As I stated in a previous review: I love carnivals. I love amusement parks. I love stories and movies that involve them. It's one of those things that you can't quite place, but they all seem to have a sense of nostalgia and mystery about them. I also love Midnight Syndicate and have been a longtime fan. Yes, I was the "goth kid" who sat up til all hours of the night reading the likes of Bram Stoker, Stephen King, and Anne Rice as Midnight Syndicate played in the background. So you can only imagine my excitement when I met Ed Douglas at the Indie Gathering Film Festival a couple years ago where we were both guests. I also witnessed him being inducted into the Independent Filmmaker's Hall of Fame at the Horror Hotel Film Festival and Convention in 2012. It was also there I ended up snagging a copy of "Carnival Arcane." Midnight Syndicate doing an album of dark, creepy, carnival music? Hell yeah, I was there.
First a little background on Midnight Syndicate. I will begin by saying that even if you haven't heard of them, you've very likely heard their work, especially if you've gone to amusement parks or Halloween attractions. Many of those attractions (from the smaller local or traveling parks to the likes of Universal Studios) have licensed Midnight Syndicate, particularly during the Halloween season (in fact, I've actually gotten a couple of their albums at such places and events). You also may have seen their albums displayed in Halloween costume stores.
Midnight Syndicate is made up of composers, Ed Douglas and Gavin Goszka who have been producing their dark, symphonic soundscapes for nearly two decades while also providing services to filmmakers, theme parks, and have been considered by many (myself included) to be among the pioneers in the Gothic music realm.
Now bear in mind, before you start groaning, "Soundscapes? Really?" I will tell you that this is by no means the monotone-put-you-to-sleep soundscapes (in fact, I'm not sure you would want to sleep much after listening to a Midnight Syndicate album). Douglas and Goszka brilliantly craft beautiful, orchestral horror-themed music along with old movie effects to create their very diverse and intricately produced albums. "Carnival Arcane" is no exception and with each album, they seem to evolve from the last one.
As someone who has been listening to Midnight Syndicate for years, I will say that I was blown away by "Carnival Arcane." The music is quite reminiscent of the traveling carnivals of yore and the album art is also a reflection of such eras. Douglas and Goszka do not disappoint when it comes to producing music that allow the listener's mind to wander to another realm with their symphonic melodies.
My favorite track is "Canvas Wonderland" and I actually had it on repeat as I wrote a chapter in Descent (The Birthrite Series #1).
If you haven't picked up "Carnival Arcane" or are new to Midnight Syndicate, I highly recommend checking them out this Halloween. You can purchase their albums and merchandise at their Official Website's Music Store.
Of course, they are available at most retailers, including digital (iTunes), but if you can buy directly from the artist, why not do it? :) But however you choose to check out and listen to their music, I hope you enjoy it as much as I and many others have.
Midnight Syndicate Official Website
Official Midnight Syndicate Webstore