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|Nox Arcana is renowned for creating haunting, gothic-themed soundscapes with classic horror references, strong literary influences, original captivating storylines, 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. Their 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. The unsettling and creepy Blackthorn Asylum explores the horrors of a forsaken 19th century sanitarium with an original storyline that expands upon Lovecraft's "From Beyond." Their morbid and melancholy Shadow of the Raven pays tribute to the great Edgar Allan Poe, and their darkly enchanting Grimm Tales album brings the childhood nightmares of the Brothers Grimm to life.
In addition to their popular Halloween concept CDs, their gothic-Christmas release Winter's Knight peaked at #8 on Billboard's Top Ten Best Holiday Albums in 2006. The band's 2009 release Winter's Eve continues to celebrate the magic and wonder of the winter season. The medieval sword and sorcery epic, Blood of the Dragon stormed in at #4 on Amazon's New Age chart, and Phantoms of the High Seas is a ghostly adventure steeped in pirate lore that explores mysteries of the deep.
Nox Arcana's latest release Theater of Illusion conjures a realm of mystery and dark magic. The haunting melodies, mystical rhythms and pulse-pounding orchestrations relate a story about an old theater that is haunted by phantom magicians. As with all of Nox Arcana's concept CDs, this theme is one of personal interest to composer Joseph Vargo, who is a lifelong fan of stage magic. "Our music has always been very popular with magicians, and several professional illusionists have used various Nox Arcana CDs to enhance their acts. With Theater of Illusion, I wanted to create something specifically for magicians and fans of dark fantasy." The story is set in an old Vaudeville theater, hidden from the outside world, where master magicians gather to display their talents every Halloween night.
In addition to an extensive repertoire of music, the albums feature Joseph Vargo's lavish artwork, captivating original storylines and hidden puzzles. On the band's website, a section called The Arcanum offers entertaining information about Nox Arcana's favorite authors and arcane subjects.
Joseph Vargo, composer, founder and producer of Nox Arcana, has produced 16 albums to date, 12 Nox Arcana albums in addition to 4 other albums with various recording artists. He has also contributed music and narrations for various bands including Legion of the Damned and Acid Witch. In 2011, Vargo will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of his publishing company, Monolith Graphics, a world-leading producer of gothic and dark-themed products.
Joseph Vargo is an internationally acclaimed gothic fantasy artist and writer. He achieved international acclaim in 1993 with the release of a series of artistic works entitled "Born of the Night," a title which has become synonymous with his gothic empire. 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.
In 1998 and 1999, Joseph Vargo produced, financed, directed and performed on the gothic-themed albums, Born of the Night and Realm of Shadows, drastically changing the sound and style of Midnight Syndicate to target the Halloween industry. In addition to 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. Vargo's latest book, The Legend of Darklore Manor and Other Tales of Terror, contains 13 sinister stories including the novella that chronicles the grim history of the haunted mansion that inspired Nox Arcana's debut album. 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 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," now a popular TV series on CBS. William plays several instruments including guitar and keyboards, and is well versed in digital recording technology. William's interests in the realm of the supernatural are reflected in his dark, symphonic compositions and his expertise as a studio engineer enables him to bring Nox Arcana's artistic visions to life. William has recently graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor's degree in art and music. In 2009, William left the band to pursue other interests but continues to act as the studio engineer for Nox Arcana.