Are you a fan of horror-inspired music? Looking for a spooky soundtrack to complement your Halloween event or home decor?
Cleveland-based Midnight Syndicate, which has made a reputation for its symphonic horror music, has had a very busy year. First, it has released not one, but two new albums this year: its standalone "Monsters of Legend," which was released in July and takes its inspiration from the iconic horror classics; and the movie soundtrack for "Axe Giant The Wrath of Paul Bunyan," which was released in August.
"Monsters of Legend" is a "tribute to the golden age of horror" is inspired by horror films from the silent era, Universal Studios' horror classics, Hammer Films, and other European horror films of the 60s and 70s, said Edward Douglas, one half of the duo that operates Midnight Syndicate.
"We want to make you feel like you are a character in one of those classic horror films -- that you've entered a world where any one of those iconic Universal monsters could be right around the corner," said Douglas, who was the composer. "Those classic horror films are at the core of what we do in Midnight Syndicate, so to do an entire disc based on them was a lot fun. Musically it required us to use more traditional orchestral instruments, and use them in more ways than we have in the past. The result is a fuller orchestral sound with a heavy classical music influence. There are plenty of nods to James Bernard, Bernard Herrmann, and other early film composers."
Gavin Goska, the other half of Midnight Syndicate, said that "we feel we've taken things up a notch both musically and with the sound design on this release."
"There's a lot there to listen to and lose yourself in," he said.
Fans of Midnight Syndicate will not be disappointed. The CD has the feel of a classic monster movie soundtrack. I especially liked "A Watchful Gathering," "Unwanted Visitor" and "It Lives!"
Midnight Syndicate also produced "Axe Giant The Wrath Of Paul Bunyan: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack." The album features highlights from the movie, which was released in June, with the score composed by Douglas, along with the creepy "The Ballad of Paul Bunyan" performed by Hick'ry Hawkins.
"Gary wanted the film to have a feel similar to classic monster movies like King Kong," Douglas said. "I found myself trying to channel my inner [Max] Steiner and [Bernard] Herrmann, in an effort to achieve that big, dramatic, classical sound. The monster in the film is American folklore legend, Paul Bunyan, so it gave me the opportunity to work with some 19th century American instrumentation as well. I think the result is a soundtrack that will sound both familiar and at times very different from what Midnight Syndicate has done to this point."
The tracks from this CD range from eerie to tense and dramatic. "The Ballad of Paul Bunyan" made my skin crawl. I also liked "No Escape" and "Bunyan on the Move."
Midnight Syndicate Live
Midnight Syndicate recently launched a Kickstarter campaign in support of Midnight Syndicate Live! a multimedia Halloween horror concert.
After 17 studio albums, including three horror movie scores and a motion picture of their own, Midnight Syndicate now aims to create a multimedia concert experience. The Halloween horror-themed show will feature a blend of live Midnight Syndicate music, original films, music videos, and live theatre.
For details on the Kickstarter campaign, or on Midnight Syndicate's music and other projects, visit www.MidnightSyndicate.com.