Just in time for Halloween, the soundsmiths at Midnight Syndicate have released another moody masterpiece, “Carnival Arcane.”
Don’t look for P.T. Barnum here. This is the sound of a turn-of-the-century freak show moving town to town, more “Something Wicked This Way Comes” than “The Greatest Show on Earth.” With musical strains of dark whimsy not unlike the “Cemetery Gates” track “Lullaby” or “Haunted Nursery” track from “Born of the Night,” the songs of “Carnival Arcane” convey the spirit of the freak show as well as hint to something supernatural just beneath the surface. “Carousel Ride” invokes thoughts of “The Lost Boys” soundtrack song “To the Shock of Miss Louise” while finding its own way to go off the rails. Never before used to this extent in previous albums, there are also several non-musical tracks between the melodies, some even with actual voices characterizing barkers and carnies overheard plotting mischief from just behind a drawn, weathered tent flap.
Fans of Midnight Syndicate will welcome the new work, but don’t be surprised if you suspect knife-wielding clowns are creeping up behind you and ducking out of sight just as you turn around (unless, of course, that’s the kind of thing you’re into).