Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tiffany's 31 Days of Halloween, Day 6

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 and then again the following May at Horror Hotel where I also witnessed him being inducted into the Independent Filmmaker's Hall of Fame. It was also then that I ended up snagging a copy of one of Syndicate's newer albums (or at least new at the time), Carnival Arcane. Midnight Syndicate doing an album of dark, creepy, carnival music?  Yes, I was definitely there.

First a little background on Midnight Syndicate for those unfamiliar. I will begin by saying that even if you haven't heard of Midnight Syndicate, you very likely have heard their work, especially if you've gone to amusement parks or Halloween attractions during the respected Halloween season.  Many of those attractions (from the smaller local and/or traveling parks to the likes of Universal Studios) have licensed Midnight Syndicate (especially at this time of year).  In fact, I've bought a couple of their albums at such places and events. Another place where you may have seen their CDs are some select Halloween costume stores.
Midnight Syndicate consists of dark music composers, Ed Douglas and Gavin Goszka, both of whom have been producing their gothic, symphonic soundscapes for nearly two decades and providing their services to filmmakers, theme parks. They have been considered by many (myself included) to be pioneers in the Gothic music realm.
Now bear in mind, before you start groaning "soundscapes...really?" I will tell you that these aren't the monotone, put you to sleep type of soundscapes (in fact, I'm not sure you would even want to go to sleep after listening to Midnight Syndicate album!).  Douglas and Goszka brilliantly craft beautiful, orchestral horror music with old movie-style effects to create their very diverse and intricately produced albums. Carnival Arcane is no exception and with each album, they seem to get even better than the last.

Now I've been listening to Midnight Syndicate for several years and I will say that I was seriously blown away by Carnival Arcane upon my first time listening. The music is very reminiscent of the traveling carnivals of yore and the album art reflects that as well.  Douglas and Goszka do not disappoint when it comes to producing music that can allow the listener's mind to wander to another realm and enter the world created by the 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) (it did provide some awesome inspiration).
If you haven't had a chance to listen to Carnival Arcane or are new to Midnight Syndicate, I highly recommend checking them out (they have music samples from each of their albums at their website). You can purchase Carnival Arcane, other albums and merchandise at the Midnight Syndicate Official Website's Music Store. Of course, their music is also available at most retailers, including digital outlets (i.e. iTunes), but if you can buy directly from the artist, why not do that instead? :)  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

As an ending note, Ed Douglas and company were kind enough to send me a review copy of their newest album, A Ghostly Gathering. Stay tuned for a review on that one within these 31 Days of Halloween. Also, tomorrow will bring a haunted attraction review edition. So stay tuned for that as well. :)


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