Haiduk – Spellbook

haidukVery infrequently does one of those albums come along where every riff is gold. Each nuance takes control of your attention, demanding total compliance. Spellbook is such a glorious creature. Since this album has arrived, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spun it, as it has been in my vehicle CD player non stop, and guitar work scrambling my brains long after the music rises to greet the aether.
Haiduk is a 1 man death metal band possessing thrash and even a tiny hint of black metal tendencies lurking in the more atmospheric melody choices, but Luka Milojica is an unbridled sculpter of death riff glory. Spellbook is expertly recorded, allowing every inch of this sound spectrum to be felt as it reaches out to destroy all within earshot. Tracks like Forcefield and Tremor are dizzying speed exercises with intricate string tapping boiling to life and swarming into powerful hooks that rely on technically perplexing execution, but never lose site of being musical. Coroner were masters at this as well and it seems that a bit of that tremolo wizardry rubbed off on Luka. What makes this material even more mesmerizing is the effortless layers swirling together to create such colorful depth and clean, though powerful sound. All the instruments cut through the mix, benefitting from the clinically perfect tone of the drum programming (I would guess this is Superior Drummer/DFH software, molded to fit his needs). Jim (WG’s exalted co-editor) would disagree with me here, for he’s really on the fence with synthetic drums, but I feel that they were needed and a welcomed addition to Spellbook. Those pulsating and grooved out double bass lines seriously hurl this material at you instead of being lost in the shuffle.
With an albums worth of complex and memorable material at the helm, I would have been completely happy if this was released as an instrumental album since these songs breath with exciting motion and vision, but Mr. Milojica offers a break from the onslaught with a throaty death voice that works perfectly to empowe this album. His lyrics seem sparse up against this mountain of music, but his pronunciation is crisp and singing style full of fire as his mid-ranged death moans don’t sound like anyone in particular for an even stronger strike of originality to enter the world of Haiduk. Before this full-length, was an equally lengthy demo which I can assume is also amazing and on my short list for future acquisition.
What makes an album this good such a challenge for 1 individual is, where do you go from here? With such a powerful statement and an overflowing arsenal of choice guitar work and moving songwriting, this could very well be Luka’s crowning achievement, because even if the next release is just as good as this, I would be utterly amazed if it could get any better. A big statement perhaps, but I have been completely floored by Haiduk and am interested to see where he will take it next. -Marty

~ by martyworm on March 27, 2013.

One Response to “Haiduk – Spellbook”

  1. If this talented artist just spent a little more time ironing out the mechanics of the drums it would have come across much more natural, but perhaps he likes the drums sound like this. Awesome riffage for sure! This is going to be an interesting band to watch

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