Carnival Arcane – Midnight Syndicate

“Carnival Arcane” By Midnight Syndicate

Produced By Midnight Syndicate

4.5 out of 5

There has always been something very mysterious about carnivals.  The workers who run the rides, the side show freaks, the clowns and just the atmosphere that surrounds the whole carnival genre.  Now there has been many movies made about carnivals.  There was Todd Brownings “Freaks” from the 1930’s,  The Hammer Studios “Vampire Circus” and “Carney” with Jodie Foster and Gary Busey.  But to the best of my memory there has never been a band that dedicated a whole cd to carnivals.  That is until now.  Midnight Syndicate’s 14th cd “Carnival Arcane” takes the listener into The Lancaster-Rigby Carnival and gives him or her a glimpse of the real mysterious side of the show.

Ed Douglas, who is a member of Midnight Syndicate, told me about the bands up coming release at the Monster Bash in Butler, Pa in June.  I thought this would be a great idea for a full length cd if done right and I have to say Midnight Syndicate hit the nail right on the head at capturing the sound and feel of a real carnival.

From the minute you first put this cd in the player you are transported to another world.  A world that is very strange, dark and full of secerts. “Mesonoxian Vistors” starts the cd and if you close your eyes you can see a whole carnival stopping for a stay in small unsuspecting town in the middle of nowhere.  “Welcome To Carnival” introduces you to the carnival barker welcoming you to the show.  As you walk down “The Midway” you are amazed at what you see to your left and right.

The thing that I like the most about this album is the fact that each of the songs brings to my mind something that I have see or read about from a carnival.  Like “Stange Menagerie” reminds me of going to the fair with my mom and walking into the tent that house the two headed cows and horses.  “Madame Zora” and “Agent Of Fortune” introduce you to the strange fortune teller lady who for a small fee will tell you what is in store for your future.  I really like the song “Dr Atmore’s Elixir Of Good Humour And Fortification” brings to mind the guy with the tonics that could cure all ills.  You are visited next by “Alura The Snake Lady.”  The beautiful woman who walks out on stage with a big snake wrapped around her body.

You are next taken to the circus as you head “Under The Big Top” and gaze in amazement at the trapeze acts, elephants and other acts.  And what trip to a carnival would be complete without a visit to the “Freakshow”?  This is one of the darker songs on the cd and is a tribute to the unfortunate souls who because of some physical deformity were forced to make a living traveling town to town with the show.

Next you find yourself walking down the midway again. You climb on the “Carousel Ride”, visit “Kiddieland” and “Krellsig’s Kastle Of Fun”.  Another one of my favorite tracks on the cd is “Lights Out” which is one of the final songs on the cd. Once again let me add that as each song plays you can close eyes and let you imagination run wild and picture yourself experiencing each and everyone of these attractions.  This is what I find to be so special about this album, the ability to transport the listener to the scene that is unfolding.

There are a total of 26 tracks on the cd.  I have just scratched the surface with the songs I have mentioned. The songs range in length from one minute to 5 minutes long.  The only gripe I have about this cd is I wish some of the shorter songs were expanded and a little longer.  But believe me this didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the cd.  This is a very unique musical experience and thoroughly enjoyed every second of the album.

Midnight Syndicate’s website describes their sound as “Gothic, horror, fantasy soundtracks for the imagination”.  If you ask me, I would love to see a film made based on the songs from this cd.  It would be really cool for someone to put some visuals to these sounds.

Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka who make up Midnight Syndicate, formed the band 14 years ago.  I think this cd will really get the attention of a lot of people.  I am usually not a huge fan of instrumental music but this one just grabbed me and sucked me right in and I am willing to bet that it will do the same to you.

You can buy the cd on line at iTunes and at Midnight Syndicate’s Website