Usually when faced with a one-man project and something that hints at Black Metal (like the title "Spellbook"), I tend to hide under the kitchen table, begging for mercy. Yet it´s worth to risk a glimpse from under the table because there can be positive surprises.
Haiduk, this Canadian one-man-project, namely guitarist Luka Milojica, is such a positive surprise. First, nothing to do with Black Metal (well, at least not much) - it´s a fistful of Old-School-Thrash right in your face right from the start. When STALKER colleague Fuchs found flaws in the sound of the previous release, I cannot find anything to criticise about the sound on this one. This self-release can compete with "professionals" in every aspect, also regarding artwork, booklet layout etc - all very well done, and nice graphics for the lyric sheets.
As those 10 songs hardly display any of those BM criteria I was so afraid to hear, I am pleased indeed. Only "Hex" features BM elements, a more epic-atmospheric sound and moderate groove. Otherwise I´d compare this mix of technical Thrash-Death, aggressive and precise Speed-Riffs, Blastbeats and a devilish growl voice with early Slayer or Morbid Angel. And I can hardly find anything to complain - well, a bit more diversity in the songwriting maybe and I´d given even more points. For Slayer-fans this must be a 10 out of 10... a good album indeed, recommendable!