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Midnight Syndicate – Zombies – Board Game Soundtrack

Label: Linfaldia Records
Format: CD
Released: 2016
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 10/ 10


Once again in time for the Halloween season and festivities, the Syndicate deliver yet another movie score worthy album of music. “Zombies – Board Game Soundtrack” is their twentieth album, and like previous ones, the duo Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka, plan very carefully how the music is composed around each given album title.

 

For the Zombies game, the opening ‘It Begins’, draws a little familiarity to the Walking Dead in its dramatic tone in the building keys and piano. ‘Where Did Everyone Go’ follows, and does give the listener the sense of dread and fear, abandonment, in the way low droning horns and keys complement each other amongst the strings. ‘They’re Coming For You’ as well, carries a low pulsating throb (including sound effects doors, dragging footsteps, etc), which really fleshes (rotting?) out this piece, very suitable for game play, jumping right in to the aggressive charge of ‘Silent Miscalculation’, which uses some excellent dramatic (Conan the Barbarian-esque) horns, strings, sound effects, punctuating the more action driven part to the game.

‘Last Day To Live’ brings back a previous Syndicate piece (‘The Watcher’ from “The 13th Hour”), and has a more haunted castle energy to the ghostly use of keys. ‘No Escape’ nicely creates an atmosphere you’d maybe hear in a creature feature, and splashes of the horns signals the monsters arrival. ‘Town Square’ begins with outdoor sounds - thunder and rain, a creaky gate, a damaged car, a rustling, footsteps, and more dramatic use of horns. Another piece set to bring a chilling atmosphere to game play. More sound effects bring you into ‘Raiding Todd’s Tool Shop’, while ‘Veiled Hunter’ recalls another previous Syndicate composition with playful trade off of piano themes and ominous intent. ‘We’re Screwed’ = one of the best song titles ever! Lol, and in its two minutes works with various instrumentation to create a soundscape that does signal doom.

“Zombies” is one of my favorite, and well composed/arranged, Midnight Syndicate albums. It has an excellent balance between orchestration and sound effects, peaks and valleys, while not including anything too specific melody or thematically. So really you could use this score in almost any kind of haunted attraction. This one will definitely be played on Halloween night outside my house to bring to life the lawn display, and entertain the trick-or-treaters.

 
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