15 Jun 2013

Haiduk - Spellbook [Full lenght] (2012, Self-released)

A lot of one-man projects suck. Adding black metal to the mix mostly doesn't help. Haiduk is the project of Canadian metalhead Luka Milojica, and this band has only been active since 2009 releasing a demo entitled "Plagueswept" in 2010. When the time had finally come to release another torrent of epic blackened death metal we had entered the year of 2012, and this incarnation of Haiduk is entitled Spellbook.

Haiduk could well be described merely as extreme metal. The Spellbook album offers a great many variations of the same mix: Black, death and thrash metal. The way Milojica holds a chord on one level while playing a more vivid thrashy melody on top of it on another level gives the music a lot of depth, only encouraged by the adding of hoarse growls straight from the grave. Haiduk is in essence lightning fast with epic riffs coming out the ass, and ultimately there's something kind of honest and pure about the music on Spellbook. It's not trying to be something it's not and as such comes across as a flow of something that comes natural to the mastermind behind it all.

There are very few things this album misses, but one of the areas it is found lacking is in the vocal department. The Bolt Thrower-esque vocals sound awesome whenever they're applied, but the problem is the scarcity. It'd be a shame for the vocals to overshadow the riffing, which is by far the album's strongest point, but throwing in some more vocals once in a while couldn't hurt and would probably also relieve the problem of some of the melodies blending together a bit.

Haiduk's Spellbook is good for what it is. The black metal-infused torrents that make up the riffs, the abyssmal vocals and the machinegun-drums form a straight up gratifying album that is sure to please any fan of blackened death metal with a tad bit of melody. If you're looking for originality or technical prowess you won't find much of either on Spellbook, but what you will find is tight as fuck metal without any acoustic interludes, overly long atmospheric intros, outros and/or intermissions and generally no bullshit. The melodic riffs tend to get a little bland with time, and for the most part the lack of vocals for variation makes some of the tracks a tad bit tedious to listen to, just short of becoming a chore. It's a problem limited to a few tracks, but it feels like the vast momentum Milojica builds up in certain songs remains unresolved for the most part. But all in all it's a phenomenal effort, and the negatives aren't even close to amounting to the positives. 8/10 guitars.

1. Lich
2. Stormcall
3. Black Wind
4. Maelstrom
5. Forcefield
6. Hex
7. Tremor
8. Fire Wield
9. Lightning
10. Vortex

HAIDUK on Facebook
HAIDUK official website

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