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Vanik - II Dark Season

II Dark Season
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 17 November 2018, 7:51 AM

In the 80’s, Metal ruled supreme as the most popular musical genre. This fact is seen on “Metal - A Headbanger’s Journey”, the documentary from Sam Dunn. Maybe this is the driving force that makes many try to do again what is already done. Some good works come from new bands that try desperately to be as the masters of the past, but if you’re trying to give continuity to what bands did back in the past, think twice, because you can’t do such thing. Although some improvement must be done, the quartet VANIK does a good work on “II Dark Seasons”, their second album.

Their musical way, a mix between Heavy Metal in the NWOBHM with old Speed/Power Metal from USA, is not bad. They have musical talent and create some very good moments, with charming melodies, good instrumental arrangements and a great dose of energy, but they must (as urgent as these words mean) to work into a more personal way. It sounds like many bands we heard time and time again, and sounds forced as well (in a feeling that says “we are a band from the 80’s”, a thing that they’ll never be).

The sound quality is another problem. When bands like them will understand that raw sound from the 80’s was a consequence of the available technology and money amount to be expended on the recordings? To try to build something in the vein of the 80’s today is a loss of time, something that would sound like a joke. Once more: call Joel Grind to work on the production/mixing/mastering, because he knows how to put the feeling with a decent sound quality that isn’t as raw as we have here. It’s not an organic sound, but just a waste of efforts!

Musically, they show talent on songs like “Jack’s Lantern” (fine work on vocals, but the guitars are too low on sound volume), “Thorazine” (good Speed Metal melodies), “Beyond the Closet Door” (filled with a deeper and darkened feeling), “Werewolf” (a fast song with good work on drums), “Heresy Undertow” (very good tempos, but bass guitar is low as well on the mix), and “Tear You to Pieces” (another one with very good melodies). But they need to put their talent out there, so turn off the LP players during the recording sessions (don’t hear other bands works), and do it on your own way.

They can do better than this, if you want to be in the same level that NIGHT DEMON is…

Originality: 5
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 4

3 Star Rating

1. Dark Season
2. Jack’s Lantern
3. Thorazine
4. We Like to Be Frightened
5. Beyond the Closet Door
6. Werewolf
7. One of Us
8. Heresy Undertow
9. Tear You to Pieces
10. Witch Rites
11. End of Season
Vanik - Guitars, Vocals
Vic Stown - Guitars
Ed Stephens - Bass
Al Biddle - Drums
Record Label: Shadow Kingdom


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