Mad Crusade are a three piece band from Baltimore, Maryland, who play in a style somewhat similar to early Rush circa the Caress of Steel album, mixed with some older Fates Warning and Yes. If that sounds like a strange combination, it is. This is a band that has some potential though, as the playing and overall vibe I get from the CD is real strong.
The one major drawback is the production, as some of the instruments are mixed a bit higher than others, and the vocals tend to overpower at times. That being said, there are still lots of complex riffery and atmospheric passages to be found throughout the four songs. "Veins of Ichor" is a fun, old-styled Rush influenced track, complete with gymnastic bass lines, crunchy guitar, manic percussion, wailing vocals, and moody lyrics. The CD ends with the 25 minute epic "Phantasmagoria", a monumental piece that has some really good moments, but also tends to drag just a bit at times. Still, it is a solid undertaking, and features clever classical and electric guitar parts, and an interesting story that should appeal to lovers of the horror/fantasy genre.
Mad Crusade, with some stronger production and better vocals, have what it takes to make a mark in the progressive metal community. Decent stuff here, and worth a listen.
Editors note: The band is currently looking to expand and add a lead vocalist. Check out the website for more info.