- Performance Credits
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
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
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.
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
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
to see hundreds of paintings and illustrations,
and to read more of his extensive biography
including complete publishing credits and in-depth interviews.
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
William is currently
in LA pursuing a film music career but continues to act as the
studio engineer for Nox Arcana. His premiere solo project is the
darkly captivating score for the vampire film Crimson Winter.
Vocalists and Musicians
Over the years, various Nox Arcana projects
have enabled Joseph to work with many of his talented friends in
A multi-talented singer and musician,
Jeff has worked with Nox Arcana on several albums. He performed
as a guest vocalist on "Coventry Carol"
(Winter's Knight), "Treasure of the Four Crowns"
(Blood of the Dragon), and "Winter's Eve"
(Winter's Eve). Jeff also played lead guitar on the rock
version of "Spellbound" on Carnival of Lost Souls.
Occult author and spiritualist Michelle
Bellanger is perhaps best known for her numerous books and television
appearances, but she is also a gifted singer with an amazing four-octive
range. She has worked with Nox Arcana on two studio projects, performing
as a guest vocalist on "Past Time with Good Company"
(Winter's Knight), as well as collaborating with Joseph and
William on her solo album, Blood of Angels.
Jeff "Buzz" Hartz
Founder of Buzz-Works, Jeff Hartz collaborated
with Joseph Vargo on two side project CDs, Zombie Influx and House
Artist Christine Filipak is often wrangled
into the studio to perform voices and background vocals for various
Nox Arcana tracks. Her most prominent performances range from the
ghostly child's voice in Darklore Manor's
"Nursery Rhyme" and "Music Box," to the Witch
Queen on Grimm Tales, to the angelic narrator of "The
Messenger" on Winter's Eve.
Lead singer of the heavy metal bands
Breaker and Nightcrawler, and former bandmate of Joseph Vargo from
his earlier rock projects, Jim Hamar lends his dynamic voice to
the rock version of "Spellbound" on Carnival of Lost
Lead singer of various heavy metal bands
including Maiden Voyage and Mind Riot, Ty Cook lends his soulful
voice to the pirate ballad "Fate of the Tempest" on Phantoms
of the High Seas.
Cole Horibe performs his solo routine
to the song "Night of The Wolf" by Nox Arcana for the
FOX TV show
You Think You Can Dance
(Season 9, Wed. Sept 5th).
Nox Arcana's Darklore Manor album used as the score for a
New Year's Eve televised special of the 1922 silent film classic, Nosferatu. Aired
on Warner Bros. TV Creature Feature, Nashville, TN.
Theme music for
hosted by the Sinister Minister, classic
horror movies televised in Las Vegas, NV.Theme music for
for the Travel Channel.
(episode 15) "Bringing fear to your ears."
an audio drama inspired by H.P. Lovecraft
and Bram Stoker, presented by Darker Projects, a theatrical group
dedicated to preserving the nostalgia of early radio dramas.
a podcast honoring Poe, Lovecraft and
other gothic literati.
a fun, freaky and frightening podcast.
Nox Arcana's "Winter's Knight" album hit #8 on the
Billboard Music Charts
for Top Holiday Album in 2006 and again
at #14 in 2007.
Nelson Illusions, professional magician
David Dellman, professional magician
Karl Achilles, professional magician
George Anderson, professional magician
Chad Crews, educational magician
"The Tale of Sleepy Hollow," an adaptaion of Washington
Irving's story, directed by Jordan Nickles for the
, Wheelersburg, OH.
Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro,
Peter Shaffer's "Equus" performed by Theatre Ventoux,
"Fiery Fantasma" by Dreamtime Circus, a troupe of fire-dancers.
"Alice!" a play based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carrol, but with a horror
twist, performed by The Chaotic Theatre Company, Austin, TX.
Bram Stoker's "Dracula," performed by the Midwest Regional
Ballet, Pittsburg, KS.
Bram Stoker's "Dracula," performed by the Richmond Community
Theater group, Richmond, MI.
"Richard III" performed by Shakespeare Under The Stars,
Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" adapted
by Richard Ouellette for the Galt Little Theatre, Ontario, Canada
"Edgar Allan Poe: The Masquerade" an original adaptation
by David Reyne, performed by the
Reedy Point Players, Delaware City.
The Pit Stop Players and the Pendulum, a 14 piece orchestra performing select pieces from Nox Arcana's Shadow of the Raven.
Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe,
an exhibition commemorating the bicentennial of Poe's birth,
hosted by the Harry Ransom Center and the University of Virginia.
Games & Books
an online role-playing game by Brain
Seal featuring soundtrack by Nox Arcana.
mod for Civilization IV, one of the world's
most popular online games.
fantasy RPG and collaborative sword & sorcery storytelling.
The Ziggurat Games
(June 9, 2007) to boost morale for U.S.
troops stationed in Iraq.
a mod based on Warhammer fantasy battles
an interactive ebook featuring music by Nox Arcana.
La Casa del Terror, a haunted house in
Mexico based its 2012 Halloween theme on the
"Belly Dance for Beautiful Freaks" for World Dance New
Mike Roberge, "Paranormal Investigations" DVD series
created by Nox Arcana fans
Read Me A Story a Lovecraft-inspired film by Unfilmable
It's the End, Beautiful Friend by John Riddlebaugh
I Heart Zombie a student film by Becky Bauer
an animated film by Damian Byrne based
on the Celtic legend of Cuchulainn, winner of the ReelshowInt
Online Film Competition (March 2011).
Universal Studios "Halloween Horror Nights" - music
for Carnival of Carnage attraction, theme and music for Scary Tales
attraction, and music throughout the park.
Busch Gardens "Howl-O-Scream" - theme and music
for the Haunted Chapel and throughout the park
Knott's Scary Farms - music throughout during Halloween