The 13th Hour is a studio album by Midnight Syndicate, released June 7, 2005, by Entity Productions. The album's premise is a tour through the Haverghast family mansion. The Haverghasts are the same family used in their other album, Gates of Delirium.This text has been derived from The 13th Hour on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
Midnight Syndicate is an American musical group that has been working mainly in the genre of gothic music since 1997 and is based out of Chardon, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. The band refers to their CDs as "soundtracks for the imagination" or "soundtracks to imaginary films." Most of the songs on their thirteen albums are characterized by a blend of instrumental music and sound effects and are commonly used to provide atmosphere during the Halloween season, in haunted attractions, and in the role-playing game industry.
Formation and Early years (1996-1998)
Composer/filmmaker Edward Douglas formed Midnight Syndicate in 1996 shortly after releasing a micro-budget, direct-to-video horror film called The Dead Matter (1996), FEARnet, October 2008. which he directed and scored and would later remake.Michael Gingold, "The Dead Matter: From Midnight music to a movie", Fangoria Magazine (New York, NY), August, 2010, Pg.6. Midnight Syndicate's self-titled debut album was released the following year. Midnight Syndicate album © date 1997-09-17 A majority of music on the album was written, arranged, and performed by Edward Douglas. Contributors included Scott Angus, Mark Rakocy, Dennis Carleton, Jamie Barbour, Ray Portler, the rap act Dark Side, and Christopher Robichaud. Douglas coined the term cine-fusion to describe the album. Cine-fusion is described in the album's liner notes as
:"a blending of movie soundtrack music and pop music... a compilation of soundtracks to movies that do not exist. The goal of the music is to stimulate the imaginations of listeners so that they are able to transport themselves to worlds or movies of their own creation."
Musically, the album contained an eclectic blend of styles including everything from dark instrumental music (of which three tracks appeared on future releases), rock,, Federico Marongiu, "Midnight Syndicate", Music Extreme (Argentina), 2001. rock-a-billy, techno, rap, new age, humor-pop, jazz, and space. Movie-style sound effects were employed in some tracks. In March 1998, a multimedia show was produced by Douglas and his company, Entity Productions, to support the album. The show included a blending of original short films, live music, animation, and stage performers.Charles Cassady, "On Fright Night and Beyond the Spookiest Sounds", West Life, October 25, 2006, Pg.11B.
In 1998, Douglas teamed up with gothic fantasy artist Joseph Vargo, and the two decided to create an exclusively dark-themed instrumental Midnight Syndicate album. Vargo developed the storyline and concept of a musical journey through a haunted castle, with the music reflecting his gothic artwork. Station WERE 1300, (Cleveland, OH.), October 1998., Paragon Magazine, October 2003. Leonard Pickel, "Midnight Syndicate: Setting the Mood for an Industry", Haunted Attraction Magazine (Charlotte, NC), June 2006, Pg. 24-28, 38-41 Composer Gavin Goszka, formerly a solo artist in a project called Lore, also joined Douglas and Vargo in the new Midnight Syndicate line-up. Together, they created Born of the Night, a groundbreaking album that appealed to fans of gothic music, the horror genre, and haunted attractions. Douglas and Goszka wrote and performed the music on the album while Vargo served as executive producer and creative director of the project, as well as writing and performing the vocals and narrations, and designing the cover art and packaging. The album and songs were also titled after several of Vargo's most popular paintings. Born of the Night was independently released in September 1998 through Vargo's Monolith Graphics and Douglas' Entity Productions, hitting the horror market just in time for the Halloween season. It was Midnight Syndicate's first critically acclaimed gothic-horror soundtrack and proved to be an instant success,John Soeder, "Gothic Horror Rock Featured This Weekend", The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), March 2, 2000. establishing Midnight Syndicate's trademark sound.
In March 2000, Realm of Shadows followed suit with the same flavor of dark instrumental music and another gothic setting. Douglas and Goszka wrote all of the music for this album while Vargo wrote and performed the opening narration and theme story. Again, the songs were titled after Vargo's artworks. Both albums were featured as official soundtracks for Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights, and used in several other major theme parks during Halloween, such as Busch Gardens, Cedar Point and Thorpe Park's Fright Nights event.Jeff Niesel, "Soundbites", (Cleveland, OH), October 14, 1999. The heavy metal band King Diamond also featured tracks from Born of the Night as opening music for their 2000 US tour. Afterwards, Vargo and Midnight Syndicate chose to work separately of one another on future projects. Peter Iorillo, "Something Wicked This Way Comes", Dark Realms Magazine (Cleveland, OH.), Issue 1, January 2001, Pg. 20-23.
Impact in Halloween music and the Haunted Attraction industry
Some say Midnight Syndicate's music has become synonymous with the celebration of Halloween. The music is commonly used as atmosphere for Halloween-themed events, stores, and parties (including Hugh Hefner's), as well as home decorating for trick-or-treating. Many credit them as helping to legitimize the genre of Halloween music (music for the Halloween holiday), elevating standards in the genre, and inspiring other musicians to create similar projects.Heather Adler, "Haunted Harmonies", Rue Morgue (Toronto, ON), Issue 50, Pg. 131 Jason Bracelin, Scene Magazine (Cleveland, OH), May 25, 2005, Pg. 10-13.Trevor Tuminski, "Hymns from the House of Horror", Rue Morgue (Toronto, ON), Issue 100, Pg.49. On September 11, 2009, AOL Radio released a list of the Top 10 Best Halloween Music CDs as ranked by AOL/CBS Radio listeners. Three of the ten CDs were Midnight Syndicate discs (Born of the Night #8, Realm of Shadows #4, and Vampyre #3), ranking behind Danny Elfman's The Nightmare Before Christmas and John Carpenter's Halloween soundtrack. Sara Anderson, AOL Radio Blog
Midnight Syndicate's music has been a standard of the haunted attraction industry worldwide for many years and they are credited with being the first company to produce soundtracks of quality specifically for that industry.John Horton, "Scary Music Writers Accomplish Their Ghouls", The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), October 17, 2006, Sec. A, Pg. A1. In 2005, Leonard Pickel, editor of Haunted Attraction Magazine estimated that "75-90% of the attractions in the industry had at least one Midnight Syndicate CD." The music is also used by amusement parks like Universal Orlando, Busch Gardens, King's Island, Six Flags, and Cedar Point that hold Halloween-themed events such as Halloween Horror Nights, Howl-O-Scream, and Fright Fest.Jim Vickers, "Scream Songs", Cleveland Magazine (Cleveland, OH), October 2006, Pg. 30.
Impact in the role-playing game industry
Midnight Syndicate's reputation and following in the role-playing game community rivals it's following in the horror community.Jeffrey Lee, "Background Music for Role-playing Games," Examiner, August 5, 2009 Their Dungeons & Dragons CD which reportedly broke previous sales records for gaming soundtracks in it's first month, established them as the leading supplier of music to the hobby game industry. Their The 13th Hour CD won the Origins Award for Best Gaming Accessory presented by the Academy of Adventure Game Art & Design, marking the first time a role-playing soundtrack or music CD had won the award.. In 2007, Midnight Syndicate teamed up with Goodman Games to produce Cages of Delirium a Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure based on Gates of Delirium which came packaged with the CD.
When record labels and distributors rejected the band's first two CDs, Douglas began building his own distribution network by selling CDs out of his van with Goszka and cold-calling hundreds of stores.Jennifer McKevitt, "Art of Darkness", News Herald (Mentor, OH), October 29, 2006, Sec. E, Pg.E1. Today Midnight Syndicate's CDs are self-distributed to thousands of retailers worldwide through Entity Productions, Inc. and its partners, making them one of the largest distributors of Halloween-themed music.Carl E. Feather, "A little night music", Star Beacon (Ashtabula, OH), October 30, 2006, Sec. B, Pg. B1. Entity Productions also distributed the 2010 version of The Dead Matter movie.Mark Koestner, "Dawn of his Dead", News Herald (Mentor, OH), July 30, 2010, Pg. C10.
Midnight Syndicate in television and film
In addition to The Rage and The Dead Matter, Midnight Syndicate's music has been featured in television programs such as Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People of 2002, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Today Show, Monday Night Football, NBA on TNT, Syfy's The Possessed and Halloween-themed specials on the Travel Channel. listing for Midnight Syndicate The music has also been used as theme music in independent horror films like Dead & Rotting, Revamped, Witchouse 3: Demon Fire and Song of the Vampire (AKA Vampire Resurrection).
Douglas has cited film composers such as Danny Elfman, James Horner, John Carpenter, Hans Zimmer, heavy metal acts King Diamond and Black Sabbath, radio dramas, and horror films as primary influences for Midnight Syndicate. Goszka has cited similar influences in addition to bands such as Dead Can Dance and early Genesis. interview with Gavin Goszka, October, 2010 interview with Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka, October 19, 2010. interview with Edward Douglas, October 31, 2008. interview with Edward Douglas, March 10, 2010.This text has been derived from Midnight Syndicate on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0