2003 – present (15 years)
Nox Arcana is renowned for creating haunting, gothic-themed soundscapes with classic horror references, strong literary influences, original and captivating storylines, and hidden riddles and elaborate puzzles. The band is the musical manifestation of gothic fantasy artist Joseph Vargo. After successfully producing several gothic, horror-themed concept albums for other bands, Vargo formed Nox Arcana with fellow musician William Piotrowski in 2003. The name Nox Arcana is derived from two Latin words, which roughly translate to "mysteries of the night."
Nox Arcana's debut album, Darklore Manor, was featured as the musical score for the WB's televised special of the 1922 silent film classic, Nosferatu, and has spawned a book of original horror stories, The Legend of Darklore Manor and Other Tales of Terror. Their haunting Gothic soundtracks have also been used in theatrical productions of Bram Stokers' Dracula, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and Lewis Carrol's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. During the Halloween season the music of Nox Arcana can be heard throughout haunted attractions and theme parks around the world, including Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, Six Flags, and Knott’s Berry Farm.
In keeping with Vargo's literary interests, several concept albums pay tribute to many of his favorite authors. The darkly seductive album, Transylvania, ventures into the land of vampires, musically expounding upon Bram Stoker's Dracula. The sinister Necronomicon is brought to life in Nox Arcana's homage to H.P. Lovecraft. And the unsettling Blackthorn Asylum explores the horrors of a forsaken 19th century sanitarium with an original storyline that expands upon Lovecraft's "From Beyond." Carnival of Lost Souls takes listeners inside an old-fashioned traveling circus that harbors living nightmares and sinister secrets, in the tradition of Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes." The morbid and melancholy Shadow of the Raven pays tribute to the great Edgar Allan Poe, and the darkly enchanting Grimm Tales album brings the childhood nightmares of the Brothers Grimm to life. Theater of Illusion conjures a realm of mystery and dark magic, set in an old Vaudeville theater, hidden from the outside world, where master magicians gather to display their talents every Halloween night. The Dark Tower is a sinister symphony based on Joseph Vargo's original book series, Tales From The Dark Tower, and its sequel, Beyond The Dark Tower, which follows an epic saga of the vampire Lord Brom and his quest to solve the ancient mysteries of the accursed keep.
Nox Arcana also delves into the realms of fantasy with the medieval sword and sorcery epic, Blood of the Dragon, which stormed in at #4 on Amazon's New Age chart, and Phantoms of the High Seas, a ghostly adventure steeped in pirate lore that explores mysteries of the deep. The gothic-Christmas release Winter's Knight peaked at #8 on the Billboard Music Chart for Best Holiday Album in 2006. Winter's Eve continued the celebration of the magic and wonder of the winter season. Nox Arcana returned to the wintery realm of Ebonshire forest with Winter's Majesty, marking the third and final installment of winter-holiday albums.
Since the early stages of Blackthorn Asylum, Nox Arcana has been the solo project of Joseph Vargo, who has been the sole composer and musician on all subsequent albums, including Winter's Eve, Theater of Illusion, The Dark Tower, Winter's Majesty, Legion Of Shadows and Ebonshire. Vargo has also composed the music for two Buzz-Works CDs (Zombie Influx and House of Nightmares), as well as the musical scores for the cable series Eerie America and the upcoming computer game The Cabinets of Doctor Arcana.
As with all of Nox Arcana’s albums, the concepts and themes are of personal interest to Joseph Vargo, who also creates the lavish artwork, captivating storylines and hidden puzzles that accompany each CD. The section called The Arcanum offers entertaining information about Nox Arcana's favorite authors and arcane subjects.
Over the past decade, Nox Arcana has released a total of 18 full-length albums, comprising more than 380 compositions, and have never re-released any of their material on other albums. The latest release, Legion of Shadows, marks the band's 10 year anniversary, with 21 all new instrumental tracks dedicated to Nox Arcana's fans and all creatures of the night.
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