Darklore Manor is an independently produced compilation of traditional gothic music (i.e., the album is harpsichords and violins, not electric guitars or re-mixed dance music) composed specifically to serve as the score for a dark and mysterious tale or a horror roleplaying campaign. Darklore Manor is devoid of the cheap sound effect shticks that seem to compose the bulk of similar efforts and, instead, is simply a compilation of haunting melodies.
What’s more, Darklore Manor isn’t merely music – it’s good music. Rather than a hastily compiled mishmash of random musical notes minced with substandard sound effects ripped from an amusement park ride (i.e., creaking doors, ghostly laughter, etc), each track on Darklore Manor is a carefully crafted piece of honest to god music that is not only evocative of gothic haunts, but is also easy on the ears. If more amateur musicians poured half of the time and effort into their campaign scores as Nox Arcana has into single tracks, I’d own many more such compilations.
The Final Verdict
After listening to the collection a few times, I still like what I hear (and, ultimately, that’s the real test of a musical compilation for me). I like the haunting, purposeful, melodies of Nox Arcana, as well as their decision to regale me with music, rather than sound effects.