Nox Arcana: Blackthorn Asylum

Blackthorn Asylum (Audio CD)


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01. Legacy of Darkness
02. Blackthorn Asylum
03. Sanitarium Gates
04. Abandoned
05. Threshold of Madness
06. Tapestry of Decay
07. Hidden Horrors
08. When Darkness Falls
09. Shock Treatment
10. Fractured Memories
11. Phantasmagoria
12. Creeper
13. Sanity Slipping
14. Dementia 13
15. Solitary Confinement
16. Frenzy
17. The Condemned
18. Spiders in the Attic
19. From Beyond
20. Essence of Evil
21. Fade to Black
* Blackthorn Medley



Nox Arcana is a project of dark, gothic soundscapes an orchestrations. The project is run by Joseph Vargo, widely known for his dark artwork and gothic horror writings with his company Monolith Graphics, and William Piotrowski, also a fan of the dark and paranormal and has created the musical score for the video documentary “Ghost Whisperer” which is where the modern TV series took its name from. Joseph Vargo also produced the famous albums Born of the Night and Realm of Shadows by Midnight Syndicate before forming Nox Arcana. So if you liked Midnight Syndicate, you will absolutely love Nox Arcana. Nox Arcana’s name is derived from two Latin words which loosely translate as “mysteries of the night”. Their music is considered ‘haunting gothic soundtracks’ and is most popularly used for independent films, Hallowen theme parks and other horror industry events, as well as a backdrop for gamers who enjoy role-playing games.

Blackthorn Asylum is, I think, the tenth release by Nox Arcana and contains 21 tracks of ominous compositions, sound effects, and thrilling orchestrations. This is actually my new favorite by Nox Arcana as it hooked me from the very first note. I am also a huge fan of melancholy and melodromatic piano compositions especially when combine with non-traditional music such as Electronic Body Music, Progressive Trance, Darkwave, and Gothic music. The title track is an excellent piece for this, an excellent piano work – better than any classical piano in my humble opinion especially when combined with such dark atmospheres, tones, and effects. From the very first track you are introduced to a very dark, melancholic, and somewhat brooding melody. It is my personal opinion that Vargo displays an adept talent in this genre and use of effects to create an eloquently atmospheric and tonal backdrop. There is actually a lot of piano on this release which personally I think is excellent. When I got to he track Shock Treatment, I could easily see this turning into a more EBM/Industrial piece but Nox Arcana does not go there and remains true to the dark and brooding classic gothic horror sound. Although, this made me contemplate what a collaboration might sound like. (Hope you are reading this Joseph *wink*). Personally, tracks like The Condemned are actually my least favorite. I loved the effects in From Beyond and you can expect to hear it in my next upcoming Halloween podcast. Essence of Evil reminds me of the operatic pieces from The Omen but more interesting. Oh, and Creeper sounds like a moaning horror and a ghostly siren, lovely!!

Every album that Nox Arcana produces has a specific theme related to the Horror genre in some way. As you may have guessed, Blackthorn Asylum is a haunted asylum where questionable experiments were performed on the criminally insane. A large stone edifice surrounded by iron gates like a prison, inside the spirits of the tortured will not rest. The evil which lurks with the condemned was released by the foul deads of the torturers. This is a must for your Halloween music collection!!!

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