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 their literary interests, these masters of the macabre pay tribute to many of their 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 delve into the realms of fantasy with their 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. Their gothic-Christmas release Winter's Knight peaked at #8 on the Billboard Music Chart for Best Holiday Album in 2006. Winter's Eve continues the celebration of the magic and wonder of the winter season, and although Joseph Vargo had always been the major songwriter of Nox Arcana, this was the first album that he wrote and performed entirely by himself. Nox Arcana returned to the wintery realm of Ebonshire forest with their release Winter's Majesty, marking the third and final installment of their winter-holiday albums.
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 have 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. Their latest release, Legion of Shadows, marks Nox Arcana's 10 year anniversary, with 21 all new instrumental tracks dedicated to their fans and all creatures of the night.
JOSEPH VARGO, composer, founder and producer of Nox Arcana, has produced 20 albums to date: 15 Nox Arcana albums and 5 albums with other recording artists, including Michelle Belanger and Jeff Hartz of Buzz-Works. Vargo has also contributed music and narrations for various bands including Legion of the Damned and Acid Witch.
He achieved international acclaim in 1993 as a gothic fantasy artist with the release of a series of visual works entitled "Born of the Night," a title which has become synonymous with his gothic empire. In 1998 and 1999, Joseph Vargo produced, financed, directed and performed on the gothic-themed albums, Born of the Night and Realm of Shadows, creating a unique sound and style of music for the Halloween industry.
In addition to his music, Vargo has created various artistic and literary projects including Tales From The Dark Tower and The Gothic Tarot. His artbook, Born of the Night: The Gothic Fantasy Artwork of Joseph Vargo, features a collection of over 100 paintings and illustrations from about 1988 to 2005. His artwork has been featured in Spectrum's international collection The Best in Contemporary Fantasy Art, in Dark's Art Parlor Dark Visions collection, and in numerous other horror publications including 32 covers and countless illustrations for Dark Realms Magazine, Vampir, and the UK’s Bite Me. His artwork has been featured in productions by broadcast and film companies such as NBC, Universal, A&E, 20th Century Fox and The Discovery Channel.
Be sure to visit JosephVargo.com to see hundreds of paintings and illustrations, and to read more of his extensive biography including complete publishing credits and in-depth interviews.
WILLIAM PIOTROWSKI, composer (2003-2008) and engineer for Nox Arcana, began his professional music career at the early age of 15 when he created the musical score for an independent production entitled "Ghosts of Ohio," a video documentary about the original "Ghost Whisperer," which became a popular TV series on CBS. William plays guitar and keyboards, and is well versed in digital recording technology. William's expertise as a studio engineer enables him to bring Nox Arcana's artistic visions to life. William is currently in LA pursuing a film music career but continues to act as the studio engineer for Nox Arcana.