Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Haiduk - Spellbook

HAIDUK - Spellbook (Self released CD 2012)
I think that the so called one man bands  - I prefer to call them solo projects – is not something uncommon these days, even if in the 90’s it used to be a black metal thing mainly. But with the possibilities, which people have nowadays – with computers, recording software, etc – it is easy for anybody to get his own album, without even visiting the studio. Haiduk from Canada is such a project, formed by an individual named Luka Milojica. This Calgary, Canada citizen (but of Serbian origin) has done one demo so far, 2010’s “Plagueswept” before he recorded his debut full length album “Spellbook” in 2012. I must warn you, that if you think that all solo projects are utterly primitive and nothing more, but a lousy and unworthy bedroom projects then you may be positively surprised, as Haiduk stuff looks and sounds really professional. “Spellbook” is superbly released – on CD with great artwork and professionally printed booklet – and the music sounds pretty much as good as any studio stuff you may think of.
What I like about the music of Haiduk most is that it is mainly oriented on the long instrumental passages, where the vocals appear quite spontaneously (but not mindlessly) and occasionally. Luka Milojica puts more focus on sharp, aggressive riffing, often filled also with quite melodious parts, but definitely his style is quite original, as he avoids the typical song structures like chorus, verse, chorus, etc… And it actually works well, you won’t really feel that there’s so little vocal parts on the album and definitely you’ll be able to hear many great riffs instead. The guitars create the whole atmosphere, they’re also responsible for keeping the tension and Luka turns out to be quite talented and skilled guitarist. He plays a lot of leads, puts quite a diverse and dynamic, powerful stuff through the whole album, avoiding only some very slow parts, but definitely there’s a lot of fast or at least mid tempo stuff here. I like Luka’s riffs, his ideas and the way he builds the songs. More so, style wise the music of Haiduk may reminds me a bit of the modern Swedish melodic death metal, with bands like Arch Enemy and from the other hand at few times I had a small resemblance to some of the late Emperor works (listen to the opening theme of “Hex”), final Dissection LP or Keep of Kalessin plus some Slayer and recent Kreator can also be spotted here or there…
So there is a fine combination of different metal subgenres – death, thrash, black – all well balanced, but the whole stuff is played in quite new, modern way rather than the old school one. The production of “Spellbook” is also very fine, I like that heavy guitar tone plus I must admit that the use of the drum machine doesn’t disturb at all, which is quite rare thing (I usually get annoyed by the machine drumming without any soul and feeling). I’m not gonna mention any standout tracks, as I think that the whole material from “Spellbook” is on the same high level and none of it really needs a special treat. The whole album is good and with 32 minutes of music I think it is enough to 1. convince that Haiduk is a worthy project and 2. it is to satisfy the listener. Really good debut then.
Final rate: 73/100

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