Midnight Syndicate: The 13th Hour (Music)

Mention “horror music” to any true horror fan, and one name is sure to pop up: Midnight Syndicate. Their latest offering entitled The 13th Hour is proof positive of why this is true. Artfully blending typical horror movie music with creepy sound and voice effects, The 13th Hour takes its listeners up the front steps of Haverghast Mansion, through all its rooms and spooky attractions, culminating in a run for their lives as they try to escape the house’s evil clutches.

Midnight Syndicate is a collaboration of Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka. In this, their sixth CD, they have raised the bar as high as one can imagine when it comes to a Halloween-worthy soundtrack. Along with the lush, Gothic orchestrations that will be instantly recognizable to their fans, Douglas and Goszka have included so many different types of eerie and unusual noises that to go into much detail here would spoil all the fun. Suffice to say that if moans and chants, creaking stairs, breaking glass, and an old Victrola are the things that come to mind when you think about a desolate and foreboding haunted house, then The 13th Hour will surely be right up your alley.

Along with its more elaborate symphonic interludes, the CD also employs some quiet and simple piano melodies – a favorite of this reviewer. They make for a nice tension reliever. Just when you think you can’t stand any more suspense about what might be lurking around the next corner, Douglas and Goszka give you a reprieve – but just for a few seconds – and then they kick up the intensity once again. There were a few brief moments during the middle of the journey that dragged a little and seemed a bit repetitive, but once things got back on track, all was forgiven.

It’s obvious why Midnight Syndicate’s music is unavoidable during the Halloween season – not just on TV and radio but also in local haunted attractions, costume shops, and theme parks like Universal and Busch Gardens. Even Hugh Hefner plays them during his infamous parties at the Playboy Mansion! But Douglas and Goszka are hardly the type to rest on their laurels. They recently signed with Snap Kick Productions to provide the soundtrack for Sin-Jin Smyth, a horror film slated to begin production later this year; and they are already formulating plans for their seventh Midnight Syndicate CD, an exploration of a haunted carnival. Knowing how scared people are of clowns, I can’t wait for that one!

The 13th Hour is the type of CD that makes its listeners feel as if they are *inside* a horror movie. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a dark and stormy night – or even a bright and sunny day. Because regardless of the weather outside, from the first note you hear, you’ll be smack dab in the middle of a gloomy and ghostly old haunted house with no way out other than following the path lit by the sounds of The 13th Hour.

The 13th Hour by Midnight Syndicate (2005)
(Linfaldia Records, a division of Entity Productions)
Run Time: 52 minutes
Track Listing:
1. Mansion in the Mist
2. Forgotten Path
3. Time Outside of Time
4. Fallen Grandeur
5. Hands of Fate
6. The Drawing Room
7. Mausoleum d’Haverghast
8. Family Secrets
9. Last Breaths
10. Vertigo
11. The Watcher
12. Cellar
13. Cold Embrace
14. Hand in Hand Again
15. Harvest of Deceit
16. Footsteps in the Dust
17. Veiled Hunter
18. Sinister Pact
19. Grisly Reminder
20. Deadly Intentions
21. The Lost Room
22. Living Walls
23. Gruesome Discovery
24. Return of the Ancient Ones
25. The 13th Hour

4 out of 5

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Debi Moore

I'll see you on the other side...

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