Once Upon A Time...
Enter the Realm of Fable, where goblins, elves and woodland spirits dwell in the deepest shadows of the forest beneath the wicked Witch Queen's spell of eternal darkness. Nox Arcana invites you to immerse yourself in a haunting soundscape of bewitching melodies, eerie sound effects and pulse-pounding orchestrations as you explore an enchanted land of dark fairy tales and childhood nightmares that harken back to the fables of The Brothers Grimm.
Haunting music box melodies echo in the night, the raspy voice of an ancient crone tells a dark bedtime story, ominous orchestrations fill the dark forest and a wicked witch invokes a sinister incantation.
Grimm Tales marks Nox Arcana's 9th cd since the band's formation in 2003. Setting the bar higher with each new release, their latest sinister soundscape is a concept album centering around dark fairy tales and childhood nightmares. Ranging from haunting music box melodies to powerful, dark orchestrations, the 21 instrumental tracks are accented by ghostly voices of children singing and eerie sound effects that convey the theme of an enchanted forest ruled by a wicked witch queen. The opening track sets a creepy mood with a cackling voice that introduces the concept in a sinister nursery rhyme. Tracks like "Darkly Everafter" creep under your skin and send shivers down your spine, while "The Forgotten Path" and "Children of the Night" are shrouded in a mystical aura. Ominous chants echo throughout pulse-pounding orchestrations such as "Castle of Nightmares" and the dramatic "Hall of the Witch Queen." As with their past cds, the songwriting, musicianship and production on this album is outstanding and the cd booklet is filled with fantastic artwork. Grimm Tales is a wonderfully wicked album that ranks highly as another musical masterpiece from the uncontested maestros of the macabre.
Richard Pickman, Dark Realms
Grimm Tales is one of the finest records that I have heard so far... a fantasy-romantic opus with a strange fantasy-like atmosphere, a mixture between creepy sounds, dreamy piano passages, ghost-like moments and epic themes. Once again Nox Arcana has succeeded to perfectly catch and cover yet one more legendary theme.
Metal Sound Magazine
Nox Arcana shows their versatility while remaining true to their overall dark sound. Strikingly memorable and very haunting.
Richly textured and highly inspired... As a complete album Nox Arcana have done an excellent job.
As always, Nox Arcana does an exceptional job creating these incredible audio backdrops for the themes they have chosen. There's no better way to get into the mood then to play one of their CDs and to have their wicked spell cast over you.
The mysterious figure sits upon the throne-like chair, decorated in ghoulish fane... the dusty leathery storybook framed in silver cracks open, letting forth a swirling vortex to enrapture the reader into its multi-dimensional fetters of the imagination, traveling forth into shadowy worlds of a Dark Witch’s spell… the fireplace glows strangely this night, transmutating forms in the hell fires, warming the flesh with delightfully chilling sound-scapes and enchanted tales.
Based upon the eerie stories of The Brothers Grimm and released in the Walpurgisnacht season, Nox Arcana wonderfully manifests the sinsations to compliment one’s own experience when submerged herein.
Along with the Gregorian Shadow Choir, Christine Filipak participates as the voice of Sinistra the Witch, who from her castle, sternly warns the wayfarer who veers too close to her domain, and the hag crone mixing up her bubbling brew. From The Hollow, an enchanted orchestral garden comes alive with the blackest Magic, weaving its nightmarish influence, compelling towards the labyrinth of dreams.
Joseph Vargo's splendid artwork splendidly graces the diabolically ornate booklet, accompanied by poetic descriptions of the fearsome adventures within, creating a truly gratifying multi-sensory saturation.
From antique portals of timelessness generated with the infernal sonic machine herein, Grimm Tales cascade along the daemonic mind to enhance One’s haunted atmosphere, invoking the muses to dance in the darkness of the flickering chamber.
Your adventure is about to begin... enter at your own risk! 5/5
Draconis Blackthorne, Fangoria
Okay, a question for all of you ghouls out there... what is your earliest memory of a horror story? I mean the absolute initial spooky story you ever remember hearing. Now, before you say Edgar Allan Poe in middle school or all of those Stephen King novels that seem to be in everybody's home growing up, I want you to concentrate and think back even further. Go back to a time when you were being tucked into bed, all safe and sound and Mom or Dad would pick up that big old book of fairy tales penned by The Brothers Grimm.
If youre as old as I am, you may remember these as some of the most twisted, dark and depraved childrens stories ever written. Now, Im not talking about the politically correct versions you see nowadays. I'm talking about that big old dusty volume that was your grandparents grandparents. Do you remember now? Shadowy fables that were supposed to teach you a lesson, but instead scarred your psyche for years, if not decades, to come. Well fiends, Nox Arcana has put their touch of musical madness to these tales from your youngest years.
Over the years Nox Arcana has taken some of histories greatest macabre yarns and brought them to life with a musical ability some would sell their soul to Old Nick for. Stoker, Poe, Lovecraft and more have all been given the terrifying treatment of Joseph Vargo and William Piotrowski, the diabolic duo that make up Nox Arcana. And now Grimm Tales is added to their repertoire, paying homage to yet another storyteller of times gone by.
As is their custom, haunting melodies, disembodied voices and subtle sound effects draw you into the nightmare realm where The Brothers Grimm legends come to life. Along the way, from "Shadow Forest" to "Hall Of The Witch Queen," we meet every type of creature conceivable. During this trip, you find yourself falling deeper and deeper into the fairy tale world as imagined by Vargo and Piotrowski. Like all of their albums, this one frees you from the bonds of reality; unfortunately never long enough to lose your way back home. And to help you ease yourself into the myths, the album comes with a full color booklet filled with Vargo's dark art; the perfect visuals to add to the strains issuing forth from your speakers.
It still totally amazes me just how much Nox Arcana has accomplished over the years with a style of music (gothic orchestral chamber music, if ever there were words to describe it) that no one else can even come close to. They aim to create realms rather than albums, soundscapes rather than songs. And they excel every single time! I have never once been disappointed upon opening the seal, and settling in to listen to their newest conjuration. Do yourself a favor and pick up Grimm Tales, and any other album you can acquire by these masters of morbid mood music. Each one is a ticket to somewhere far different than where you are.
Josh Haney, Hacker's Source