Oct. 17, 2018


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The Pitch: Riff-heavy, solo blackened death metal project Haiduk follows up the excellent 2015 Demonicon with new acts of guitar-conjured black magic. FFO: Rebel Wizard, Second To Sun, Waxen

What I Like: Haiduk was a project that really captured my ear back in 2016. Luka has put a signature on his guitar sound that makes it instantly recognizeable. The union of compressed distortion with use of rapid tapping at times reminds me of old NES music. With so many faceless black and blackened death groups aping the same old approach to riffs, it's so refreshing to hear someone with the balls to take a different direction. Exomancer continues on with the natural trajectory of this sound, once more emphasing thrashy and strangely "bouncy" black and death metal guitar hooks over all else. There are some harsh vocals here and there, but the focal point continues to be all about the guitars. Think of him as a corpse-painted Steve Vai without the douchy persona and sunglasses. And at just over 30 minutes, the album feels to be just the right length.

Critiques: If I'm pitting this head to head with Demonicon, I'd argue the latter wins by just a hair. While Exomancer is a little more dynamic in approach, I happen to prefer my Haiduk at the full speed of galloping ragers like "Blood Ripple." Demonicon had a bit more of that to offer.

The Verdict: If you're a metal guitar player or are just sick of hearing the same blackened death metal over and over again, you owe it to yourself to check out Haiduk. Luka is a very talented writer and performer; and I can't stress enough how rare it is these days to pick an artist out of a lineup with just a few seconds of a recording. Give Exomancer a listen, and if you like it I also recommend checking out the back catalogue.

Flight's Fav's: Subverse, Pulsar, Blood Ripple

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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