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.
Nox Arcana created the music for Blood of Angels in 2006, an album featuring vocals and lyrics by noted gothic author and classical vocalist Michelle Belanger. In keeping with the insane pace that Vargo sets for all of his projects, the album was written and recorded in only 5 days. During this time Nox Arcana also delved 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. Nox Arcana also explored the mysteries of the deep with Phantoms of the High Seas, a ghostly adventure steeped in pirate lore. Their gothic-Christmas release Winter's Knight peaked at #8 on the Billboard Music Chart for Best Holiday Album in 2006 and 2007.
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: Winter's Eve and Winter's Majesty continues the celebration of the magic and wonder of the winter season. 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 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. Joseph also composed the music for two Buzz-Works albums, Zombie Influx and House of Nightmares.
Joseph's release of Legion of Shadows marks Nox Arcana's 10 year anniversary and is dedicated to their fans. William simultaneously debuted his solo project, the original motion picture soundtrack for the vampire film Crimson Winter. Joseph plans to revisit the magical forest of Ebonshire each year with a new volume of songs for the winter holiday season. With the latest release of GOTHIC Nox Arcana dares the listener to stay the night in a haunted mansion.
Over the past decade, Nox Arcana has released a total of 23 albums, comprising more than 400 compositions, and has become the foremost provider of specialty theme music. 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.