| Artist: Midnight Syndicate|
CD Title: Dungeons & Dragons Official Roleplaying Soundtrack
Label: Linfaldia Records
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Well known for their ethereal horror soundscapes, Midnight Syndicate's blend of dark synth orchestration and occasional processed sounds have long been associated with Halloween. Now they've received the honor of being the first band to score an official soundtrack to the legendary Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. Granted, I'm not particularly into roleplaying outside of the occasional videogame and personally really know very little about Dungeons & Dragons, and, as such, was a bit apprehensive when this disc arrived for review. However, I can say that the band's sound has translated fairly well to the fantasy/roleplaying realm without any radical changes. In fact, much of what is found here is more or less comparable in both songwriting and sound to the band's previous horror-oriented work.
The main difference between this album and the band's past is a greater emphasis on up-tempo or epic orchestral tracks and mystical or even occasional medieval elements while toning down or, in some cases, completely abandoning some of the eerie, moody elements of their previous work. Granted, the sonic formula is more or less the same. You'll find the same synth choirs, synthetic orchestral elements and percussion, piano, and bells that have graced previous Midnight Syndicate offerings. It's the songwriting that has been altered, albeit not radically so. Overall, the album's sound is somewhat akin to the synthetic music you'd be likely to find in a modern medieval/heroic roleplaying videogame, which, I'd say, fits the Dungeons & Dragons theme perfectly.
Fans of the band's past work will find the same strong songwriting and production in a less horror-oriented package. If you're looking for something that would be well received in…say…a haunted house or have an aversion to Dungeons & Dragons, you'd be better off steering clear of this thematic roleplaying soundtrack. However, Dungeons & Dragons players and more stylistically open-minded fans that don't mind the album's underlying Dungeons & Dragons theme will likely find this to be a suitable fantasy soundtrack.
Midnight Syndicate website: www.midnightsyndicate.com
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