Rev. Warlock DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE (dblackthorne) wrote,

The Spook Show is in town!

Midnight Syndicate: Carnival Arcane
"The train smoke drifting through the pale moon light signals the arrival of the Lancaster-Rigby Carnival. In a forest clearing, these mesonoxian visitors await your arrival. Stroll along the midway and behold wonders both fantastic and macabre from every corner of the globe. And be sure to ride their one of a kind carousel for an experience you'll never, ever forget."

Always having had an interest in carnival culture accented by Dr. LaVey's interest, I once acquired the book Very Special People by Frederick Drimmer, filled with the most wonderful relations and displays of human oddities in the world. From the bearded woman, the strong man, the Siamese twins, the two-headed boy and girl, to giants, the hersuit, midgets, living skeletons, pinheads, albinos, the mule-faced woman, and the beloved elephant man.

Carnival Arcane brings to mind all these delightful "freaks" of the sideshow, including prestidigitators, fortunate tellers, magic potion salesmen, clowns, and the rest. The incomparable Nox Arcana* also has a release with a similar theme entitled "Carnival of Lost Souls", which is highly recommended.

From the entrance of the Hell Train, while autumn leaves scurry along the pathways and dance in the sweet smoke-scented air, you definitely feel as if you are there, where each segment opens up to another dream or nightmare, always obscuring the lines between fantasy and reality - where all the elements have come together so thoroughly that a created reality takes precedence, holding the magic of illusion and wonder so dynamically. One can definitely perceive a dark energy underlying the compositions illustrating the lambent world of the carnival nicely.

The insert contains a menagerie of archival sepia photographs of various freaks, including clowns, the bearded woman, the snake lady, a fortune teller, the magician, acrobats, and strongmen.

Along with the instrumentations, sound effects accentuate the adventure creating a dimension which is both penetrating and enriching. As you submerge yourself in this shadowy wonderworld, you may find yourself a permanent part of the show. ∞

Track List {personal favorites highlighted}

1. Mesonoxian Visitors 2. Midway 3. Welcome to the Carnival 4. Canvas Wonderland 5. Midway Reprise 6. A Strange Menagerie 7. Madame Zora 8. Agent of Fortune 9. Dr. Atmore's Elixirs of Good Humour and Fortification 10. Alura the Snake Lady 11. Arcane Wonders 12. Under the Big Top 13. Freakshow 14. Pulling the Strings 15. Carousel Ride 16. Revelation 17. Goons and Greasepaint 18. Kiddieland 19. Krellsig's Kastle of Fun 20. Diversions in the Dark 21. Twisted Labyrinth 22. Cheval Glass 23. Sea of Laughter 24. Lights Out 25. Epilogue 26. Crum Car (BONUS)

* Between the two, Nox Arcana seems to have more "soul", as it were - an even deeper gothic sensibility, while MS sounds almost rudimentary at times. In several instances, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Vargo should be well complimented. It gives the impression that MS produces film soundtracks, while Nox Arcana's creations are an opus unto themselves, with original artistry, mind game puzzles & riddles, and story lines from the darkly erotic, gothically romantic, to the abyssal and horrific. Even so, because of Vargo's undeniable influence, it is pleasing that this is a particular genre that should be nourished.

Tags: halloween, horror, malefick musick, midnight syndicate, nox arcana, review

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