Thus, in December 1996 VICIOUS CRUSADE released a full-length self-financed debut album Life That Kills. Musically, this album was based on thrash metal riffs with death growling and female soprano. All that created a wonderful harmony and gothic-folk atmosphere. The promo copies were distributed among local music stores and in a month the band was asked to sign a contract with the biggest and most influential metal magazine in the post-USSR territory at that time — LEGION magazine.
In February 1997 "Life That Kills" was released in MC-format by Legion Productions, the label that was established in order to release this particular album. The number of the sold copies was beyond all expectations. The band became immediately popular all over Belarus. TV shows, numerous press reviews, including those in Ablaze, Thrash 'Em All, GrindZone and Minsk newspapers...
All that testified to the undoubtedly high potential of the band. In June 1997 a new female singer Alena Gornyh replaced her predecessor Elena. To introduce the new singer to the audience the band released a mini-album Faces Of Vice. The new opus turned out to be a new step forward: folk melodies with opera singing, classic thrash metal with lyrics in Spanish, a more pure sound.
All that influenced further development of the band. To crown a very successful year the band co-headlined at the open air festival Extremum ‘97, that was attended by more than 2000 metalheads from all over the CIS countries. In 1998 VICIOUS CRUSADE toured Belarus gaining popularity among hundreds of new fans. Later that year, in summer, the band entered the studio to record the second full-length album The Unbroken.
The opera singing and the folk melodies showed that the band had finally found its own unique style. The promo tour was started in Moscow and lasted through the whole 1998. In 2000 the band released the CD version of "The Unbroken" album that contained two bonus tracks, as well as recruited a new bass-player Sergey ‘Markus’ Odinets and the violinist Bagrat Vartanyan. Later that year the band signed a contract with the biggest Belarusian metal-label Metal Records that became the owner of the rights to release the albums of the band.
In December 2000 the band staged a tremendously successful show in Kiev (Ukraine). Once again, in order to introduce the new musicians the band released a mini-album Messiah...Isn't It Me? that revealed quite new dimensions of the band’s music. That was the turning point in the band’s history. VICIOUS CRUSADE albums were taken for distribution by the major Russian and Ukrainian labels.
On December 25, 2001 Metal Records released a CD that contained the two VICIOUS CRUSADE mini-albums "Faces Of Vice" and "Messiah…Isn’t It Me?". The third full-length album Forbidden Tunes was released for CIS/Baltic countries on March 27, 2002. Shortly after "Forbidden Tunes" saw the light, the vocalist Alena Gornykh quit the band and was replaced by Tatyana Laboda, the ex-singer of Belarusian rock-band LONGPLAY. In spring 2003 VICIOUS CRUSADE released a Belarusian-language single "Аichyna" (Motherland) and… took a four-year pause during which the band members were involved in various solo- and side-projects.
In December 2006 the band announced its come back followed by a sold-out live show in their home city Minsk on May 27, 2007. During 2007-2008 VICIOUS CRUSADE toured Belarus and headlined a number of international festivals. Having released two Internet singles ("My Cruel Mirror" – November 2008, and "Another Hero" – March 2009) the band finally released its fourth full-length album Freedom Comes on May 29, 2009. In July 2009 the Belarusian independent experts community (http://www.experty.by) ranked "Freedom Comes" 6th in the Top 10 Belarusian albums of all genres released in the first half of 2009.
On October 31, 2009 the band released "The Unbroken 10th Anniversary Edition" featuring four bonus tracks. At the end of 2009 and for the third time in its history since 1999 VICIOUS CRUSADE were titled The Best Belarusian Metal Band of the Year. VICIOUS CRUSADE were back in business to write a new chapter of their history. Their latest album, Vicious Crusade & Friends, saw the light on April 25, 2010. It is some kind of a tribute containing one new song named "What U Gonna Do 4 Love?", an alternative version of the band’s hit "Theodore’s Song" and several covers made by Belarusian and Russian bands. At the moment, VICIOUS CRUSADE is working on their fifth and as-yet-untitled full-length album that will hopefully be released in 2011 to mark the 15th anniversary of the band’s music career.
According to the Last.fm music website, VICIOUS CRUSADE is in the Top 5 most listened to bands from Belarus of all genres, and the # 1 most listened to metal music act of the country. Official Web-site: http://www.vcrusade.com Official Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/vicious.crusade Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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