there is no pain he can feel no more" meaning he is ready to move forward and show the world his side that no one has ever seen, to stun everyone, to wipe everyone of heir poor judgment. A Thousand Faces I have also been able to interpret this one. Scott sings about a man who has felt confined for most of his life, but now the walls that once surrounded him have crumbled. but he is still hurt from the years of self-confinement // 8

Overall Impression: Creed is back, this album may not be what I was expecting, but it is still a well made album, Like I said this album sounds a lot like Alter Bridge. This album is a powerful one I can not complain. I am very pleased with it If This album was ever lost or stolen I would be sure to buy it again. // 9

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overall: 9
Full Circle Reviewed by: Macheeoo, on may 06, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well, "Creed" is back and now better than ever. Scott (lead singer/frontman) has a slightly different sound in his vocal tone, which is recognizable in most every new track. The overall setting of the album seems to have taken an acoustic turn. While there are songs like "Overcome" and "Bread of Shame" that show their heavier metal side, they have come to a mature, acoustic feel. In previous records, they kept the softer side towards the ends of the album. But in this one, it mostly domenated the majority of the tracks. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics still represent what creed has always stood for. In the past, they claimed their fame with mostly a christian audience, but lately have drawn newcomers and those less spirtiual. Their new hit single "Overcome" has been popular lately on most metal radio stations. Scott has an amazing voice that has most definetely matured in some ways. // 9

Overall Impression: I found this album to be better if not equally great to their previous installments. The addition of vocal harmoines to most tracks brought it up a demention, and the acoustic feeling showed us more of what us creed fans love. Overall, I give it a 9/10, in hopes that it will draw fans to this great band. // 9

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