Nox Arcana Transylvania
By Marcus Pan
Its difficult to take a subject
thats been written, filmed, screened, put to music and put on stages
worldwide and not come across as yet another. Taking Nox
Arcanas latest project, Transylvania, we have the vampire scene
coming to life with its morbidity, darkness and all that makes vampirism a fun
subject. But its been done so many times occasionally you have to wonder
if eventually youre going to get to the point of it being enough
already. But its Halloween time (well, a couple days after it
really) and we can forgive this sort of behavior if only for the fact that 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 centuries ago.
As original as Brams take on the matter was it
being what it is of course, the original in most peoples minds Nox
Arcanas take on the subject in Transylvania stays truthfull and
infuses the atmosphere with the perfect backing to any Victorian gothic horror.
Though heavily clichéd by now, Joseph and Williams avoid the pitfalls by
being as seemingly well read (and therefore sounding) on the subject. Instead
of having the enough already feeling to this release youre
instead transported back to the origins of the vampire myths
Transylvania of course via their layering of classical strains,
orchestral musings and a resounding resonance that remains true.
From the light spray of piano of Gossamer Mist to the
deep resonating beats of The Black Coach as you dash through the misty
mountains, Nox Arcanas treatment is deep, meaningful, frightening yet
beautiful. The melding of a metallic tinged piano in Brides to Darkness
is eerie. The trend continues into the waltz of the Grande Masquerade,
both regal and sinful at the same time.
Transylvania gets further more eerie as the album
progresses, Gothic Sanctum being one of the most chilling. Gypsy
Caravan is sultry and really does infuse images of a dancing gypsy in my
mind. Even though its doubtable that the duo have been to Transylvania to
see a gypsy caravan and hang at a late-night campfire session they sure as hell
somehow captured the mood to such an extent that you swear they not only were
there but recorded it. Following a reading in From Dusk Till
Dawn, The Night Wolf turns utterly horrific in its detail, chanting
and dark ritual drums.
Nox Arcana has been cranking them out as of late. If my
memory serves, this is their third this year(1) though I could be wrong because
I sometimes mix them up with Midnight Syndicate(2). So far everything
theyve done is high grade, from the orchestral arrangements to the tribal
rhythms. Even the jacket artwork is gorgeous. Great for reading horror,
backgrounding a Halloween party(3) or infusing an atmosphere of dread and fear
just to keep your psyche on its toes.
(1) Darklore Manor was
reviewed in Legends #146 and Necronomicon was
reviewed in Legends #151.
(2) Interviewed in Legends #108.
(3) Well of course! Label Monolith
Graphics cut their teeth on just this thing.
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