Crusadist – The Unholy Grail

Spread the metal:

January 2020
Released: November 29th, 2019 / Self-Release
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine

Crusadist is a Chicago-based Metal band, Forged in the Fires of Death and Thrash. THE UNHOLY GRAIL is the band’s debut album, which has been unleashed to the masses. Crusadist was formed in July of 2017, by founding members Shaun Albro, Aaron Nobles and Kevin Ariel. In February of 2018, Drummer Jason Rak joined the group.

After countless auditions and failed attempts to find a second guitarist, they decided to record a 3-song demo to showcase the style and to find the missing piece. The recording took place at Iron Hand Audio in Chicago Illinois and was recorded by Dan Klein. Guitarist Luke Sever agreed to help with the recording and went on to write and record the solos on the demo. Once the demo was finished, it was obvious that the search was over.

I can not recall looking back at the year in reviews where I had been truly blown away by death metal release. Maybe a thrash album or two, but not a death metal one. THE UNHOLY GRAIL is immersed in death. A powerful death metal opus with plenty of thrash in the mix to please most of each genre’s fans. That is whether one may dislike one or the other. There are those out there who do. At times, you can also hear hints of power metal in the solos.

I tend to get a bit skeptical when confronted with a new death metal band. Well, any band for that matter as there seems to be only a select few who can create something that has a fresh or current vibe to it sets itself apart from the rest of the pack. Crusadist tends to do just that with plenty of intricate riffing and pummeling drum lines that can only be described as a bit insane.

All that and the fact that all these tracks have their own life to them. They are a bit catchy and very memorable at the same time. Crusadist has done this right. This is a great listen over and over again. There just may be hope for the death metal genre yet. And that is Crusadist!


1. For Blood and Conquest
2. The Unholy Grail
3. Tempered in Black Flame
4. A Moonlit Brigade
5. The Hammer at Dawn
6. Triumph Through Torture
7. Beyond the Count of Grief
8. The Noble Savage
9. Only the Fearless Ride

Kevin Ariel – Bass
Jason Rak – Drums
Aaron Nobles – Guitars
Luke Sever – Guitars
Shaun Albro – Vocals