The music comes off as accompaniment to a ghost story, which is detailed in the liner notes and artwork. The full experience entails both parts; without one, the other feels incomplete. Vargo and Piotrowski know what they're seeking musically -- gothic moodiness and subtle tension inspired by classic horror-movie scores along the lines of Carnival of Souls and Halloween. As well-planned and composed a work as Darklore Manor is, however, you find yourself waiting for a jarring moment that doesn't arrive. That criticism aside, Nox Arcana is to be applauded for its sense of vision; Manor brings down the house.