Forced Order is a hardcore band featuring members of Twitching Tongues but for once the brother Young (Colin and Taylor, also from Nails and Disgrace). In this case, the culprits are Kyle Thomas, bass in TT and guitar in Forced Order, and Mike Cesario, drums in TT and also guitarist here. Plus, if it wasn’t enough, the two musicians also play in Disgrace, the death metal band with attention deficit disorder. Members of Soul Search complete the line up with the bassist, Alfredo Gutierrez, and drummer, Dorian Zambrano, handling the same instruments, but one of the guitarist, Nick Samayoa, moving to vocals.
Musically speaking, this band has more to do with Soul Search since they play metallic hardcore rather than the hardcore influenced metal of their other band. Songs on Vanished crusade are quite short with a lot of two step and breakdowns to jump around in the pit and slam from the stage. Since the rhythm section is the same in Soul Search the band move with the same frantic pace with very some heavily syncopated riffs. However, there is still room for some Slayeresque lead work. Basically, imagine All Out War with the rhythm section of Bracewar.
Still, no matter how metal influence, the record is mostly focused on playing hardcore. You have to wait until the penultimate song to hear them all go full metal when the lead guitarist breaks out a solo on top of acoustic guitar. Yes, it’s that Metal. They then follow it with an instrumental and unnecessary outro, the kind you only hear on metal albums.
The production is handled, predictably, by Taylor Young but he didn’t go for a Morrisound type of sound. Instead, Forced Order sound just like a modern hardcore band with all the extra muscle you can expect from a disc mastered by Alan Douches (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Botch). The lead guitar particularly stand out with some excellent definition. Thankfully, the band didn’t go for a fake live sound with plenty of feedback which is a nice change from the overload of crust influenced releases of recent years. Instead, everything sound very clear and clean without feeling disjointed. Aside from the outro, Vanished crusade feels like an excellent kick to the face even if the album demands repeated listen to get into your head. Solid but not essential.