Once Upon A Time...
Enter the Realm of Fable, where goblins, elves and woodland spirits dwell in the deepest shadows of the forest beneath the wicked Witch Queen's spell of eternal darkness. Nox Arcana invites you to immerse yourself in a haunting soundscape of bewitching melodies, eerie sound effects and pulse-pounding orchestrations as you explore an enchanted land of dark fairy tales and childhood nightmares that harken back to the fables of The Brothers Grimm.
Haunting music box melodies echo in the night, the raspy voice of an ancient crone tells a dark bedtime story, ominous orchestrations fill the dark forest and a wicked witch invokes a sinister incantation.
Grimm Tales marks Nox Arcana's 9th cd since the band's formation in 2003. Setting the bar higher with each new release, their latest sinister soundscape is a concept album centering around dark fairy tales and childhood nightmares. Ranging from haunting music box melodies to powerful, dark orchestrations, the 21 instrumental tracks are accented by ghostly voices of children singing and eerie sound effects that convey the theme of an enchanted forest ruled by a wicked witch queen. The opening track sets a creepy mood with a cackling voice that introduces the concept in a sinister nursery rhyme. Tracks like "Darkly Everafter" creep under your skin and send shivers down your spine, while "The Forgotten Path" and "Children of the Night" are shrouded in a mystical aura. Ominous chants echo throughout pulse-pounding orchestrations such as "Castle of Nightmares" and the dramatic "Hall of the Witch Queen." As with their past cds, the songwriting, musicianship and production on this album is outstanding and the cd booklet is filled with fantastic artwork. Grimm Tales is a wonderfully wicked album that ranks highly as another musical masterpiece from the uncontested maestros of the macabre.
Grimm Tales is one of the finest records that I have heard so far... a fantasy-romantic opus with a strange fantasy-like atmosphere, a mixture between creepy sounds, dreamy piano passages, ghost-like moments and epic themes. Once again Nox Arcana has succeeded to perfectly catch and cover yet one more legendary theme.
Nox Arcana shows their versatility while remaining true to their overall dark sound. Strikingly memorable and very haunting.
Richly textured and highly inspired... As a complete album Nox Arcana have done an excellent job.
As always, Nox Arcana does an exceptional job creating these incredible audio backdrops for the themes they have chosen. There's no better way to get into the mood then to play one of their CDs and to have their wicked spell cast over you.
Draconis Blackthorne, Fangoria
The mysterious figure sits upon the throne-like chair, decorated in ghoulish fane... the dusty leathery storybook framed in silver cracks open, letting forth a swirling vortex to enrapture the reader into its multi-dimensional fetters of the imagination, traveling forth into shadowy worlds of a Dark Witch’s spell… the fireplace glows strangely this night, transmutating forms in the hell fires, warming the flesh with delightfully chilling sound-scapes and enchanted tales.
Based upon the eerie stories of The Brothers Grimm and released in the Walpurgisnacht season, Nox Arcana wonderfully manifests the sinsations to compliment one’s own experience when submerged herein.
Along with the Gregorian Shadow Choir, Christine Filipak participates as the voice of Sinistra the Witch, who from her castle, sternly warns the wayfarer who veers too close to her domain, and the hag crone mixing up her bubbling brew. From The Hollow, an enchanted orchestral garden comes alive with the blackest Magic, weaving its nightmarish influence, compelling towards the labyrinth of dreams.
Joseph Vargo's splendid artwork splendidly graces the diabolically ornate booklet, accompanied by poetic descriptions of the fearsome adventures within, creating a truly gratifying multi-sensory saturation.
From antique portals of timelessness generated with the infernal sonic machine herein, Grimm Tales cascade along the daemonic mind to enhance One’s haunted atmosphere, invoking the muses to dance in the darkness of the flickering chamber.
Your adventure is about to begin... enter at your own risk! 5/5
Okay, a question for all of you ghouls out there... what is your earliest memory of a horror story? I mean the absolute initial spooky story you ever remember hearing. Now, before you say Edgar Allan Poe in middle school or all of those Stephen King novels that seem to be in everybody's home growing up, I want you to concentrate and think back even further. Go back to a time when you were being tucked into bed, all safe and sound and Mom or Dad would pick up that big old book of fairy tales penned by The Brothers Grimm.
If youre as old as I am, you may remember these as some of the most twisted, dark and depraved childrens stories ever written. Now, Im not talking about the politically correct versions you see nowadays. I'm talking about that big old dusty volume that was your grandparents grandparents. Do you remember now? Shadowy fables that were supposed to teach you a lesson, but instead scarred your psyche for years, if not decades, to come. Well fiends, Nox Arcana has put their touch of musical madness to these tales from your youngest years.
Over the years Nox Arcana has taken some of histories greatest macabre yarns and brought them to life with a musical ability some would sell their soul to Old Nick for. Stoker, Poe, Lovecraft and more have all been given the terrifying treatment of Joseph Vargo and William Piotrowski, the diabolic duo that make up Nox Arcana. And now Grimm Tales is added to their repertoire, paying homage to yet another storyteller of times gone by.
As is their custom, haunting melodies, disembodied voices and subtle sound effects draw you into the nightmare realm where The Brothers Grimm legends come to life. Along the way, from "Shadow Forest" to "Hall Of The Witch Queen," we meet every type of creature conceivable. During this trip, you find yourself falling deeper and deeper into the fairy tale world as imagined by Vargo and Piotrowski. Like all of their albums, this one frees you from the bonds of reality; unfortunately never long enough to lose your way back home. And to help you ease yourself into the myths, the album comes with a full color booklet filled with Vargo's dark art; the perfect visuals to add to the strains issuing forth from your speakers.
It still totally amazes me just how much Nox Arcana has accomplished over the years with a style of music (gothic orchestral chamber music, if ever there were words to describe it) that no one else can even come close to. They aim to create realms rather than albums, soundscapes rather than songs. And they excel every single time! I have never once been disappointed upon opening the seal, and settling in to listen to their newest conjuration. Do yourself a favor and pick up Grimm Tales, and any other album you can acquire by these masters of morbid mood music. Each one is a ticket to somewhere far different than where you are.
– iTunes – Oct 17, 2014
I agree with the other reviewers. This is very eerie as are the other albums. There is a recurring motif of frightened innocence stalked by something very old, or wicked. NA has added to their usual instrumentation of vocals, F clef strings, tympani or albannach style drums, piano and similar percussion, chimes, and church bells: The Forgotten Path has a haunting woodwind and bodhran(?) OMI, this is the masterpiece of the set. But, as with the other albums I have, I listen through for the flow of the songs and wait to hear that the innocent are still bearing up. PS, I disagree with iTunes putting this in the genre New Age (some of the albums they classify as Rock). Your ears will not be assaulted by a blissing, whistling vegetarian. NA's compositions use classical forms.
– iTunes – Jan 25, 2009
This is a great album for anyone who likes creepy ambitions of gothic twindling sounds...my favorite soo far! i would reccomend the songs: Deep in The Woods, Fairy Tale, The forgotten path, and of course my favorite....Labyrinth Of Dreams! this is a must buy album for Nox Arcana Fans! excellent job N.A.!!!
– iTunes – Jan 11, 2009
I had bought one of Nox Arcana's earlier albums, Blood of the Dragon, back in the summer of '08 and was quite impressed with its dark, powerful, and truly medieval melodies and how they all worked well with one another to tell one of the most enriching stories I've ever heard in song. Needless to say, I'd been looking forward to buying another one of this group's CDs for months and, upon finding Grimm Tales, decided to make it the second NA album in my collection. Needless to say, I was not disappointed in the least, as the guys managed to craft yet another splendid batch of songs. Just as with Blood of the Dragon, Grimm Tales features compositions that are as mystical as they are foreboding, although the theme here is "dark fairytale" rather than "knights & sorcery." Though it's hard for me to choose a favorite among these enchanting tunes, one thing is for sure: The imagery that this album is so perfectly balanced between enchanting and eerie that listeners are sure to be captivated. Even the semi-heroic fanfare of “Rise to Destiny” finds a respectable place in this mix and helps to set a sinister "scary-tale" scene where witches rule and summon the spirits of the bedeviled to maintain their fiendish clutch upon the haunted realms which they control. In short, Nox Arcana fans owe it to themselves to check out Grimm Tales, as it truly proves how talented its creators are.
– iTunes – Nov 3, 2008
Yet another Brilliant work from the fellows of Nox Arcana. If I had to describe Grimm Tales with one word, it would be “creepy”. As a professional Magician, I regard this work as inspirational. With the generous consent from Nox Arcana, I actually use selections from Grimm Tales in my Magic Shows.
– iTunes – Nov 3, 2008
Nox Arcana can paint a picture and mood as good, or better, than anyone. My only desire is more music like Dragon Riders and The Siege in Blood of the Dragon. That is not a complaint, I love this album.
– iTunes – Jun 4, 2008
Nox Arcana has done it again, and produced a wonderfully creepy sound. The songs are amazing and the way they flow together is masterful. If you love Nox Arcana this is a must have addition to your collection!!
– iTunes – May 24, 2008
By far this is Nox Arcana's best album to date! This one contains the most music and the most melody... it's also very powerful and dark... true Nox Arcana fashion. I would recommend Wicked Heart, Fairy Tale, Rise to Destiny, Once Upon a Nightmare, Castle of Nightmares, Hall of the Witch Queen and Labyrinth of Dreams.
– iTunes – May 24, 2008
Gives a very eerie feeling. If you only buy one or two songs get deep in the woods or fairy tale, very nice songs the both of them.