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HARDWARES

HAIDUK

Spellbook

(Independent)

Reviewed by : Greg Pratt
Rating : 8.5

Earlier this year, we reviewed HAIDUK’s Plagueswept and were impressed with the melodic death/black intensity of it all, all the great riffs, the only problem really being the nasty sounding drum machine this one-man Albertan project employed. And on this 32-minute follow-up (smart keeping it short and sweet) that problem is fixed, automatically bumping the rating up a point from last effort’s 7.0. And let’s add another half mark on there for the pure professionalism of this, and the addition of heavy thrash energy that permeates tracks like ‘Maelstrom’ and the awesome ‘Tremor’; yes, the riff majesty has gotten even better since last album. And the variety is still here: ‘Stormcall’ shows the chugging death metal side of the project well, while the next cut, ‘Black Wind’, brings the black. I just love how much the production sound has improved here, the whole thing sounding big, full, and ominous, the riffs just crashing out of the realm of indie and into the big leagues, all modern Testament by way of Vader, filtered through black influences. I still want to see this guy get a full band involved and see what new places the chemistry takes the music. Until then, this excellent release will do just fine.



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