Friday, October 23, 2009
Sounds of the Season: Midnight Syndicate
Anyone who knows me in any real capacity is well aware that I love music. Moreover, I'm a fan of incredibly diverse musical styles. Everything from Mozart to the Misfits to Madonna gets played in my home, office and car. To me, music is incredibly crucial to setting moods, so it comes as no surprise that I find different genres appealing for different feelings or activities.
For the Samhain Season, there are a variety of artists and albums that can appeal to the Autumn children. I'm going to make the attempt to spotlight a few of these artists in the days leading up to Halloween. The artists or albums being examined will be as diverse as my tastes, and will often be more obscure acts. Everyone is well aware of the Halloween potential of Alice Cooper or Rob Zombie, but there are other acts who deserve to be played right along with them.
If you are a "home haunter", or just dig creepy musical scores, then you can't go wrong with Midnight Syndicate. They aren't exactly what you want for a hoppin' Halloween party, but if you're looking for something to spook the trick-or-treaters, or just want something to put you in that eerie mood, then they're just right for you! Most of the Syndicate's albums act as soundtracks to horror movies....that have never been made. The discs generally don't have lyrics, but use sound effects and music to convey a sort of story to the listener. Your imagination is left to fill in the details of the actual tale. My favorite disc, The 13th Hour, is a haunted house theme, revolving around Harverghast Mansion....a place with a bit of horrid history to it, it would appear.
Midnight Syndicate have been heard in haunted attraction throughout the US, and even used at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. Recently, their music has even graced actual films, with them scoring horror films The Rage and The Dead Matter (the latter featuring a script from the Syndicate team themselves). The lush, gothic scores create a foreboding mood that always puts me in the right frame of mind for Halloween.
You can find their music at most of the Halloween superstores, such as Spirit, Halloween Express and Party City. You can also order online (and sample some of their tunes) here:
Some of their earlier efforts, such as Born of the Night and Realm of Shadows are now out of print, but you can find them still at their online store (sometimes you can get lucky and unearth them at the aforementioned stores. I actually happened upon both of these titles at different Spirit shops. Both are great, most especially Born of the Night). Seriously, if you like haunting musical scores that make you think of haunted houses, vampire-plagued castles and possessed insane asylums, then you absolutely MUST check these guys out!