I’ve been a huge fan of Nox Arcana for ages! In a sense, I’m a part of their Legion of Shadows! But, this album has tons of appeal beyond the fandom itself. Don’t believe me? Check it out!
Your favorite mad doctor returns to cover one of his favorite bands of the “Dark Ambient” genre, Nox Arcana.
The terror continues this Halloween with Nox Arcana’s latest release, “Legion of Shadows.” This album commemorates 10 years of fantastic frightening music from the band. It has been dedicated to Nox Arcana’s fanbase, who are known by the same title as the record.
What makes this album special is that many of its concepts take inspiration from fan submissions and creations from all around the world. Legion of Shadows is indeed an eponymous gift to the fans, but does it offer enough for the rest of us creepy creatures to enjoy?
Nox Arcana puts it best in their press release;
“Beyond the world of light, there exists a hidden realm where creatures of the night revel in the beauty of darkness. Nox Arcana invites you to enter the esoteric order of the Legion of Shadows to explore the mysteries of the night as you immerse yourself in a gothic soundscape of haunting melodies, eerie sound effects and pulse-pounding, symphonic orchestrations.
Nox Arcana founder Joseph Vargo explains, ‘To celebrate the Nox Arcana’s 10 year anniversary, I wanted to create an album that was entirely dedicated to Nox Arcana fans—our very own Legion of Shadows. The album contains a variety of dark anthems with a theme that centers around the mysteries of the night and it’s various haunted denizens, with an underlying story about lost love, melancholy memories of ghosts from the past, and forlorn souls who are empowered by embracing the darkness within.’
In addition to Nox Arcana’s darkly romantic and haunting original pieces, the album also features Vargo’s gothic version of Bach’s classic ‘Toccata and Fugue’.”
Traditionally, Nox Arcana albums have had an overarching theme or setting within the stories they tell. What makes Legion of Shadows different is that it is an anthology that delves into short stories created by the fans and for the fans. The stories vary from forgotten memories and fallen grandeur to the darkness residing in our souls to much more.
These tracks contain a wide variety of themes and moods. We have quite an eclectic mix throughout the album; the gloom and drama of “Distant Memories”, “Loveless”, and “Haunted Dreams”; the ominous mystery of “Ancient Flame”, “Dreamscape”, “Into the Night” and “Rites of Passage”; and even the intense power of “Toccata”, “On Dark Wings”, “Legion of Shadows”, and “Black Pheonix.” All of these blend in a fantastic array of emotion and sound; showcasinging the variety of styles of Nox Arcana as a testament to their talents.
My personal favorites are in my opinion, the most atmospheric! “Evil genius” captures the chaotic frenzy of a crazed scientist, toiling over some elaborate experiment. Plus, you can never go wrong with Toccata and Fugue, remixed with Nox Arcana’s gothic horrorscapes.
While most albums are best listened to in their entirety, the episodic nature of this album can be appreciated in small segments, mixing and matching tracks as you please; each track is a self-contained story.
While I personally prefer the overarching tales present in the other albums, this homage to the fandom is a wonderful treat for the Halloween season and beyond. So, to repeat my question: is there enough for the rest of us to enjoy? Most certainly!
This album gets 9 creatures of shadow out of 10