Thursday, February 17, 2011
Haiduk is a one man band that hails from Canada. This is Luka's debut release but when listening it seems like he has been at it for a great amount of time. It isn't often you find a band that has already crafted it's own sound by their first release. It is obvious much time and effort was put into this demo because it simply looks, and plays like a full-length album. This album breathes new life into what was beginning to seem like a stagnant genre. Haiduk plays melodic death metal that employs atmosphere as the driving force behind the music.
The fretwork is without a doubt the highlight of this album. The playing is delivered with a vast amount of precision and creates a very tight, professional sound for the album. The majority of the riffs played in the entire playtime of the record are ridiculously catchy, and along with that every element of Plagueswept is composed in an excellent manner. The hypnotic melody of "Dark Forest Path" is a solid example of what can only be described as amazing songwriting. The tone has a nice bite to it and utilizes just the right amount of distortion for the style.
Luka manages to incorporate large amounts of melody without sacrificing the raw atmosphere that makes Plagueswept such a special album. The vocals mesh well with the epic instrumental work. The vocal approach is a standard death growl but they are delivered with a certain exhaustion that adds an interesting flavor to the already attention grabbing sound. If the vocal style was to be any different than it is here it would most likely change the album for the worse, the technique used on Plagueswept is just so fitting that imagining it any other way wouldn't be nearly as satisfying.
The album clocks in at just under thirty minutes but when listening it feels like it ends so quickly, but hey, time flies by when you are playing good music. From the first note played on Plagueswept all the way down to the final note atmosphere is served up in abundant amounts. With all that being said there is one thing here that does drag the album down a bit. It's been said many times about a countless number of bands but, Haiduk would be better off with a real drummer rather than a machine. The drum machine is used in a respectable manner on Plagueswept but with a flesh and blood human working the kit the album would gain some depth.
Overall with Plagueswept Haiduk has created an album that has an enormous amount of replay value. With the addition of a new drummer it wouldn't be a surprise to see Haiduk gain some serious popularity within the metal community, it is evident on Plagueswept that he definitely has the chops to take this project further. Being a skilled player is only half the battle, writing ability is the other half, fortunately Luka has tremendous skill in both fields. Highly recommended to all metal fans.
Check it out: