VICIOUS CRUSADE is one of the most popular heavy metal bands from Belarus, formed back in 1996 by lead guitarist and vocalist Dmitry Basik, rhythm guitarist Alex Vertel, drummer Alex Gladysh and bassist Pavel Reunov.
In just 45 days after the first meeting in the practice room the newly formed band recorded a demo-tape that was and still is a brilliant example of how the first recording should sound. Inspired by a sudden success among the public and Mass Media the musicians decided to record another five tracks to be able to release a full-length album. In order to broaden the creative horizons the band invited Elena Gorshuk, a female singer that pushed the music to quite new and higher limits.
Thus, in February 1997 VICIOUS CRUSADE released a full-length debut album "Life That Kills". 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. 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.
On December 25, 2001 the band 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 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 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.
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.