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Letīs start with some background facts: The Canadian one-man project Haiduk was formed in the spring of 2009. The album Plagueswept, which can be filed under black/death metal, is the projectīs first release. The man behind Haiduk is guitarist Luka Milojica who not only wrote all songs but took care of the vocals, bass and the programming of the drum computer as well.
You can definitely hear that Luka Milojica is mainly a guitarist. Two of the eights tracks are instrumentals (the first song Grom and the last one Forgotten; one has to note that those two are really independent songs and not only intro or outro) and also with the other songs, vocals come a little short and itīs mainly the guitar (often as multitrack) that predominates. Overall, the guitars do sound great and it can easily be said that this is one of Haidukīs strengths. All the other instruments donīt really stick out that much, the drum programming is smooth but itīs nothing special, and like with many other bands of this genre, you canīt really hear much of the bass. The vocals are rather weak but, as I said, because they are not used very much, itīs really not such a big deal.
Itīs a different thing with the sound. Especially, when the songs get a bit more complex and several guitar tracks are used, then everything quickly goes under in a big chaos. Some bands of this genre use this quite a lot and very successfully, as stylistic devices. It works for them but it doesnīt really fit the music of Haiduk.
Also the songwriting is solid even though you notice that overall the structures repeat themselves quite often, which is a pity, really because the songs themselves are very versatile and dynamic.
Bottom line: a solid first album with good songs and very strong guitars, the sound, though, is pretty messed up. Fans of this genre could, however, still have a listen. Otherwise, one can hope that Haiduk improve the sound for their second album, which is already in the making. Because if they do, the result will be something to look forward to.