This is an EXCELLENT and STUNNING piece of musical ingenuity that pays homage to the dark mastermind called Bram Stoker. It successfully manages to satisfy even the most demanding of listeners. An album that stands as a landmark in the gothic-horror instrumental genre.
Beware ye who dare to venture where angels fear to tread... And thus, my journey begins to the dark mountains that lie beyond this barren land, long forgotten by human God. The desolate castle that stands atop the hill, only a sign of the eternal suffering that has swept this land through centuries past...
Nox Arcana invites you to embark on a darkly erotic musical journey to a barren land, where the children of the night never seize to quench their savage hunger for human life. From the beginning 'til the very end, the dark orchestrations and haunting melodies and rhythms will transport you straight into the land of the undead, only to bear witness to the massacre that takes place every unholy night. "Venture forth...if you dare!"
Transylvania is yet another stone in the musical tower of Nox Arcana. So, just take a step forward and cross the border of dream and reality. The Victorian midnight tales and adventures full of blood, dark romanticism perfectly wrapped in gothic aura await!
Metal Sound Magazine
Transylvania is darkly atmospheric with its shadowy grace... The production work is brilliant. Overall, the whole album is awesome, the musicianship excellent—melodic beauty mixed with chilling doom-laden darkness.
Nox Arcana's Joseph Vargo and William Piotrowski are at it again, taking on the long dark history of vampiric lore with their release Transylvania. The chilling soundscapes are mesmerizing, creating wonderfully wicked movies in the mind for those who dare listen with their eyes closed. It is no small undertaking trying to create the atmosphere of darkest Carpathia through music, but Nox Arcana executes it perfectly, allowing you to envision every blood-soaked detail.
"Transylvanian Overture," a narrated piece performed by Joseph Vargo, starts us off, perfectly capturing the eerie mood of the album. "The Voyage" and "The Black Coach" lead us right into the heart of darkness, the tension forever building as we await the inevitable arrival at "Castle Dracula." For the duration of your passage through the land of darkness gothic choirs sing wraithlike in your ears, while an orchestra of the damned plays ceaselessly. It is so easy to become lost here, time seeming to stand still as each of the tracks lead us deeper into the realm of one of the most beloved and feared creatures of literature. We are taken everywhere in the castle, from the belfry to the crypt, all the while the sounds of bats and wolves accompanying our every step.
One piece that adds to the ambience of this release is the CD booklet, which includes some of Joseph Vargo's amazing artwork alongside the lyrics for some of the narrated portions of the album. These haunting images make it that much easier to immerse yourself in Nox Arcana's Transylvania.
If this is your first trip into the nether realms created by Nox Arcana, I can assure you it will not be your last. Vargo and Piotrowski have a way of creating evocative environments that linger in your psyche. I can honestly say they are without equal, and they have fast become one of my favorite bands.
So what are you waiting for? Take a one-way trip to Transylvania, a world that will live on in your nightmares.
Josh Haney, Hacker's Source
As a lone traveler trekking across the eerie landscape of the Carpathian Mountains, one might wonder as to the sounds that might accompany this ethereal panorama. Transylvania is the sound of legendary Romania. Nox Arcana's compositions are manifested into a cornucopia of Gothic Greatness. In this celebration of the creatures of the night, Nox Arcana take you to Nosferatu's inner sanctum. The listener is led from black velvet-shrouded coaches to gypsy caravans, werewolf infested woodlands to the castle itself where the Lord of Darknes awaits. Every track has a distinct theme and one can guess what track it is without following along on the CD insert.
Alexandra Nakelski, Fangoria
Nox Arcana are known to take their subject matter seriously and apply a level of professionalism that is unmatched since Bram Stoker created his neverending tale over a century ago... Nox Arcana's take on the subject in Transylvania stays truthful and infuses the atmosphere with the perfect backing to any Victorian gothic horror. Nox Arcana's treatment is deep, meaningful, frightening yet beautiful.
Nox Arcana musically explores the ultimate gothic atmosphere in Transylvania, the forth concept album that Joseph Vargo and William Piotrowski have produced in less than three years. Vargo re-examines one of his favourite subjects, a gothic myth which he has approached from different angles in the past, Count Dracula and his dark disciples. The descent into the Transylvanian myths, the enchanting 'land beyond the forest,' begins with the narration of the first poetical lyrics.
The concept, as with the previous Nox Arcana projects (with the exception perhaps of Winter's Knight, with more vocals included) is developed cinematographically, which brings the album closer to the musical category of movie soundtracks, with influences from classic horror film and cinema fantastique composers, such as Wojcieck Kilar (Dracula), Jerry Goldsmith (The Omen), John Carpenter, or even Vangelis The many fully-developed musical works evoke a dark and dangerous atmosphere, mysterious at times, with gypsy melodies of violin and female chants, and at times epic, with crescendos of a large symphony orchestra, and further reinforced by the heavy Gregorian chants: Vargo's own voice filtered through several layers, resulting in an impressive quality sound.
Especially recommended for the lovers of horror movie soundtracks, dark fairytales, as well as to the vampire breed and fans of Stoker's legend.
Jonathan Bright, Strange Magazine (Greece) Read interview with Vargo
As a magician/escape artist, I look to music as a form of inspiration and creativity, and Nox Arcana contributes magically on all levels. Their music pierces the veil of darkness and has actually helped me to create magic effects based on many of their alluring themes. Rarely can one sit back and actually visualize music, but in this instance Nox Arcana echoes from the crypt.
KarL Achilles, professional magician
Nox Arcana are setting the bar higher and higher with each release. Each one just gets better than the last one.
As much as we enjoyed being lead into the dark crypts of Lovecraft's world with Necronomicon, with Transylvania, they take us on a wonderfully dark journey through the land of the Carpathian Mountains, filled with bats, howling winds and wolves. Their musical storytelling, with the spoken words, the chanting, and the wonderful organ music, is something that all horror and gothic fans will enjoy.
Nox Arcana continues to deliver great music for those Halloween nights, or any dark and gloomy evenings, when you want to add a little bit more atmosphere to your night. Or even to bring some of that darkness to you in the blinding daylight hours as well.