By Greg Pratt
One thing immediately stands out when listening to Plagueswept, the demo CD from one-man Calgarian death/black project HAIDUK. Beneath the raw production, under the drum machine and through the novelty of the very existence of a one-man Calgarian death/black project lie some very, very great riffs. Yes, this guy’s strength is obviously in writing kick-ass riffs.
“Yeah, absolutely, you nailed it!” says sole band dude Luka Milojica. “I’m a rhythm guitar player first and my songs are purely riff-based arrangements. Vocal and lead guitar parts are pretty sparse throughout the album and bass is turned way down, too. So, definitely, it’s no secret that I put more emphasis on riffs than anything else. Certain details and nuances of the guitar did get buried in the low-budget recording mix, but the raw production, for the most part, seemed to really sharpen the guitars and give them more of an edge.”
Speaking of the drum machine, Milojica says that he had plans to get a drummer but it was hard to find someone who was available and could play the parts, so he had to go and rage with the machine.
“I don’t think that going the drum machine route in itself is necessarily a bad thing, it’s just the particular one I used for this recording was maybe not the best one to go with,” he admits. “There are bands out there using drum machines where you can’t even tell the difference, so I’ve recently started working with newer and more advanced software, which will give me a much better drum sound in the future.”
So what can fans of Plagueswept expect the drum machine to sound like for the next effort? According to Milojica, it’s going to be better in every way.
“I now have way more control over every individual percussion hit and can adjust velocity, panning, and everything else to an insane amount of detail,” he says. “Once the painstaking work of customizing and adjusting all the levels is done, I think the new machine will end up sounding even better than a real drummer.”
Another interesting aspect at play here is the simple fact that this is a one-man band. Sure, we get lots of one-man black bands, but mainly from overseas; seeing one show up in Alberta is a bit interesting. Why did he decide to go this route?
“Because I love writing music and think it’s a really personal thing that I can do better alone,” says Milojica. “I became so used to having to write bass, drum, and multiple guitar layers for all my songs anyway that it just turned into a sort of obsession to control every aspect of the music right to the end. By working alone I realized I had way more freedom to pursue all kinds of crazy musical ideas and possibly create something really unique. When you listen to Haiduk, it’s a direct connection between you and me, and I don’t think there are many artists out there whose music is such a direct reflection of themselves.”
As for what’s next for his debut full-length (which he hopes to have drop this summer), Milojica says that he wants to keep it guitar-based but push the realms of what’s unique within death and thrash.
“Expect no warmth, no choruses, and no melody,” he says. “Just a lot of insane riffs, energy, and speed. The way metal should be.”
And even though this is a solo show, Haiduk does indeed play live gigs. Milojica admits that he can’t pack the same punch as a full band, so he usually acts as the opener. And, being that he’s a one-man Albertan extreme metal band, he’s bound to be playing some strange gigs…
“I just did a show last week in this place that was basically a large, abandoned-looking house in downtown Calgary with a huge backyard, a barn, and fire pits outside,” he says. “It was one of the weirdest places I've ever played. Now that’s a Calgary metal show!”
The Plagueswept song 'Timestill Abyss' is currently streaming online at BraveWords.com - head to the left-hand-side of the site to launch the KnuckleTracks Online Audio Player