Haiduk is a one-man does everything show out of Calgary, Canada. Which makes this melodic black metal album all the more remarkable. Spellbook is the name of this ten-track piece of sheer brilliance. All tracks were written and performed, including vocals by Luka Milojica. Oh yeah as if that wasn’t already mind-blowing enough, it is his debut full-length album.
From the minute the recording begins all melodic hell is unleashed and instantly all your cares and troubles are carried away by obliging dark minions resonating from your speakers, as you are transported to another world of sonic perfection.
The opening track Lich is just a blast with breakneck blast beats and absolutely delicious melodic thrash riffs. The song slows down to a crushing rhythm to make way for the evil but spotlessly delivered blackened growl vocals. You are then thinking, I wonder if the rest of this is this good and before too much longer as you make your way through it you realize, yeah it is that good!
Just to make sure he definitely grabs your attention for the rest of the album, one of the highlights is the next track, Stormcall. With slightly a bit more melody and a bit more vocals this track is something to really put its hooks in you. Just an outstanding piece of death/black metal music. The absolute secret to the brilliance of this album is the perfect blend of speed, heavy, evil, and melody. Flawless. Even the vocals though sparse to almost nonexistent at times are perfectly timed to add focus to each track and to break up the major sections of instrumentals. His vocals are one of the best growls I have heard, very heavy, frighteningly evil, but still surprisingly coherent. It is very apparent that he wants the music to be a center point of the story and it constantly is. Many other great songs exist here including Maelstrom and Fire Wield. One of the other highlights is Lightning. With a lightning style fast melodic riff to start and the backbone if the song, furious blast beat drumming this song may give the sensation you have been struck by lightning. Doesn’t get any better than this.
There are absolutely no duds or weak parts on this recording and there are enough changes in tempo and diverse song intros and solos to make sure the sound doesn’t become all the same or tedious and guarantees repeat listens. Very clever songwriting. This album Spellbook is a brilliant, flawless heavy metal album that should be searched out and purchased immediately. I love this album!
Release Year: 2012
Reviewed by Chris Rankin