Midnight Syndicate have returned with another offering of gothic nightmare soundtracks. I like to say that Midnight Syndicate is the greatest band that you’ve heard, but you never knew who they were. There is a rather high probability that if you have visited a Halloween store, or been to a haunted attraction within the past ten years, and even before that, you have heard their music. Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka are purveyors of the highest quality in horror music soundtracks, and their masterful touch has enriched many persons’ Halloween Seasons – me included. I will freely admit that I am a huge fan of MidSyn’s, and just as a full disclosure, I am friends with Edward Douglas. However, that will not hamper my review of this album – and I am glad that the album is fantastic, so I will not need to criticize it! I love it.
Never content to rest upon their cemetery laurels, Midnight Syndicate have continued to hone their craft through the years. These guys are not afraid to cross genre conventions – in both music and distribution. Last year, Midnight Syndicate released “Christmas: a Ghostly Gathering”, their first official tackling of the Christmas Holidays. they have scored for films, created their own film, and produced soundtracks for Dungeons and Dragons. This newest album is not their first foray in tabletop gaming soundtracks, but it is a polished piece of moody enhancement, which will surely inspire gamers, musicians, and horror enthusiasts.
Zombies!!! is the newest entry for the Midnight Syndicate duo – 18 tracks of orchestral, ambient horror atmospheres centralized thematically on zombies, with emphasis on the board game of the same name. Zombies!!! the game is a modular, fast-paced game of cooperative and competitive action between players as they try to survive and escape a zombie-infested world. The songs contained in the album are structured, titled, and composed to evoke moods to help enhance play of the game. However, this album can also stand on its own merits, and can be enjoyed by anyone, even casual listeners.
Musically, the scores are of the standard Midnight Syndicate caliber – excellent – and the post-production aspects get better with each album. The songs wax and wane in ambient fluidity; you can turn on the album, and let it play in one continuous “spin”.
Gavin Goszka and Edward Douglas are Midnight Syndicate
Midnight Syndicate is known for their use of both sound effects and orchestral scores blended seamlessly together in each song. If you wonder what a particular thematic element for a song is, you merely need to look at the song title, but again, the brilliance of the music is that you can listen to it without ever knowing any song titles, and you will have the same musical experience.
A new element I have heard in this album when compared to previous installments is a “harder” edge to some of the tracks. Midnight Syndicate’s music can easily be compared to the likes of Danny Elfman – with a mahogany hue coloring their scores due to their uses of somber piano and cellos and even playful and wistful phrasings. Zombies!!! continues this motif, but the chordings and inclusion of other “electronica” synth stabs, as well as various sound effects of zombie moans, CB transmitter static, and gunshots give this album a modern, eerie, and action-orientation that is exciting and foreboding.
Zombies!!! is a gothic, moody exercise in horror orchestral scoring and fans of horror, classical music, soundtracks, zombies, or any semblances thereof should absolutely give this album a spin.
You can find out more about Midnight Syndicate on their website at midnightsyndicate.com, as well as the myriad places you can hear this and their other albums (check out Vampyre – that’s still my favorite). They are pretty much everywhere that you can find music – Spotify, BandCamp, iTunes, etc.