The Haunting of Briarwood Manor – Raven Chronicles (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Although music is something which should be universally celebrated all-year round, some of it makes more sense at certain times in the calendar. You wouldn’t sing carols in the middle of summer nor Auld Lang Syne before sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner. And although there is so much to love found on this gorgeous and ornate orchestral album, it will probably find its biggest audience going into Halloween…as we are now.

Inspired by orchestral music, gothic suspense and edgy, horror film soundtracks, The Haunting of Briarwood Manor, the second in the Ghost Story Trilogy, is a lush and sweeping collection of instrumental sounds, woven from mystery and atmosphere, anticipation and dark elegance, gothic grace and spine-tingling tension.

The scope is fantastic, running from brooding, baroque piano lines to sweeping orchestral majesty, melancholic understatement to theatrical grandeur, from exquisite beauty to edge of the seat sonics.

And whilst there are many who may just wish to play such music to add effect to a Halloween dinner party or fright night film session, beyond such a specific use, the album’s charms are many and long-lasting. If Halloween is often about cheap thrills and even cheaper effects, Raven Chronicles have produced an album which is the exact opposite. It is lush and expansive, ornate and beautiful. You might just buy it for the Halloween party but you will find yourself playing it all year round. Trust me, I’m a journalist.

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