Haiduk - Diabolica

Haiduk is a rather interesting one man group from Canada. Melding black metal and death metal together, Luka Milojica’s third full length album is more of an instrumental collection rather than the typical vocal driven music backed by instrumentation. The blend of black metal and death metal can certainly be heard in the riffing on tracks like ‘Corpse Crown’ and ‘Abyss Mage,’ and while very engaging at first, a lot of the riffing and music is repetitive and unless listeners really like melodic driven black metal that is very guitar focused without much help from keyboards, choirs, or other instruments, they might be bored very quickly.

Some of the faster tracks like ‘Upheaval’ feature more straightforward black metal tones with some haphazardness, much like Deathspell Omega would use. Vocally, the man grates out low spoken words similar to Wrest of Leviathan on a track like ‘Blood Red And True, pt. 3.’ Very dark, creepy, and effective. Sometimes he’ll use the vocals for a few lines vs. a track like ‘Wraithavok’ where only a few words are used, but it seems overall the focus of Haiduk is to demonstrate the instrumental ability vs. lyric writing, using the lyrics as more of an intermittent support instrument.

For more melodic black metal inspiration, ‘Infernal’ is an excellent example with its dark riffs, machine gun fire drums, and overall ferocity of the music. Haiduk tries to stray from repetitiveness here as much as they can but the track goes by pretty quick without being able to sink in like it should. Longer tracks like ‘Sea of Fire’ tend to fall a bit on the repetitive side, but showcase more variety overall and a more solid demonstration of what Molijica can do with the guitar and drums, with or without vocals.

Shorter tracks like ‘Encirclement’ tend to feel like they end just as they start, and don’t leave as much to the imagination as listeners can’t really absorb the music or figure if the band is just trying to play a few good riffs or branch out more for some stronger, progressive work.

Overall, those who like instrumental metal will find this appealing, and Haiduk do show a lean more towards being solely instrumental vs. traditional melodic blackened death metal with their third full length album, so “Diabolica” is still worth checking out for those who like grim yet melodic sounds that are icy and cold but not quite Darkthrone fuzzed out so overall the full sound of the guitar and drums can be enjoyed.

3 / 5 STARS

1. Corpse Crown
2. Swarm
3. Upheaval
4. Encirclement
5. Wraithavok
6. Cyclone
7. Ballista
8. Abyss Mage
9. Infernal
10. Sea Of Fire

Self released
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Dec 27, 2021

Share this: