Well it’s the right time of the year for this. Vanik is the live guitarist for black n filth metal noise mongers Midnight but it has to be said that this is very clearly a second cousin to that band, albeit with a much more Misfits spooky fun vibe to it.

After a suitably gothic horror intro, all shivering shadows and ominous guitars hiding a cackling smile we launch into ‘Jack’s Lantern’ which pretty much sets the template for what follows. This is bouncy, speeding punk metal with horror Halloween lyrics and rough and ready vocals. Follow up ‘Thorazine’ shows similar ideas but with another distinctive riff and I have to say this is what Vanik excels at – songs with identity and some great lead breaks over the riffs. There is a freewheeling sense of fun to this all, ‘We Like To Be Frightened’ exemplifying this more Universal monsters meets eighties schlock rather than anything darker. Gleeful energy that bounces along its own merry little way.

Occasionally on tracks like ‘Tear You to Pieces’ we even get a real NWOBHM vibe circling like a culture in the guitar even if the vocals retain the more modern link metal growl.

Oh this is definitely an album that has fun being wicked. It is definitely one of this party albums I guess, the ones where ghouls just wanna have fun. I personally by the end was a little partied out – there’s nothing wrong here at all but oddly when my drunken ass was booted out into the chilly night I wasn’t singing some refrains I remembered from it, which is a little bit of a shame.

Still if you’re having a seasonal do, or they’re playing near you Vanik I am sure will get the bones dancing and the pumpkin beer flowing. A nice, grisly spooky famous monsters fun album all in all.

(7/10 Gizmo)