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Neo-Prog • United Kingdom

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Credo picture
Credo biography
Founded in 1993

Despite being a Neo Prog band, the history of these British musicians goes back to 1971 when Tim BIRRELL (guitar) and Jim MURDOCH (bass) were members of the Scottish band ARMAGEDDON, but as they say in their site, none of them were able to play decently until a couple years later, but discouraged because of the lack of success, the band split soon. In 1977 the two musicians decided to embrace music again, but there was a long path to go through; after some time the talented keyboardist and lyricist Mick STOVOLD joins them and is followed by Paul CLARK (drums) and even before they had chosen a name, Mark COLTON (vocals) joins the band.

In 1992 they have their first gig in Alderton under the name AD HOC; it's only in 1993 when they release their first demos, that the name CREDO is adopted by the musicians. In 1994 the band releases their debut album called ''Field of Vision'', which has some success in UK, the sound of the band is influenced by the usual suspects like MARILLION, GENESIS, a bit of YES, but with a brighter, even when lighter, sound.

They have extensive tours but four days before a concert supporting Paul YOUNG, Mick STOVOLD decides to leave the band and is replaced by Mike VARTY and later Paul CLARKE is replaced by Martin MEADS. It takes the band 11 years, but at last ''Rhetoric'' is released in 2005; despite the changes in the band the style remains similar, even though they sound much better and the album is much more solid than the debut, this time you can even listen some David GILMOUR influence.

Really good band that deserves to be listened, just hope that it doesn't take them another decade to release their third album.

Iván Melgar Morey

In 2009, CREDO release the live DVD ''This is What We Do'', recorded in Poland and containing mostly material from ''Rhetoric''. In 2011, their third album ''Against Reason'' is released, including the hit 'Staring at the Sun' that received airplay and praise in Europe and the band do headline tours in UK and Europe. In April 2012, Martin MEADS leaves the band due to other commitments and in July Gerald ('Mully') MULLIGAN fills in the drums position. Several shows follow in 2012 and 2013 and the band is preparing for the release of their fourth album.

Update by aapatsos

CREDO Videos (YouTube and more)

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This Is What We Do: Live In PolandThis Is What We Do: Live In Poland
Limited Edition
Massacre Germany 2009
$14.99 (used)
Against ReasonAgainst Reason
CDBY 2011
$20.78 (used)
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CREDO discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

CREDO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.37 | 30 ratings
Field Of Vision
3.84 | 115 ratings
3.84 | 253 ratings
Against Reason

CREDO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 4 ratings
This is What We Do (Live in Poland)

CREDO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.72 | 16 ratings
This Is What We Do (DVD)

CREDO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CREDO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

CREDO Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rhetoric by CREDO album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.84 | 115 ratings

Credo Neo-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars From Wikipedia: ''Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the capability of writers or speakers that attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations.'' Now to that I fully agree, as Credo fully apply this art on their second album, to which I come after listening to "Against Reason". The usual (as Mark Colton would say) subjects of love, war and personal experiences are portrayed through the emotional lyrics and a strong vocal performance.

For those familiar with "Against Reason", "Rhetoric" follows more or less the same pattern, with long, but pretty accessible and far from complex, compositions, dominated by mellow passages with the occasional injection of classic rock attitude. With Marillion (Fish-era) being at the heart of this album as an influence, here we also find a touch of Gilmour's style and some more raw 80's neo-prog in the vein of Pallas. Mike Varty injects some pure keyboard energy but also handles well the more mellow moments. Solid compositions, well-worked and carefully laid out form the spine of "Rhetoric", which shows another common characteristic with its successor: it comes out as rather long as a listening experience, as simple arrangements drag on for more than required, with the fear of sounding repetitive. No bad songwriting on this album, just not enough "creative" weight to support the length that would turn this into a masterpiece.

I find myself enjoying the more up-tempo, elaborate compositions, with the signature keyboard and story-telling of "Skintrade" leading the way, the majestic and passionate "Too Late..." (just listen to that refrain) and the neo-prog trademark "...To the Grave" with the powerful bass line that makes it ideal for playing live. This is what, I think, Credo do better so I will be looking forward to more of these elements in the future releases. 3.5 hearty stars.

Personal thanks go to Mark for providing this CD.

 Against Reason by CREDO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 253 ratings

Against Reason
Credo Neo-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars Keep it short - that was the view of a prog fan I met a few weeks ago discussing about how a review should be written. All you need to answer, he said, is "is it a good album?", "what does it sound like?", "do you recommend it?".

Credo's ''Against Reason'' is a good album indeed, it sounds like neo-prog (surprise!) and I warmly recommend it - but this is does not satisfy me fully so here I go: eight tracks and 70 minutes of music is quite a challenge. Throughout the album the neo-prog character is quite distinct with melody and strong lyrics being at the forefront of everything Credo do. The influence of Fish-era Marillion (Cardinal Sin) and a general aura of Arena are defining the band's sound, which - nevertheless - does not fall into the trap of copy/paste.

The ''street-rock'' feeling (Staring at the Sun, Conspiracy (MCF)) the melodies of Intimate Strangers (watch for that ending solo) and the raw power of the anti-war, keyboard-lush Insane (the heaviest, most creative and possibly best composition) stand out in a generally consistent album. What else? Tight performance from all band members, dynamic emotional singing and polished sound also tick the box. Compositions are not particularly complex and rather long - this combination along with a couple of short indifferent tracks just take away a bit of the solid work that has been put together for this album. Especially towards the end, the compositions sound somewhat "elongated" which spoils the magic that reached its peak with Insane.

So, against reason, I assign 3.5 stars to this album, with a small regret that it could have been kept somewhat shorter. Warmly recommended to all neo-prog and modern prog fans that are in for the melody.

Best moments: Staring at the Sun, Insane

 Rhetoric by CREDO album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.84 | 115 ratings

Credo Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The extended tour for the promotion of ''Field of vision'' was followed by the departure of Mick Stovold, who was replaced by the experienced Mike Varty, who had spent time with Shadowland.In 1999 Credo started the workings around a second album, which were constantly interrupted by health issues and bad luck among the band members.When things started to roll again Martin Meads found himself behind the drum kit and the band was signed by F2 Music.The result of the positive facts was the release of ''Rhetoric'' in 2005.

The flat, uninspired and fairly accesible sound of Credo's debut was a thing of the past.''Rhetoric'' sounds very simlar to the darkest side of MARILLION, especially from the ''Fugazi'' sessions, and the short, unimaginative rockers of the debut have been replaced by long, deep and bombastic arrangements with strong nods to 80's British Prog, maybe a bit like ARENA, if you also add some slight FLOYD-ian and CAMEL-esque touches.While the music has not actually something trully new to offer, the grandiose parts, the excellent vocals of Mark Colton and the powerful passages are something the listener will be unable to overcome.''Rhetoric'' is based on the best Neo Prog tradition, featuring lots of soaring synthesizers, passionate lyrical adventures, punchy bass and drum lines and well-worked guitar on rhythms and solos.Varty is also responsible for one of the better productions you will find in a Neo Prog album.Smooth, contemporary symphonic orientations and more laid-back waves of atmospheric music are present as well in an album that keeps overall a great balance.Maybe the biggest advantage of new Credo was their ability to finally create deep, extremely dramatic and highly emotional parts through their music, both from a lyrical and an instrumental point of view.

''Rhetoric'' could have stood next to the best Neo Prog releases of the 00's, if somekind of originality was added in the album.Even this way the sensitive, atmospheric and well-crafted arrangements of the band along with the mass of bombastic textures offer a really great listening, if you are into groups like MARILLION, PENDRAGON, ARENA or PALLAS.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Against Reason by CREDO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 253 ratings

Against Reason
Credo Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This album is solid, but not much more than that. I hate to start a review like that, but that is the overwhelming impression I get from this album. It is neo-prog, for sure; and it falls as comfortably into that label as possible. We get the standard synth solos and such, but what we don't get is inspiration.

Inspiration is rather absent on this release. I was really disappointed because the opening track begins with a great synth intro, and the first track is even very good. However, after that, we get cookie cutter tracks by the tray-full. And, just when you think the album is over, they start another track. It just seems so, um, pretentious at times. I almost get----I'm going to say it--- "bored" by the album. Little happens besides the standard neo-prog fare.

Like I said, though, this album is certainly solid. It is well-played and the production is great, but the composition just seems so dull and repetitive. Besides that, the topic is about global warming and conspiracy theories and such, but I didn't like the approach. I tend to like global warming apocalypse settings, but have a hard time with highly politicized perspectives. I feel they went for the latter. In general, though, this is good background music that may find a audience somewhat. Me? There are too many other bands that are pushing the boundaries out there for me to waste my time on standard fare like this.

 Against Reason by CREDO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 253 ratings

Against Reason
Credo Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Credo don't stray much from the new-prog template as established in the 80s. Spacey guitars during solos and mostly clean ones during verses, emphasized vocals with a pronounced English accent, synthesizer runs. But on Against Reason they do it more energetically than most neo-proggers, and even their own previous work. The mood is immediately set by the rollicking 3-minute instrumental intro in the first song, Staring at the sun. Lyrically, the songs are mostly bleak social commentary - hence the title, Against Reason.

Most proper songs extend beyond the 10 minute mark. But they are not necessarily very progressive, just long songs. Sometimes artificially so, with choruses - albeit very catchy ones - are repeated way too many times.

 Rhetoric by CREDO album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.84 | 115 ratings

Credo Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Now, this is much more like it! Whereas Credo's debut album was hampered by weak compositions, an excess of Fish-mimicry and poor production, Rhetoric shows a big improvement. The band's sound now resembles a mixture of Twelfth Night and early Pendragon, with just a pinch of influence from Arena and early Marillion plus some ideas which genuinely seem to be the band's own.

Thematically, the album as a whole is a moving exploration of interpersonal relationships and their end - whether that's divorce, bereavement, or some other separation. Emotionally, then, it's often a rather dour and bitter piece, and whilst I kind of appreciated that on first listening, having come across it at a rather glum time in my life, over time I find that I have rather soured on it.

Part of that is simply down to no longer relating to the emotional tone of the album at this stage in my life, its sympathy-inducing misery at points spilling over into myopic self-pity, or - even worse - sneering point-scoring and blame-assigning. A larger part of it, though, simply comes down to the musical backing simply not being that special - the production is better this time, but the band aren't really doing anything that I'd listen to in preference to any of their influences.

Still, its retro-1980s stylings will be a real treat for anyone keen on the first-wave neo-prog sound, and Credo still deserve praise for capturing their emotions so vividly and recognisably, even if you need to be in a very particular mood to appreciate it.

 Against Reason by CREDO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 253 ratings

Against Reason
Credo Neo-Prog

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 6/10

"Against Reason", although not being consistent all the way through, has some charming and wonderful moments worth returning to.

Credo is just one of the many incarnations of this small gathering of musicians that have been almost all active since 1971. However, they attributed to themselves the name Credo only in 1993, and ever since, they have released a total of three albums, the first one being "Field Of Vision" and second one being the more recognized "Rhetoric". "Against Reason" though is the most popular of their releases so far, and the one that guaranteed the band a small place among the greats of the newer wave of Neo Prog.

Like on previous albums, Credo aren't afraid to show their influences, from bands such as Marillion and IQ. Mark Colton's vocals are theatrical, passionate, and reminiscent of Eighties Prog Rock, just like all the different synth sounds and the soloing electric guitars, influenced by David Gilmour's playing more than anyone else's. Credo however develop a more unique sound, compared to the more stereotypical feel "Rhetoric" had. The songwriting has noticeably improved, a lot of the songs present on this new release are much more memorable and original at the same time, giving a pretty big impact on the listener. The tracks are also longer than an average Neo-Prog song, even though the structures of the songs aren't as puzzling and ambitious as the lengths would suggest.

Rarely Credo go towards dark themes, and prefer sounding cheerful or haunting for most of the time. There is however some sort of social awareness behind the lines, and sadly their take on trying to be a little aware is a bit cheesy in the lyrics, some moments more than others. At times, what Mark Colton sings is very banal and could make one cringe pretty easily. However, besides the lyrics, the world "Against Reason" portrays with it's music has a certain charm to it.

This album reaches almost the seventy minute mark, but overall the time seems to pass pretty quickly, especially in the first part of the album, definitely the better side: from the positive vibrations of "Staring Of The Sun", ending after more than ten minutes, that are very well constructed and executed, follows the best song of the album, "Cardinal Sin"; in many parts epic, the beautiful echoing guitars, the soothing keyboards are a delight to hear and will guarantee any Neo Prog fan an eargasm. Most of the melodies in this track are extremely full of passion, whether it be frustration or melancholy. The album doesn't quite reach those levels, however there are still moments to enjoy greatly like the subtly mysterious title track. The rest of the songs have interesting moments, others are very generic and not at all memorable. "Ghosts Of Yesterday" is unfortunately the track that has the most of these parts: it gets very tiring in many spots, and the fact that it is the last song of the album makes it even worse. "Conspiracy (MCF)" is also a bit forgettable, the melodies not being that focused and the performances by the musicians not being really unique.

Credo with "Against Reason" have definitely improved songwriting-wise, but they still haven't made an album consistent all the way through, because of some forgettable and practically time wasting moments. However, some songs truly shine with emotion and beauty, hopefully next time they will manage to do so for the entire album. Only then will I be completely satisfied with this band.

 Field Of Vision by CREDO album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.37 | 30 ratings

Field Of Vision
Credo Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Credo's debut album finds a band who, when they recorded it back in 1994, were simply not ready for showtime. True, the low-budget production values aren't exactly their fault, but to be frank the material on the album wouldn't particularly benefit from fancier engineering. The compositions are limp and simplistic, and based on the poppiest and least distinctive and appealing cliches of late 1980s and early 1990s neo-prog; furthermore, the band simply haven't developed their own distinctive sonic identity yet. On the whole, the album sounds like the guys trying out a bunch of unrelated ideas to see how they like them - in other words, more like a rehearsal or a demo tape than a fully-realised album.
 Rhetoric by CREDO album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.84 | 115 ratings

Credo Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars My personal view on the Neo prog controversy is scaled down to the core meanings, i.e. that when you combine 8 minute songs with the basic guitar, keys , bass and drums, throw in a Fish/Gabriel clone as a singer et Presto! Neo. The moment you add length, assorted 'classical' instruments such as flutes, brass, strings in liberal doses, you are now welcome in the Republic of Symphonic-Prog. My own tastes ride heavily on the symph side with a massive collection of stylized prog rock, even indulging in some electronica hybrids but I do have some serious Neo jewels (the list is long, just have to look up my review profile , now past the 500 mark !) that have blown me sideways. Let us not forget that Marillion saved our prog butt back when we all neared extinction and our gratitude should never waver. Credo is a new addition to the long series of recent Neo bands that have rocked our world such as Legend, Nine Stones Close, Anubis, Satellite, Leap Day and Introitus (they are "symphy" though), among many others.

So here is the recipe: Tim Birell on guitars, right out of the Rothery school but with occasional forays into other styles, Mike Varty supplies the keys that not only decorate but also paint a few slippery streaks on the musical canvas, the firm bass held down by Jim Murdoch keeps everyone in check while the Martin Meads drums are ruthless and yet seductive. All that is left is a vocalist that does wink at the 2 neo giants mentioned above but Marc Colton has his own style. A major plus is the crystalline production that provides a wide sonic berth that quickly envelops the listener. Theses prog vets then decide to put together a human theme that proves that we are not in the presence of random poppy tracks. They ain't poppy and there is a story for each song based on a famous quote. The musical story starts out in the finest Fish-era Marillion style on "Skintrade", a passionate voice that occasionally yelps in pain (like on Assassins) "technically obscene", swirling synth solos veering into the ether searching for "release" , pastoral acoustic guitar arpeggios that shimmer in the aural ecstasy and a clear sense of drama. The violent "Turn the Gun" is more rambunctious, as its title would imply, complete with an eerie middle section that hides between the two massively different bookends. The next 3 tracks form a sort of a mini-suite and is the undeniable heart of the recording , as both From the Cradle , To The Grave and the splendid The Letter combine to exalt, titillate and explode in a proggy paroxysm that is simply put stunning. "She cried herself to sleep last night" is just the opening seconds of a wondrous anthem, where music, lyrics and delivery are so attuned with each other that the emotion can seep through undiluted. The grandiose 2 part chorus is to expiate over just let the stupendous "Like bird in a gilded cage?. And she knows, she shows she can't let go?" flow over you and feel the angst. The subsequent axe solo evokes the deep pain brilliantly, finely chiseled and yet restrained, as if unbearable. The second stanza repeats the same feelings but with different words. Clever! "To the Grave" is the instrumental blow-out that divulges this band's capacity to adorn their craft with some interesting twists and turns, choir-mellotron aiding in the crime. "What gives you the right to rampage through my dreams", hmmmm back in early Marillion mood, not a bad thing that, especially when done this well. The extended jam is quite exceptional. The killer track remains the ballad "The Letter" a poignant eruption of melancholia, beautifully sung and expertly played. This is a bluesy, romantic dirge, exuding a sense of class that makes it timeless , not at all a pop song, but closer to PF than anything (some prog purists swear that Floyd is pop anyway!) . The brooding gets progressively intense (did I just use the P word?) and ratchets the "after all the hell I have been through" up quite a few notches, a Tim Birell fretjob adding to the slashes. Then things get outright angry and Colton really shows off his lungs and it hits home as I am dealing with a broken relationship right now. I will mail her the song and the lyrics soon. Not that it would change anything but a romantic is a romantic to the bitter end. "The Game" barrels forward all cylinders piercing the night air, another acerbic essay on infidelity and fluid relationships that find no anchor to weigh, just deep pain and disbelief. The brilliant 2 part mini-epic "Too Late" and "To Say Goodbye" is another stunner, the very essence of sad, melancholic prog done to the hilt, lyrically extremely vivid and disturbing. This time the theme is the futility of war "The eyes of exhaustion and those of the dead" . The finale "Seems Like Yesterday" puts this bleeding heart story to rest, proggy blues at its finest, healing words though painful they may be.

Granted, its not RIO or Avant-post-math-space but it's still definitely entertaining. Fans of Arena, IQ, Pendragon and Marillion will gobble this up but a wide array of prog fans will enjoy this for its melodic content and expert execution, perhaps some even shedding their silly misconception that Neo-prog sucks! Hey, the current media-music sucks, remember!!!! This is a very enjoyable hour of epic and uplifting music.

4.5 stylish doctrines

 Against Reason by CREDO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 253 ratings

Against Reason
Credo Neo-Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Credo's 2011 release is a dynamic album, one that should find (and has found) favor with fans of bands listed as Neo Prog. The lyrics are occasionally insightful, occasionally clumsy, but well-sung in either case. In fact, I think all of the musicians are top notch, delivering incredible performances individually and as a tight group. Ultimately, this is a good album, just one that fails to capture my attention, as the compositions usually lose me while they are playing or don't remain with me after they are finished.

"Staring at the Sun" A thick synthesizer run opens the album. The main riff seems to borrow heavily from the Rush tune "Xanadu" (the section beginning about two-and-a-half minutes in). My tongue even instinctively clicks Neil Peart's percussion bit in between each part. The vocals occur over light clean guitar and deep, plodding bass. I would say that this is the most memorable and brilliant of the tracks, but perhaps that is because of the obvious influences present.

"Cardinal Sin" There's a slight Marillion vibe to this tune, particularly with respect to the vocals. The piano passage and lead guitar work midway through are elegant. The second half of the song begins with a thin synthesizer riff in a 1980s rock context before launching into a well-performed organ solo. The piece is a hodgepodge of musical ideas that, while not quite cohesive, is generally enjoyable.

"Intimate Strangers" With a verse in 5/4 and plenty of synthesizer and guitar tones, this song remains surprisingly consistent even if it may not be especially memorable. For this fairly straightforward song, I would draw comparisons to IQ.

"Against Reason" Airy dark tones set the stage for a mournful, siren-like lead guitar.

"Insane" Again working over five beats, this song I think exemplifies Credo's penchant for unusual and sudden shifts in rhythm.

"Reason to Live" "Reason to Live" is one of the weaker and more forgettable tracks- just a quick bit of lyrics over uninspired music.

"Conspiracy (MCF)" The high frequency tone in the introduction of this track hurt my ears the first time I heard it- not cool. Is there any reason to include something like that in the beginning of a song that has no ostensive relationship to the composition? The listener is hereby warned to turn his speakers down or off during the first few seconds. The song proper involves a variety of synthesizer tones in various roles (the whiny one midway through isn't one of the better ones), and while the music displays their usual assortment of rhythms and penchant for stringing multiple musical sections together, this song has always failed to grab me. Oh, and did the listener miss that painful tone in the beginning? No worries- it ends the song too.

"The Ghosts of Yesterday" Acoustic guitar and synthetic strings provide a bed for soft vocals to awake in. This final track is the most powerful and anthem-like of all the songs on the album, even if overall it feels somewhat generic.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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