Over the course of 23 tracks, Douglas and Goszka show off their knack for fantasy. The Syndicate's cinematic influences can be heard in the epic-sounding "Final Confrontation": Cues from John Williams and John Carpenter's Halloween are present, but not to the point of sounding hackneyed. The most interesting moments take place in "Behind Door #1" and "The Fens of Sargath" -- tense, creepy items that could easily have been part of Dario Argento's Suspiria. The album's a solid effort: serious-sounding, but not trapped in heavy-handed clichés or new-age tripe. It'd be well suited as background music to the next weekend dragon-slaying campaign fueled by Mountain Dew, cheese puffs, and 20-sided dice. Or as the soundtrack to the epic campaign of cleaning your apartment.
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