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November 2010
Released: 2010, Indie
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

I had the pleasure of speaking to Luka, the founder, originator and sole member of Haiduk. He tells me that he considers his debut releases to be a mere demo, but I personally think it is much better than that! Debut EP or demo, however you define it, Haiduk’s PLAGUESWEPT is a decent initial offering.

Naturally the first thing that caught my eye was the cover art featuring this sort of demon-wraith shadow dude…pretty cool. Haiduk presents a simple package, no lyrics unfortunately and not too much information is provided. I guess when you are a one-man band there is not as much to say. I case you are wondering Haiduk means, in Serbian it " someone who retreats into the forests when his country is under invasion in order to resist capture and continue fighting." Luka is indeed fighting the good fight and waging a one-man war against mediocrity in music! PLAGUESWEPT has 8 songs, it’s half an hour long but there is quite a lot of meat on the bones of these dark songs., it sounds longer. There is a bit of an epic feel to the songs.

One of the obvious advantages of doing it all yourself is that no one can dilute your musical vision. Accordingly, Haiduk have offered quite a unique and diverse sound with multiple styles and influences. Despite this the songs do not sound scatter-shot, nor do they lack direction. PLAGUESWEPT is a quite clever blend of Death, Black Metal, Power Metal and lots of guitars. The vocals are low and mixed quite far back as well as being guttural, but intelligible and not too harsh. Lots of Black Metal tremolo style guitar work but lots of riffs as well, dark riffs, sort of like Annihilator at times. The pace of the songs are mid-tempo to fast and the drums are not just blast-beats, but there is certainly a good pace to the whole production.

Haiduk hesitate to define itself by lumping itself into a genre and I can see why because PLAGUESWEPT is quite unique, and this day and age that is not always easy to do. Haiduk are hard to pin-point, kind of like some Bathory, which overall is a good thing. It is a very interesting album and one with loads of potential. Get on board now!
Track Listing

1. Grom
2. Entering The Lair
3. Dark Forest Path
4. Siege
5. Timestill Abyss
6. Demon Descent
7. Subterranean
8. Forgotten



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