Mike Ventarola A< HREF="http://www.starvox.net/" TARGET=BLANK>http://www.starvox.net/:
- Unhallowed Ground
- Crypt of the Forsaken
- Winged Fury | Streaming MP3 & Download
- Blackest Rose
- Ravages of Time
- Unseen Eyes
- Undead Hunters
- Ancient Tomes
- Spectral Masquerade
- Vampyre | Streaming MP3 & Download
This reviewer waits anxiously for each new Midnight Syndicate release simply because no one has yet to reach the benchmark of macabre and funereal orchestrations as Douglas and Goszka. By the time the listener hits track 3, you are fully enmeshed in this world, simply craving for more like an unbridled addiction. This duo clearly wants to give the fans the most for their money, as evident with each new release, and this one is no exception.
The cover artwork and insert graphic by Keith Parkinson and design by Mark Rakocy is delightfully macabre, that one can only hope this will be released as a poster at some future point in time. This artwork is a bonus that would make a great compliment to any gloomy style abode as well as to accompany this great ghoulish music.
It is no surprise that the vampire theme holds a great appeal for many people, particularly due to the metaphoric nature that can depict man and addiction or man as an outsider from the norm. Vampyre adds a bit more than just your garden variety of spookiness. There are clearly demarcations of bittersweet memories and forlorn emotions interwoven with some of the creepy elements. It is though we get a sense of the "life" of our undead travelers that flitter by in a subconscious way.
Without any authored prose or spoken dialogue to set the scenes as in previous releases, the macabre elements are given a three-dimensional aspect of the vampyric characters, deftly created via the utilization of sound alone. Any vocals that one hears, are simply mechanizations from the synthesizer, and not real, giving this the necessary otherworldly quality it needs. There seems to be a bit more of a construction element delineated with this work, as the tracks are more in line with a cinematic rendition than ever before.
Once again, Midnight Syndicate has stepped up to the plate to deliver eerie music for those longing for those darkened tones. While the underground music scene is in a state of flux with all the disco goth, it is refreshing to hear that some hold the dark music to their hearts and are capable of delivering it back to those of us adoring this style.
The magic behind Midnight Syndicate's music is the ability to create "soundtracks for the mind as well as the movie that has never been made." However, all of Midnight Syndicate's work is simply prime material waiting to be tapped for future film scores. Recently, the astute horror maestro and film director, Danny Draven, featured their music in his film score of Witchhouse 3. (Available for rental at Blockbuster or for sale at www.dannydraven.com) Hearing their work coupled with the marvel of cinema is a natural progression and transition for this work. Hopefully, more in the filmmaking industry will come to realize this as well.
If you enjoy really macabre sounds and orchestrations of a cinematic nature, you simply must seek out this release!
A review from Legends Magazine
One of the most pervasive things about Midnight Syndicate is the fact that they tend to appeal to the mentally astute and highly imaginative. This may largely be due to the fact that their work is crafted to incur visions that stir visionary illusions. Those who tend to enmesh themselves in literature and highbrow forms of entertainment have often found that the band is like an oasis in the dark music world of mediocrity. This reviewer must confess to lighting candles, turning off the lights and playing Midnight Syndicate in order to transform the environment to one that is conducive with allowing the freeform flow of words. For some uncanny reason, this ritual of utilizing their work as a precursor to writing anything somehow unlocks the channels between the worlds of day and night.
Many in the goth underground often eschew anything vampire related, which seems a bit absurd because had we not had the wonderful lore of Bram Stoker and many other horror writers over the last century, goth might not have ever become the musical underground force that it has. The vampire as a metaphor is rather profound as it can be utilized on so many levels. It is rather remarkable that so many simply still don't comprehend the full essence and majesty of the allegorical crux.
As with other Midnight Syndicate CD's, Vampyre is also crafted to elicit mental imagery to allow the listeners to envision their own mental film. The fact that their work is perfect for movies was not lost on underground horror movie director Danny Draven, who utilized Midnight Syndicate's work in Witchhouse 3, which is available for rental at Blockbuster video or sale on the director's site (www.dannydraven.com). Their music is also featured in other Full Moon Pictures horror features, as well as included in a short horror film starring Alice Cooper and won an award for Best Music at New York's 2001 Spotlight On Theatre Awards.
Halloween is their natural habitat, as their music has become an integral part of the holiday, frequently featured in Paramount Parks, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, and several Six Flags parks' haunted attractions. Additionally, the music has also been featured on the Today Show and Monday Night Football, thereby bridging the chasm between "underground" music that veers its head to the populace at large. In 2000, King Diamond used the CDs as exclusive pre-show music for his tour and they have also been voted as Best Gothic Act for two consecutive years by the Cleveland Free Times. Naturally, the word is getting around that Midnight Syndicate has the CDs that dark music fans simply must own.
Certainly there are other vampire themed compositions out on the market. Some with snippets of poetry between the macabre feelings, others with cheesy haunted house sound effects. Midnight Syndicate didn't resort to cheese; instead they crafted this CD with the same astute attention as the makers of the score to Bram Stoker's Dracula, which was released some years back. It is this dedication and diligence to formulate nightmarish music that has brought them much acclaim through their last 3 releases as well. Vampyre brings the listener through many layers of a storyline. We are not prompted by any spoken prose, but instead are given inflections and nuances of sound to create the wordless script, full of lushly macabre imagery. Interestingly enough, Midnight Syndicate didn't seem to resort to making a one-dimensional antagonist. The various sounds and layers that weave in between the morose feelings seems to belie a sentimental and sorrowful side that is interspersed with the decadence and depravity. Additionally, we also can envision the surrounding terrain and other characters with vivid realism. More importantly is the way these images can change with each listening.
Word has it that Midnight Syndicate also created dance versions of some of their work, thereby bringing a well-needed dose of the morbid back into the Goth underground. There is one unreleased dance track floating around that was leaked out to select DJ's, however that is merely a taste of what is forthcoming and barely scratches the surface of what is to come.
Granted, times have changed and the newer goth fans seem less inclined with "old school" goth and horror and more inclined to vapid and mindless noise masquerading as art. However, once their hormones have simmered and they find themselves longing for something of a bit more substance, Midnight Syndicate will be right there, urging them to take that imaginary leap through the chasm of the night. Whether you attend a haunted attraction this season or simply want some really haunted music for your dark abode, Midnight Syndicate bids you "welcome."
By: Mike Ventarola