THE HALLOWEEN BOOMBOX: Seasonal Music To Die For: Midnight Syndicate Edition

Music is such a huge part of the Halloween season. Though radio stations rarely play any kind of music related to Halloween, there are plenty of options out there to help make your season more festive. For me, I like to start listening to Halloween music at the end of August and keep listening right up until the big day. While I am working on displays, setting up our Halloween village or even decorating the house, we always have Halloween music playing in the background. Midnight Syndicate is one of our favorite soundtracks for Halloween.

For over two decades, composers Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka have been known as Midnight Syndicate, creating symphonic soundtracks to imaginary films that facilitate a transcendental and adventurous escape into the secret dimensions of the mind’s eye. To many of their fans, they are horror music pioneers brewing a signature blend of instrumental orchestral gothic music and movie-style sound effects. To others, they remain the first “haunted house band” that forever changed the Halloween music genre and became a staple of the October holiday season.  Still others know them for their contributions to the use of music in the roleplaying and board game industries.

Midnight Syndicates debut album, Midnight Syndicate, came out in 1997. An eclectic blending of musical styles, this album began Midnight Syndicate’s quest to create ‘soundtracks for the imagination’. Although the selections range from rap to rock to new age, the darker tracks set the groundwork for what was to become Midnight Syndicate’s trademark sound. An interesting excursion into the formative period of the band. This release is not out of print.

Born of the Night was brought to us in 1998. The Dark Tower stands high upon a rocky outcrop, gazing down upon the landscape below with cold, merciless eyes. For as long as anyone can remember, its forbidden halls have been known only to the nightmarish denizens that call it home, as none that have ventured near it have ever returned to tell of their journey. One thing is certain – the Dark Tower is a place best left alone. Whatever horrible secrets it keeps are not meant for the eyes of the living.

Realm of Shadows came out in 2000 and was the first Midnight Syndicate cd that I bought. Far beneath the shadw of the Dark Tower and beyond a clearing known as Raven’s Hollow lie the ruins of a village. No one is certain what arose from the deep the fateful night that the village was laid to waste, but travelers now report shadows moving through the deserted streets and a solitary light shining from the old town square. Dare to discover the curse that befell this forsaken place as you venture forth into the Realm of Shadows. Midnight Syndicate blends haunting orchestrations and sinister sound effects to create a dark, gothic soundscape.

Gates of Delirium is a 2001 release. The Midnight Syndicate classic that introduced the world to the Haverghast family. The prelude to The 13th Hour, Gates of Delirium takes listeners on a journey into the haunting world of Haverghast Asylum where patients (both past and present) await your arrival. This groundbreaking release features the perfect blend of pulse-pounding orchestration, chilling asylum atmosphere, and sinister sound effects.

From 2002 comes Vampyre: Symphonies from the Crypt. Symphonies from the Crypt, the ultimate soundtrack for vampire fans. With less focus on sound effects, these haunting symphonies capture the fear, fury and passion of the vampire. 

The 13th Hour was released in 2005 and is the ULTIMATE haunted house CD! Ghosts, phantoms, and spirits from the dark side inhabit this desolate Victorian manor. Over a year in production, this CD features the perfect blend of classic 80s-style horror movie music, Midnight Syndicate’s signature dark, gothic orchestration, and chilling sound effects that put you right in the middle of a haunted house with a sinister history.

Out of the Darkness came out in 2006. Re-recorded and re-mastered Midnight Syndicate classics from Midnight SyndicateBorn of the Night, and Realm of Shadows. Also, features four previously unreleased tracks from the archives. With over an hour of haunting music, this retrospective breathes new life into the early tracks that helped launch the band. Contains previously released material. (68 minutes) Included in Rue Morgue Magazine’s 50 Essential Horror Albums – Discs That Created, Evolved, Defined Horror Music Over the Decades. Midnight Syndicate blnds haunting orchestrations, pulse-pounding melodies and chilling gothic horror sound effects designed to set the mood for your darkest nightmare.

The Dead Matter: Cemetery Gates came out in 2008. Beyond the cemetery gates the dead do not rest easily. An ancient Egyptian relic, vampires, and the living dead lurk amongst its shadowy crypts. Midnight Syndicate beckons you into the dark world of the unknown that inspired a motion picture. Feature bonus tracks from the  The Dead Matter movie.

Halloween Music Collection came out in 2010. A collection of some of Midnight Syndicate’s best recordings from their first 13 years, hand-picked by Gavin and Edward, and mixed especially for the Halloween season. A perfect introduction to the music of Midnight Syndicate. Contains previously recorded material.

Carnival Arcane came out in 2011. The train smoke drifting through the pale moon light signals the arrival of the Lancaster-Rigby Carnival. In a forest clearing, these mesonoxian visitors await your arrival. Stroll along the midway and behold wonders both fantastic and macabre from every corner of the globe. And be sure to ride their one of a kind carousel for an experience you’ll never, ever forget. 2012 Rondo Award Winner – Best Horror Album.

From 2012 comes A Time Forgotten. Lyrics and alluring vocals by Destini Beard with Midnight Syndicate’s haunting music beckon you to explore a mysterious Victorian hotel haunted by a morbid past. Dark secrets hidden deep within room walls await your discovery in A Time Forgotten.

Monsters of Legend came out in 2013. A foreboding castle, perched upon the cliffs, looms over the mysterious village of Arcacia where monsters of legend roam its hillsides. Inspired by classic horror cinema created by film companies like Universal Studios and Hammer Films, this album promises to send a chill up your spine as it transports you back to the Golden Age of horror. 2014 Rondo Award Winner – Best Horror Album.

Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering came out in 2015. As fierce winter winds cut across the frozen landscape, a welcoming golden glow beckons from the windows of a venerable country mansion. Decorated in the festive trappings of Yule, its stately walls seem to offer a much-needed respite for the weary traveler. But the holiday spirits are restless and eager for company this night, as the haunting strains of melodies old and new call forth from the shadows.

Zombies!!! Official Board Game Soundtrack was a 2016 release. Survival is the order of the day in a once-familiar city that now lies in ruins. Shadows shuffle through the streets, driven by an unearthly hunger. The distant sound of a helicopter offers the promise of salvation, but your battle has just begun. The Zombies!!! Official Board Game Soundtrack features pulse pounding instrumental music and sounds from the zombie apocalypse designed to take your evening’s listening, undead gaming experience, or haunted attraction to the next level! Contains some previously recorded material.

To read other entries in my HALLOWEEN BOOMBOX series, just click HERE!

~David Albaugh

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