Enter a mythical realm of epic fantasy...
In the time of the ancient gods, dragons ruled the skies and kingdoms rose and fell at the end of a sword. Legendary quests beckoned with the promise of danger and glory, and only a brave few dared to answer the call. For honor and vengeance they ventured forth with steel and sorcery to combat the merciless legions of darkness. For it was said that those who answered the call were possessed of the warrior spirit, and the blood of the dragon flowed through their veins.
This spellbinding soundscape sets the perfect mood, as you traverse dark kingdoms ruled by wizards and warriors to battle alongside barbarian hordes, elven mages and knights of legend, with powerful, chanting choirs, medieval melodies, war horns, heavy drums, bagpipe, harp, acoustic guitar and fiddle, with battle sound effects. These haunting and majestic themes evoke forgotten realms, from the stormy Celtic highlands to ancient Egyptian temples, from mystical towering citadels to the Stygian depths of the Underworld. Blood of the Dragon conveys a musical story along the lines of classic movie soundtracks like Conan, The 13th Warrior, and The Lord of the Rings.
The album also contains a legendary quest for an ancient prize known as the Treasure of the Four Crowns. According to arcane lore, the treasure was gathered by the kings of the four ancient realms and hidden deep in the earth long ago. The treasure yet lies buried, awaiting anyone clever enough or bold enough to discover it. The cd booklet is also filled with stunning fantasy artwork by Vargo and contains several paintings of dragons, warriors, and exotic enchantresses.
If the Lord of the Rings soundtrack and the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack got together and made passionate love during the midst of climactic battle—then gave birth to a baby on the 1st full moon of the Year of Imotep, atop a ruined tower whilst undead wolves circled hungrily below, sent by their dark master to destroy the babe prophesized to destroy him, and then that baby grew up to kill an Ogre on his 16th birthday, then travel the world for years gathering the weapons of legacy before returning as a man at the head of a vast army to conquer a corrupt kingdom and avenge his father's death—then this CD would be that man (plus dragons).
It's the kind of CD where every other song is punctuated by thundering, booming drums while a choir urgently sings in some foreign language that, roughly translated, means: "I'm coming to cut your head off with my sword now"—probably in slow motion too... With this CD in the player you're just a crank of the volume knob away from dark rumbling mood music or thundering battle anthems. It's great fun and it's great fantasy. Huzzah!
I perfectly imagine this music as soundtrack of movies like Conan and the great Lord of the Rings-trilogy. I personally prefer Nox Arcana's work for being a bit more diversified. Amazing talent!
Nox Arcana, does as a duo what some film composers do with an entire orchestra. They're truly a force to be reckoned with... Simply enchanting. Upon listening to Blood of the Dragon, I'm reminded of the soundtrack scores of great sword and sorcery movies like Conan, The 13th Warrior and The Lord of the Rings.
Joseph Vargo and William Piotrowski constantly surpass themselves in creating amazing melodies and arrangements. The majestic feeling of the music here will surely take you to ancient lands, the ones imagined by this virtuoso duo.
Metal Sound Magazine
The fantastic atmosphere and music created by this duo will take you on the journey through the forgotten kingdoms full of wizards, mages, barbarian warriors and eerie forces that are dwelling in the shadows of the unknown world.
With this release, Nox Arcana takes us on a journey to the time and land of dragons and the mighty warriors who sought to destroy them. While this CD doesn't have the usual 'horror' theme, which is what we normally prefer, Blood of the Dragon has enough darkness flowing through it to appease any horror fan. What amazing me the most is the epic sound of this release. Not to downplay their previous releases, but this one seems much more on a grander scale, coming up with many different layers of sound and music. I could easily see this as a soundtrack for many a sword & sorcery or barbarian movie. The different tracks bring to life various journeys and quests for the dragon, filling the listener with visions of smoky caves, wide open, barren lands, and even different cultures. While we still love the horror themed ones, I feel that Blood of the Dragon is their biggest and best sounding album yet. Just listen to it and you can almost smell the burning smoke from the Dragon itself.
Alexandra Nakelski, Fangoria
I always like to enjoy the latest CD adventure from Nox Arcana when I am about to embark on an adventure of my own. This time I was touring the Cascade Mountains and into Vancouver for my Blood of the Dragon adventure. I also celebrated by watching Dragonslayer again. (And why Nox Arcana hasn't produced a film of their own yet is beyond me!) However, after listening to the first few tracks I realized all of their cds ARE films! They create films in the listeners' mind and spark the imagination, a quality sadly lacking in many films that are out there nowadays! Having fortunately grown up loving Conan the Barbarian and the Beastmaster, it was AMAZING to see that the spirit of swords and sorcery hasn't died. It is alive and thrives in Blood of the Dragon.
After reading the great intro about the warriors who had the Dragon Blood running in their veins, I came to notice a formula apparent in each Nox Arcana compilation. Whether a conscious decision on their part or not, they have created standards in each of their musical voyages that have now come to play like a treasure hunt for me when they release a new album. These elements you can anticipate to enjoy as any fan of a specific genre would. These standards outline the formula. For instance, when watching a James Bond film, you would expect a climactic intro usually separate from the main plot, a great credit sequence with naked female silhouettes with memorable music, females specializing in fields of science that aid Bond...and the list continues....
Some of the "treasures" to behold in each Nox Arcana CD/insert are: Feasting your eyes on the lush artwork of Joseph Vargo that give you glimpses into each distinct fantasy world. They paint you enough picture to get the feel for the music, but then allow you to leave the rest to your imagination. Throughout the insert, little blurbs guide you throughout the journey. Some I have read to be later pleased that they were indeed lyrics to a surprise vocal piece such as "Treasure of the Four Crowns" performed beautifully by Jeff Endemann, whose voice transported me to the great hard rock ballad singers of the '80s! The music always comes full circle, complete with crescendo, climax and plot resolution.
The members of Nox Arcana are featured in a final photo as players of the theme involved with the music. They are creators and actors in the theater of Nox Arcana.
Lately, I have been finding myself preferring to turn on a Nox Arcana CD and close my eyes and paint a film in my head rather than paying the big dollar for a "Hollywood" feature and being disappointed as usual, by the mainstream's lack of quality. Being very nostalgic myself, I love anything that resonates a thrilling adventure with such themes of swords and sorcery prevalent in the '70s and '80s, and Nox Arcana does just that. All I am left to wonder is... just what ARE the cryptic riddles and answers required to face the evil that arises from the Stygian Depths?!
Joseph Vargo and William Piotrowski have conjured an epic soundscape of sword and sorcery that challenges bold adventurers to traverse a dark realm of fantasy ruled by wizards and dragons. The concept album covers the full spectrum of Medieval music while setting the mood for a quest to find the fabled Treasure of the Four Crowns. The cd begins with a bold choral refrain that gives way to an opening narration that tells a tale of ancient lore. The music ranges from moving choir pieces such as "Citadel of Secrets" and "Chamber of the Immortals" to majestic orchestrations like "Steeds of Thunder," "Dragon Riders," and "The Siege," which utilize powerful war horns, drums and barbarian chants. Guest vocalist Jeff Endemann sings the minstrel ballad "Treasure of the Four Crowns," telling the musical tale of a fabled quest, and "Highland Storm" begins with a simple melody on bagpipes and drums before erupting into a brilliant, fast-paced Celtic fiddle duel. Nox Arcana's gothic fans are sure to love the haunting "Mist Loch," the ominous "Legions of Darkness," and the ritualistic Egyptian chants of the exotic "The Mystic's Keep." The title track builds to a magnificent orchestrated choir piece reminiscent of Carmina Burana. The cd booklet is filled with fantastic artwork and a few surprises as well. Blood of the Dragon is a masterpiece of epic proportions.Devon King, Dark Realms
The morning sun was blacked by the scorching fire of the ancient flying demons. I tell you this one thing my friends, Joseph Vargo and William Piotrowski have returned with another offering under the Nox Arcana moniker. The one thing that amazes me about Vargo and company is that they write like classic authors. These epic stories seem to be in their blood and flow like sweet wine from their fingers to their instruments. Blood of the Dragon takes us through a land of knights, barbarians, magic, epic battle and of course dragons. There are parts of this where the celt in me awakens with inspired battle lust, but alas we live in a society where warriors are not given proper respect.
Vargo and Piotrowski take many elements from classical and world music and then add their own special brand of darkness and flash to the mix. So the story is written, a quest has been set to find the legendary ancient prize known as the "Treasure of the Four Crowns." Through the album you are taken from the castle (where the quest is given) to the sorcerer, the highlands, and the underworld. Truly there is nothing left from the quest, but maybe a movie that it seems should have gone with it.
I've stated many times in the past that Nox Arcana holds the great treasure of atmospheric perfection. Don't think I wouldn't bring this up either. I believe this is one of the best Dungeons & Dragons style soundtracks I've ever heard. This even trumps the Midnight Syndicate official soundtrack. I know Vargo produced Midnight Syndicate for a while, but after having a fall out with them I'm not sure how much he had to do with that particular album. Either way if you are looking to enhance the overall mood of your sword and sorcery evening then this is the album for you.
Nox Arcana is one of my favorite modern atmospheric composition groups. The stories they weave are deep and well detailed. The emotion and unrelenting plot is unmatched in our society today. If you like music that takes you on a trip and shows you all the sights along the way then go and check out Nox Arcana and especially Blood of the Dragon. Black Angel Productions
– iTunes – Dec 15, 2013
PEACE & WAR yeah all together .... keep up the good work ... BEST ALBUM i ever heard ...
– iTunes – Apr 26, 2012
It is a wonderous album, while not as good as its predecessor, its strong and beats with all the Dragon's Fire. With excellent music and once again the vocals only Nox Arcana can provide, a masterpiece. Although I was surprised, not expecting actual singing as in the "Treasure of the four Crowns" but I confess aside from the Siege, it is without doubt and hesitation, my favorite. Another work of wonder from Nox Arcana.
– iTunes – Mar 31, 2012
First off, I would like to say that there are three types of epic: epic, which is widely used today and has lost meaning; Epic, which incorporates stuff like Homer and Tolkien. And then there is EPIC. This is only for tales so amazing and sublime that few have ever been seen or heard by mortal man. But this, this is EPIC. This is a creation worthy of the ancient Gods of old. Buy this now.
– iTunes – Mar 12, 2012
this album guides you through a story of epicness. it is best listened to without suffle and just the album. simply awesome
– iTunes – Oct 13, 2011
I have not heard such beautiful sound of fables and fantasies through such great celtic music. I am however not suprised that Nox Arcana wrote this. He has the best of my favorite of music. Highland Storm is a favorite among many, including myself. It is an honor to hear his masterpieces, every day.
– iTunes – Apr 12, 2011
I stumble across Nox Arcana when listening to Invinceble from Two Steps from Hell. I fell in love with Nox Arcana, though some of their music is CREEPY. This one is very very cool, and helps to listen too wen im writing!!
– iTunes – Mar 11, 2010
Great music for writing, reading, and just about everything else! I agree that this is a good starter for new fans. My fav songs are Highland Storm(6), Steeds of Thunder(12), Bloood of the Dragon(20), and Legions of Darkness(11).
– iTunes – Nov 24, 2009
I just found these guys today. And I tell you... the music is astounding. I've been working on a book for some time now, but have recently stopped working on it. This music is actually beginning to inspire some new ideas in me. Truly beautiful sound. Nox Arcana just gained a new fan.
– iTunes – Jul 22, 2009
A very fine album that will delight any fantasy fan. My personal favorite is "The Mystic's Keep" with it's ancient Egyptian-themed sound, though I found it out-of-place in a Sword-and-Sorcery-based album. A great help when writing my fantasy saga.
– iTunes – Jun 9, 2009
This Album is epic. Try playing World of Warcraft while listening to it and it gives you a sweet vibe ^_^
– iTunes – Apr 13, 2009
love Nox Arcana and all of there work, but this is so far my favorite.
– iTunes – Apr 12, 2009
I loved this album. The songs were all amazing and I've been listening to these song over and over, not one getting old. If you're on a tight budget, the songs "Sorcerer", "Highland Storm", "Underworld", and "Chamber of the Immortals", are worth the money.
– iTunes – Sep 19, 2008
Although Nox Arcana is considered a goth music group, I don't think this album is overly gothic. I personally do n consider myself a goth, and yet I enjoy Nox Arcana's music and the storylines behind their music. I would have like have seen a little more variety on this album; many of the songs sound similar. My personal favorites on this CD i Highland Storm (track 6) Mist Loch (track 7) and Steeds of Thunder (track 12). If you're not sure you will like Nox Arcana, I recommend this as a sort of starter album, as it's not as dark as the others.
– iTunes – Feb 17, 2008
This album is great. It really helps me visualize while writing. A great find!!!!
– iTunes – Nov 24, 2007
Im a new fan of Nox Arcana and just wanted to say that this album is amazing. the music paints such a picture and as a filmmaker they continue to help me come up with stories.
– iTunes – Jun 3, 2007
I was simply blown backward upon the first hearing of this CD. The overall and total impression is of a rock opera or symphonic poem. With melodies that flow, instrumentation that meshes seamlessly with the powerful vocals, a rhythm track that adds and doesn't detract and an engineering effort that only enhances the final audio product, "Blood Of The Dragon" satisfies on many levels. Goths, classical purists, rock-mixed-with-classical junkies and contemporary classical fans will be satisfied with the total effort. It's certainly one of my fave CDs. "Blood Of The Dragon"...is truly Sanguinem Draconis.
– iTunes – Apr 19, 2007
Once again Nox delivers true Gothic music, this album being the epic... Buy Steeds of Thunder, in my opinion what should have been Blood of the Dragon. I just want to say that Bach is not gothic. I used to think so, but nothing beats Nox Arcana in the greatest gothic interpretation of classic horror poetry and literature.
– iTunes – Mar 25, 2007
Woohoo! New album! And a cool one at that!
– iTunes – Jan 19, 2007
This new album is the best by far. I love Nox Arcana and am glad to see them return with such a great new release!