30 May 2016

Haiduk: "Spellbook"

Howling cyclone of riffs and melodies
One man bands have been shaping the black metal genre for years, prime examples being artists like Burzum or Arckanum. The basic concept is, by now, a mainstay within the genre. Cue Haiduk, a one-man project conceived and carried out by Luka Milojica, who has since 2009 been combining elements of black and death metal in a powerful mix, forged in the sub-zero melting pot of Canada.

"...black and death metal sentiments whirling about in an unstoppable vortex of thrashing melodies."

Though Milojica's compositions divulge from where he comes inspiration wise, the 2012 Haiduk album entitled Spellbook isn't quite so concise. The album offers several extremities, with black and death metal sentiments whirling about in an unstoppable vortex of thrashing melodies. Bounding riffs layered within each other, with Milojica's hoarse growls fronting the mix, Spellbook is energetic, lightning fast and engaging.

While one could complain that the compositions lack a uniform direction, this is merely one of its strongest points. With Haiduk, the Canadian musician executes his wildest fantasies with no regard for traditions or trends. In that regard, Spellbook is as honest and pure as it gets. The flow is hard and heavy, comprised of whatever feels the most natural in extention of each passage, with no regard for genre conventions.

You can't shake a stick at Milojica's skills as a riff smith and guitarist, but the vocals are, for my tastes, too scarce. It would be a shame for anything to overshadow the riffing in itself, as these form the very basis of Haiduk's sound and songwriting, but the vocals offer a welcome respite and change of pace from the constant shred fest that is offered for the most part. 

Haiduk's Spellbook album is good for what it is. With torrents of black metal-infused riffs, machine gun drumming and everything you could possibly want, Haiduk gives in to every deranged impulse to create this masterfully crafted deluge of extreme metal. You won't find any acoustic interludes, jazzy outros or over long atmospherics on Haiduk's full length debut. The riffs speak for themselves in their non-stop bullet hail glory.


Released in 2012 independently


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