Groove Crusade is a smoking little sampling of the Crusaders recordings from 1970-1979. It is a compilation of tunes assembled from the beginning of the period where they dropped the word "Jazz" from the front of their name as a reaction to the harsh words the band received from jazz critics throughout the 1960s.
Given the critical and commercial success of 1 and their rebirth as the "Crusaders," the band decided to follow up the previous LP's double length with another one! There are 13 tunes here, all extrapolating the band's previously held notions of soul-jazz and hard bop as they emerged into the new funky '70s. Textures were a little different this time out as keyboardist Joe Sample expanded his palette to include not only the Fender Rhodes but also his first (subtle) forays into synthesizer, while Wayne Henderson and Wilton Felder keep the crisp horn charts popping throughout. Stix Hooper was, at the time, the best soul-jazz drummer in the business with the possible exception of Idris Muhammad.
TRIVIUM blasts back onto the scene with a third effort that is one of the best metal releases of 2006 and quite possibly the heavy music album of the year. "The Crusade" sounds like the record that METALLICA could have made during the height of its early years, and while some may be uncomfortable with frontman Matt Heafy's occasionally too-dead-on James Hetfield impersonation, his sheer energy, bravado and fire, coupled with the band's relentless onslaught of blistering leads, amazingly technical yet memorable riffing, and dizzying rhythms captures not just the best of METALLICA, but MEGADETH, TESTAMENT and a number of other bands from the glory days of speed and thrash.