Crusades’ debut LP The Sun Is Down And The Night Is Riding In opens with an extremely ominous and slow marching drum – very reminiscent of Fucked Up’s opener from Hidden World (which may or may not be where “Crusades” came from), except the band dwell on the dark biblical passages left behind by Fucked Up. But before you know it, “Attic” has kicked into gear and it’s time to get freaky. Crusade’s obvious influences lie somewhere between The Misfits and The Copyrights, blending dark and satanic imagery with mile-a-minute pop punk hooks, yet are distinctly neither wholly.
Crusades features members of other notable Ontario, Canada bands including The Steve Adamyk Band, The Creeps, and Sedatives, giving them a welcome home on labels like Razorcake and It’s Alive (who have both collaborated on “The Sun Is Down And The Night Is Riding In”). Crusades are pushing the envelope in both their local scene and the international punk world. I’m not sure if you’ll find another band that can segue from the bona fide crust-metal “Remedy” into to the modern day power pop/punk “Rapture” to kick off a b-side as well as these guys can.
The Sun Is Down And The Night Is Riding In proves time and time again that it is possible to take dark and cathartic lyrics about religious exploration and atheism and not end up coming off like AFI. Complete with Roman Numeral 666’s (DCLXVI, for those wondering), a ouroboros Rod of Asclepius, and a handful of quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche, Glenn Danzig, Frank Sinatra and France Gall, The Sun Is Down And The Night Is Riding In is both intimidating and endearing.