Band of the Week: Midnight Syndicate 

Meet the Band: Ed Douglas (composer, piano), Gavin Goszka (composer, piano)

The Early Days: The band formed in 1995 as Douglas, who was just out of college, recorded a soundtrack to his low-budget horror flick The Dead Matter. The band has gone on to release 17 studio albums (that number includes movie soundtracks). "I look back on those days fondly," Douglas says. "I feel fortunate we've been able to continue doing what we've been doing. This is what I love to do. I love making dark instrumental music and blending it in more to pull you into a world."

Old School Approach: "Classic horror is at the core of everything we do," says Douglas. "I think that like our music, we leave it up to the imagination. The early filmmakers really relied on the imagination and a lot of it is losing yourself in the scenery and characters." Douglas says the band aims to pay tribute to those early films with the band's latest album, Monsters of Legend. "We wanted to make a CD focused on the early years," he says. "We put you into the world of those classic horror films. You might hear the Wolfman and the vampires. You're in that world and that's the concept behind this album. We didn't want to have super synthy instruments. I think you can hear more of a classical music influence."

Come in Costume: The band is encouraging fans to come to its release party in costume. Some of the prizes the guys are offering up: prop weapons and masks from Screamline Studios, "a one of a kind prop" from Red Reign FX; make-up DVDs from Shutter Productions and a variety of rare Midnight Syndicate merch. "Some of the local haunt designers and actors are coming over," says Douglas, "and we'll decorate the whole place up and we're going to come on and talk about the creation process and hang out and meet people."

Why You Should Hear Them: The songs on Monsters of Legend are grandiose instrumentals. "It Lives!," for example, makes it sound like an entire orchestra is in the room. And there's some spooky special effects that filter into the track "Into the Valley of Shadows."

Where You Can Hear Them: midnightsyndicate.com

Where You Can See Them: Midnight Syndicate hosts a CD release party at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, at the Boneyard in Mayfield Heights.

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