Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas A Ghostly Gathering Reviewed

Yeah, it's that time of year.  Every loudspeaker in every shop is blaring Christmas music in an attempt to get people in the holiday mood and happy enough to part with more of their hard earned cash.  And unfortunately, many of those tunes amount to endless renditions of Rudolph and Here Comes Santa Claus performed by the latest fabricated teen "sensations."
Now, I don't know about you, but I find that about as appealing as the old fruitcake that grandmothers try to dish out each year.

Fortunately, if you do like Christmas music, there's a new offering this year that harkens back to traditional music and the creepy side of the season.  Yes, that's right, I said the creepy side.

In the flurry of modern consumerism, people often forget that there are many supernatural tales and customs associated with the Christmas season.  From the ghosts of Charles Dickens' classic Christmas Carol to the weird traditions of Krampus, the yule season has many mysterious elements.

Enter Midnight Syndicate.  The Syndicate is Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka.  Together, they've created numerous albums with defined themes that invoke spooky images, from carnivals, to graveyards and haunted castles, the duo has built music around a range of different environments.

Now, these masters of Halloween and Gothic music, have turned their attention to Christmas with their newest release, "Christmas A Ghostly Gathering."

The album is a perfect mix of original material from the band, blended with their own take on such classics as God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman and Angels We Have Heard On High.  A wide range of instruments is employed from the harp to the organ and even a choir.

Midnight Syndicate is known for music that creates an atmospheric effect, and they've certainly succeeded here. 
This passage from the cd's liner notes helps you imagine the tone set by the music:

"As fierce winter winds cut across the frozen landscape, a welcoming golden glow beckons from the windows of a venerable country mansion. Decorated in the festive trappings of Yule, its stately walls seem to offer a much-needed respite for the weary traveler. But the holiday spirits are restless and eager for company this night, as the haunting strains of melodies old and new call forth from the shadows."

Of the 16 tracks, 5 are original while the remaining are classic pieces with a twist.  I especially enjoyed the original pieces, Night of the Krampus and Christmas at Midnight.  But really, the entire album is spectacular.  I'm a bit biased I suppose, I've long been fans of these guys and own all their CDs, but really, if you want something unique for your Christmas playlist, give this one a shot.

Christmas A Ghostly Gathering, along with the group's previous albums, is available at:

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