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13th Hour (Midnight Syndicate) CD Review

Posted on September 6, 2005 by Flames


Available at Amazon.com

Music by Midnight Syndicate

Review written by Monica Valentinelli

Haverghast Mansion sits beyond a path through the mist, where crickets herald your coming and cascading violins cry of deadly possibilities. “The 13th Hour”, a “haunting blend of horror movie music, dark orchestration, and chilling sound effects”, is more than just a group of sounds thrown together on a page. It’s a purposeful collection of music designed to tell a story from the first song title to the next. Songs like “Mansion in the Mist” conjure images of a Victorian mansion decayed through time and neglect, flow into the next by an expert set of unseen hands.

Once of the challenging things about writing and producing instrumental music, is that it needs to appear effortless, continuous, and distinguishable. The music in “The 13th Hour” fits into a story; the tempo quickens with your breath, the minor keys swell into harmonic chords as your blood chills. The ebb and flow of the music would do well for any horror movie as well as any Lovecraft tale that presses on about conjuring a “Sinister Pact” with something dark or watch the “Return of the Ancient Ones.”

A masterful blend of seamless orchestration, “The 13th Hour” accomplishes what a great number of horror music anthologies can not—it transforms music into mood, without sounding campy, jarring or too electronic. You won’t find wolves howling or bones rattling on this soundtrack, but you don’t need to. Midnight Syndicate has offered its listeners a CD that is both functional and jarring—you feel a bead of sweat dripping down your forehead as you hear this music in the background of your Call of Cthulu or Vampire: the Requiem game. You know that something comes your way, and shiver as you feel a cold breeze that may not necessarily be coming from your icebox. The only drawback to these songs is that they have such minute subtleties that they require playing on a decent stereo.

“The 13th Hour” is truly the best instrumental of its kind. Midnight Syndicate summons more than haunting melodies on this hour-long CD, offered through Amazon.com for $13.99 new. Not a bad price considering the painstaking care these artists have taken to help you feel…fear.

Other Midnight Syndicate projects:

Vampyre * Born of the Night * Dungeons & Dragons Soundtrack

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