Canada’s one-man project Haiduk (a term for Balkan freedom fighters) came out of the gate like barnstormers back 2021 with Spellbook, a pretty blistering black/death/thrash combo that had a lot of energy and influences from Dew-Scented Hypocrisy and even Dissection. However, the follow-up, 2015s Demonicon, with an increasing mechanical/programmed tone (especially the drums), came across a lot more like Australia’s solo project, The Berzerker, with a virtually non-stop hyper assault of programmed chaos.

And that continues with album number 4 ( I missed album number 3, 2018s Exomancer) as Haiduk ( aka Luka Milojica) continues with a more abrasive, mechanical, industrialized assault that again imbues The Berzerker but with pretty forgetful, single-minded results.

As with all his releases, you get a short, succinct release. This one is 31 minutes long and all 11, 2-3 bursts, pretty much jackhammer with unimaginative, unrelenting hyper precision. But not in a good early Anaal Nathrakh way. And while Demonicon had a few slow moments to break things up, Diabolica hammer away for the entire 31 minutes. At least it feels that way. (“Ballista” was the only slow moment that I recalled), the album sort of blows-by as one similarly paced song from “Corpse Crown” to “Sea of Fire” (the lone long song here). And maybe that’s the goal here as, for all of Milojica’s skills, he certainly is consistent. Mojica also continues using a gruff, cough as his vocal approach (though it seems lessened as there are large instrumental-only segments throughout), as he has since Demonicon, and frankly, it’s just not very good and way too high in the mix.

I respect Milojica for still literally hammering away with this project for a decade now, and he’s clearly passionate, driven, and talented. I just wonder what else he can tap into and spread his wings a little further within the realms of extreme music?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 22nd, 2021


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