Crusader - Fools
Painkiller Records
Heavy Metal
9 songs (51'10)
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Marty
Crusader hails from Belgium and this album, Fools, is the band's second release. They became a band in 1999 and released This Mortal Flesh in 2000. The band members include David Walgrave (Deathknight) vocals, Dries Deturck (Dries) drums, Filip Lasseel (File) guitar, Joost Vlasscchaert (Sancho) guitar and Mark Theussens (Teun) on bass. There's an interesting disclaimer on the band's website that states "Crusader is not innovative by choice and is blatantly self-aware and brazenly proud of its intentionally hackneyed unoriginality". Not that it really matters in the grand scheme of things but the band actually addresses and tries to ward off criticism of it's blatantly unoriginal style. That may work to some extent but if they could actually come up with some decent songs then they may be able to ward off the most important criticism; the fact that they sound like nothing more than a second rate True Metal band. Bands as Cage, Twisted Tower Dire, Lost Horizon, Stormwarrior etc. have raised the bar as far as the expectations of a band playing this type of metal. Crusader is not even in the same league as those aforementioned bands and if major improvements are not made to the band's sound, I doubt they will survive.

The band manages to come up with some clever and catchy metal riffs and overall they have a Manilla Road style to their sound and even tread into Motorhead territory with their reckless sound and old Saxon with the speed of some of the songs. Lead vocalist David Walgrave manages a few decent choruses to some of the songs but by and large, his vocal performance is a low point of this album. That and the really bad production make this album one that although has some shining moments riff-wise, really fails to deliver. Most of the guitar solos are very uninspiring and attempts to spice up some of the tracks with instrumental changes fall flat on their face. The band overall sounds like some of the earlier Manowar albums from the early 80's and attempts to infuse celtic melodies into the track Angus succeed somewhat but again are plagued by the very sub-standard vocals.

I really like True Metal and have always been a fan of this style of metal since it's inception in the 80's and I always try to give a band a fighting chance when I review them but if after 4 or 5 listens, I still cringe during segments on almost every track, there's not much chance of them getting a good review or a recommendation from me. The riffs show some promise but it takes a lot more than a few great riffs to make good songs or a good band for that matter. Crusader with all the crosses they wear and paint on their bodies will probably be a casualty in the True Metal scene with so many other bands delivering far superior music than they do.

Killing Songs :
None really but Angus and Seventh Crusade have their moments...
Marty quoted 55 / 100
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