- Born of the night, we are shadows.
A strange, creepy, yet compelling mix of neoclassical music, dark ambience, and Heavy Mithril, Midnight Syndicate is an Ohio-based music group that creates "soundtracks to movies that do not exist". Their discography is lengthy and notable for its gothic tone and use of sound effects. They have been recognized for their impact on creating atmosphere for the holiday of Halloween, haunted house attractions, amusement parks, and tabletop gaming. Recently they have begun scoring actual films.
After releasing an eclectic eponymous CD in 1997, Douglas teamed up with gothic artist Joseph Vargo and Gavin Goszka to create an exclusively dark-themed Midnight Syndicate CD called Born of the Night. With music written by Douglas and Goszka based on Vargo's artwork and featuring narrations performed by Vargo, Born of the Night was a mammoth success, putting the band firmly on the gothic music map. In 2000, the band followed it up with Realm Of Shadows, which followed the same formula of music written by Douglas and Goszka following Vargo's art, and narrations done by the latter. Unfortunately, Vargo split from the group shortly after Realm of Shadows (Creative Differences was the most common theory). Four years later, Vargo would go on to form Nox Arcana.
In 2001, Goszka and Douglas introduced the Haverghast family (a recurring theme throughout some of their later discs) with their haunted asylum-themed CD Gates of Delirium. Over the next nine years, they explored themes such as haunted Victorian mansions, vampires, and Egyptian lore on their albums. Their long discography also includes the official soundtrack to the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, the soundtrack to the 2008 film The Rage, and the soundtrack to a film that they produced entitled The Dead Matter.
The Dead Matter, a horror movie about a woman's efforts to bring back her dead brother (which leads to a whole 'nuther mess involving zombies, ancient artifacts, and warring vampire lords) premiered in 2010. Despite going straight to DVD, it's earned very positive feedback from reviewers. A Midnight Syndicate CD entitled The Dead Matter: Cemetery Gates featuring music inspired by themes in the movie (and several songs from the score) was released before the actual film.
- Midnight Syndicate (1997)
- Born Of The Night (1998)
- Realm Of Shadows (2000)
- Gates Of Delirium (2001)
- Vampyre: Symphonies From The Crypt (2002)
- Dungeons And Dragons (2003)
- The 13th Hour (2005)
- Out Of The Darkness: Retrospective 1994-1999 (2006)
- The Rage: Official Motion Picture Soundtrack (2008)
- The Dead Matter: Cemetery Gates (2008) - Contains music inspired by the movie and several tracks from the score
- The Dead Matter: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2010) - Contains the score and other music that appears in the movie.
- Halloween Music Collection (2010) - A best-of collection
- Dark Masquerade (2010) - Songs from Midnight Syndicate featuring additional vocals performed by Destini Beard
- Carnival Arcane (2011) - A soundscape planned around the concept of a haunted carnival attraction.
- Monsters of Legend (2013) - A tribute to the classic Universal and Hammer horror movies.
- Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering (2015) - A christmas album, but with a Midnight Syndicate flavour.
(The Dead Matter has its own page.)
This band contains examples of:
- All There in the Manual: Apart from the theme and tone of the music, the album inserts give some insight in the story the music is trying to tell.
- Bedlam House: The setting of their 2001 album Gates of Delirium.
- Circus of Fear: Carnival Arcane revolves around this trope.
- Concept Album: Almost all of Midnight Syndicate's albums have had an overarching theme to them, including a backstory of some kind.
- Creepy Child: Douglas' young daughter on Footsteps in the Dust
- Early Installment Weirdness: The very first album had only three or four tracks that sound anything like the Midnight Syndicate most people know.
- Ethereal Choir: Residents Past soaring choirs from beyond the grave.
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: At least twice an album, frequently more.
- Genre-Busting: Their eponymous debut album experimented with rap, techno and rock before the group settled on being predominantly dark classical.
- Haunted House: The setting of their 2005 album The 13th Hour.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: Used to great effect in the original version of Haunted Nursery from Born of the Night and on Footsteps in the Dust from The 13th Hour
- Heavy Mithril: The official roleplaying game sound to Dungeons & Dragons, these albums also work well for a game of in The World of Darkness or Call of Cthulhu.
- Hidden Track: The Dungeons And Dragons album has a very short unlisted 24th track, which is simply the sound of dice rolling, followed by a voice saying "uh oh", and some ominous otherworldly sounds - apparently it's meant to represent a hapless D & D player accidentally summoning something from the game into the real world. The track is only on physical copies of the CD and hasn't officially been made available digitally.
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Double whammy with Haverghast Asylum and Haverghast Mansion.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: Oftentimes, themes or story elements from one album can be found in another.
- Lonely Piano Piece: Some of the best Midnight Syndicate tracks - Soliloquy, Night Beckons, Ruins on Bone Hill, although they tend to be a bit darker than purely sad.
- Mad Doctor: All of the doctors in Gates Of Delirium
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Subverted, as the choirs on their albums seem to be singing in gibberish.
- Ominous Music Box Tune: Doesn't get much creepier than Haunted Nursery, Grisly Reminder, and Lullaby
- Ominous Pipe Organ: Present in every CD, Fallen Grandeur, Sinister Pact are two good examples
- One-Woman Song: Adelaide from Gates of Delirium (she has such a pretty singing voice doesn't she?)
- Prequel: Gates Of Delirium is a prequel to The 13th Hour - the house in 13th is the long-abandoned Haverghast asylum, with our adventurer discovering the dark secrets of his family's past.