Haiduk – “Spellbook”

“Spellbook” sees Haiduk take a completely different direction to demo “Plagueswept”. While the demo had a more low-key, folklorey (‘folklorey’ is now a word), Black/Death metal feel to it, “Spellbook” goes for the jugular with more of Death/Thrash metal sound.

You could be forgiven for thinking this was the work of a completely different band – the two CDs are worlds apart – but, sometimes change can be a good thing and Luka Milojica (the band’s sole member) has proved that. “Spellbook” is a trip into a dark and ferocious dimension. Guitars scream, howl and attack you. If “Plagueswept” was haunting, “Spellbook” wraps its ample hands around your neck and throttles you.

There is still a Black Metal influence on this album – mainly hints here and there – so I’d still feel completely comfortable listening to this whilst trying apply corpsepaint. I need help with applying corpsepaint – every time I try, I just look like a sad panda.

The rhythms on this album are relentless and provide you with plenty of opportunities to bang your head (or move around in some way at least – perhaps I should adapt my tube station dance?). “Forcefield” is a particularly fine example of this. In fact, I cannot get enough of this track – everything is just spot on. It’s darker than the inside of a goth’s cupboard, heavier than a Black Sabbath record carved from a weighty boulder, and the vocals sound like they were forcibly removed from Satan’s own throat. T’is all rather marvellous.

Check out “Forcefield” below:

It’ll be interesting to see where Haiduk’s musical journey goes next.

Rating: 90%

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