Harlequin’s Lament is a gorgeous gothic song, a blend of repetitious chords with a rich-sounding overlay of a grand piano and harmonized vocals in the background. This piece, while not necessarily “circus-like,” shows off the musicianship of Nox Arcana. Next, strategically placed after the melody, is Calliope; children’s laughter echoes in the background of this brooding, circular tune. Madame Endora follows you around and predicts your future, leading you into the Hall of Mirrors. Even though you run away, you may find yourself Lost in the Darkness.
One of the difficulties with creating a set in a “Circus Diabolique” is that, if not done properly, a haunted carnival can sound campy or lack general appeal. That is definitely not the case here. Of all the Nox Arcana collections, there is a wide variety of music offered on this set, some of which echoes their other work. For example, fans of the Necronomicon collection might find Nightmare Parade and Circus Diabolique appealing. Other than a few songs on this soundtrack, and believe me when I say I’ve listened to all of their collections repeatedly with the exception of Winter’s Knight, each song is more unique than the last.
Carnival of Lost Souls is one of the boldest moves Nox Arcana has made to date. You won’t hear any playful songs; the music isn’t “painful” or monotonous, it’s something new and different and fresh. What causes these differences? Subtle sound effects like silvery bells, children’s laughter, and a heavy use of synthesized chorals are played upon the backdrop of strong melodies written primarily in minor and harmonic keys. Overall, this is a broad composition that utilizes the full spectrum of volume, pitch, and chords. The use of volume, sound effects, and technique is very evident throughout this collection, especially in the song Storm.