The group Midnight Syndicate is known primarily to those who have a taste for gothic or darker themed music. In truth if one is to look at their catalog they will find quite a bit of their music features around periods, such as Halloween, like their album Monsters of Legend. The group has also been involved in movie soundtracks as well doing work on “Axe Giant the Wrath of Paul Bunyan” and “The Dead Matter”.
The songs will bring back a lyric from, It’s the Most Beautiful Time of the Year which states, “There’ll be scary ghost stories”. I write those words as these are not the cheerful songs that flood music systems from a mall to the radio. These songs will leave the listener wanting to curl up in a blanket by a roaring fire place. They will help harken the listener back to a period before there was Television and radio. This being a time where people where unplugged with no radio, no television and horror of horror no internet. A time in the world where people entertained each other by telling stories, and all one must do is look at Charles Dickens’ book A Christmas Carol for inspiration.
The album has many tracks with names Christmas music lovers will surely recognize. The titles may be familiar but the group does their own theme on the songs. The music is at times joyful and upbeat but as well there is enough of a gothic overtone underneath that one will look for that blanket to curl into.
The best thing I can say about Midnight Syndicates Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering is how it isn’t your normal offering for this time of year. It may have a dark feel to the music but that is one of the best aspects to the music. A listener will not fall into a diabetic coma from the “sugary” upbeat substance of the music. The same music you will often hear friends, or family, complaining about as to often it starts before Thanksgiving arrives. In truth, I held onto this review for after the holiday just for that reason as I feel Christmas music should wait till the start of December. I am however kicking myself a bit as this album can be enjoyed at any time due to the way the group worked their musical magic.
I will be putting a track list below but I must pay respect for what I think is one of my favorite songs from the album. It is the piece title “Little Helpers”. I want to say this title wraps up what I take out of the entire album. There are little bits of childish, but devilish laughter within the song. The bells used are at first upbeat and the whistles used make one picture a sugar plum type of setting. A place where you see people and laughing in a forest of giant candy canes and other upbeat images that comes to mind. It is then that the darker laughter is heard from off to the right, or is it left. Laughter that makes one imagine small little creatures running through the forest causing mayhem behind them in this beautiful landscape. I realize that seems dark but it fits the mold of the album in my humble opinion. As in each well-known title there is just that bit of dark undertone that keeps the listeners imagination wondering what may be next as the listen to the music.
- Christmas Overture
- Dance of the Sugary Plum Fairy
- Carol of the Bells
- Night of the Krampus
- Angels We Heard on High
- Up on the Housetop
- God Rest ye Merry, Gentlemen
- Coventry Carol
- Little Helpers
- Sing We Now of Christmas
- Winter Storm
- Into the Stillness
- The Parade of Tin Soldiers
- Everywhere, Everywhere, Christmas Tonight
- Christmas at Midnight