Night Castle

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Night Castle
Night castle.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 28, 2009
Trans-Siberian Orchestra chronology
The Lost Christmas Eve
Night Castle
Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night)
Singles from Night Castle
  1. "Nutrocker"
    Released: December 2009[1]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic -2.5/5 stars[2]

Night Castle is the fifth rock opera by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra; a double CD that includes a sixty-page booklet illustrated by Greg Hildebrandt,[3] it was released on October 28, 2009, debuting at #5 on the Billboard charts and #1 on the rock music charts. It was certified gold in eight weeks and is currently a platinum album.


Like in all of Trans-Siberian Orchestra's previous albums, the story in Night Castle is as important as the music. Though both music and story are designed to stand alone, when combined they are far more powerful and emotionally engaging. The progressive rock website Sea of Tranquility called Night Castle "A musical masterpiece that will have you on edge one moment and weeping like a baby the next." [4] The story revolves around a young child on a beach late at night, where she encounters a mysterious but non-threatening stranger. While they build a sandcastle together by the light of a bonfire, he tells her a tale that takes her all around the world and throughout history. The characters of this story include an American Vietnam War soldier named William Cozier, the Renaissance era philosopher Erasmus who is keeper of the eponymous castle of lost knowledge, and a Communist general based on the dissident Tran Do.[5]

"Their most ambitious and adventurous work to date. It runs the gamut from hard rock to classical taking the listener on a journey through history detailing the triumphs and follies of man but is ultimately a story of transformation and love."[6] Metal Kaoz album review said, "From the moment the play button is pressed, the listener is exposed to a wide range of emotions and colors reaching many a delightful climax ... The second CD serves a hearty collection of re-arranged tracks that will blow your mind".[7] SoundPress called it compelling, dramatic, diverse, and "although the songs stand on their own merit it is strongly suggested that listeners read the 64 page booklet",[8] As of April, 2013, iTunes customers rated it 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 346 reviews and the vast majority rating it perfect.[9] Skope Diverse Music Coverage starts their review with, "TSO is recognized as the ultimate touring operatic/theatrical act in music today".[10]

In 2011, Atlantic released the album on vinyl in an eight side (four disc) set in a special slip box designed to avoid the cracked corners that plague many vinyl box sets. The album includes a version of Kim Fowley's Nut Rocker as a tribute to Emerson, Lake & Palmer, who in turn had performed the song as a tribute to Tchaikovsky. Greg Lake from Emerson, Lake & Palmer honored the band by playing bass on the album.[11]

Bonus tracks include the songs "Child of the Night" and "Believe" which, according to the band, are a glimpse into future projects. An additional bonus track, "The Flight of Cassandra", was available exclusively online on, the first time that TSO had done something like this.

Track listing[edit]

Disc one[edit]

1."Night Enchanted"5:46
2."Childhood Dreams"4:25
4."The Mountain" (Originally performed by Savatage under the name "Prelude To Madness";Instrumental)4:54
5."Night Castle"3:57
6."The Safest Way Into Tomorrow"4:57
7."Mozart and Memories" (Instrumental)5:16
8."Another Way You Can Die"3:54
9."Toccata – Carpimus Noctem" (Instrumental)4:02
10."The Lion's Roar" (Instrumental)4:36
11."Dreams We Conceive"5:13
12."Mother and Son"0:41
13."There Was a Life"9:35
Total length:63:10

Disc two[edit]

1."Moonlight and Madness" (Instrumental)5:04
2."Time Floats On"3:33
4."Bach Lullaby" (Instrumental)0:50
5."Father, Son & Holy Ghost"6:48
6."Remnants of a Lullaby"3:10
7."The Safest Way Into Tomorrow (Reprise)"1:43
8."Embers" (Instrumental)3:53
9."Child of the Night" (The Flower Duet)3:29
11."Nutrocker" (Instrumental)4:07
12."Carmina Burana"2:44
13."Tracers" (Instrumental)5:47
14."Requiem" (Live 2010 (European Release Only)) 
15."Toccata – Carpimus Noctem" (Live 2010 (European Release Only)) 
Total length:58:20





  • Jay Pierce – "Childhood Dreams", "The Safest Way Into Tomorrow"
  • Tim Hockenberry – "Sparks", "Believe"
  • Jeff Scott Soto – "Night Castle", "Another Way You Can Die", "Dreams We Conceive", "Time Floats On", "The Safest Way Into Tomorrow (Reprise)"
  • Rob Evan – "There Was a Life", "Epiphany"
  • Jennifer Cella – "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost", "Remnants of a Lullaby"
  • Alexa Goddard – "Child of the Night"
  • Valentina Porter – "Child of the Night"


  • Steve Broderick
  • Luci Butler
  • Jennifer Cella
  • Britney Christian
  • Rob Evan
  • Dina Fanai
  • Tommy Farese
  • Allison Flom
  • Tony Gaynor
  • Christie George
  • Alexa Goddard
  • Kristin Lewis Gorman
  • Erin Henry
  • Steena Hernandez
  • Kelly Keeling
  • Robert Kinkel
  • Danielle Landherr
  • James Lewis
  • Tany Ling
  • Sanya Mateyas
  • Ireland Wilde O'Neill
  • Valentina Porter
  • Andrew Ross
  • Bart Shatto
  • Evan Shyer
  • Abby Skoff
  • Zachary Stevens
  • Adrienne Warren
  • Scout Xavier


  • Bryan Hicks – "Epiphany"
  • Dina Fanai – "Night Enchanted"
  • Robert Kinkel – "Night Enchanted"

Gospel Choir:

  • Keith Jacobs
  • Lucille Jacobs
  • Nathaniel Jacobs
  • Shelia Upshaw

Child Choir:

Vietnamese Dialogue:

  • Truc Xuan Le
  • Khanh Ong
  • Nhattien Nguyen
  • Nga Nguyen




  • Roddy Chong
  • Caitlin Moe
  • Anna Phoebe
  • Allison Zlotow
  • Lowell Adams
  • Karen Dumke
  • Lei Liu
  • Chizuko Matsusaka
  • Sarah Shellman

Additional Instruments:

  • Jeff Allegue – Bass
  • Jay Coble – Trumpet
  • Alicia Crawford – Bass
  • Jason Gianni – Drums
  • Peter Evans – Trumpet
  • Max Johnson – Bass
  • Greg Lake – Bass on "Nutrocker"
  • Trey Tosh – Guitars
  • Criss Oliva – Guitars on the original version of "The Mountain".

Savatage connections[edit]

Some of the songs on Night Castle trace their origins to music written by Savatage, the heavy metal band from which the Trans-Siberian Orchestra evolved.

  • "The Mountain" was originally recorded as "Prelude to Madness" on Savatage's Hall of the Mountain King album. The song itself is based on Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King with new music added in the style of Holst.
  • Parts of the song "The Lion's Roar" are taken from the song "Temptation Revelation" off of the Gutter Ballet album. Parts are also from the traditional Irish song "The Minstrel Boy".
  • "Mozart and Memories", a reworking of Mozart's Symphony No. 25, was originally recorded as "Mozart and Madness" on Dead Winter Dead.
  • "Believe" was originally featured on Streets: A Rock Opera; portions of it also appear in "Alone You Breathe" on Handful of Rain and "When The Crowds Are Gone" on Gutter Ballet. The version on Nightcastle includes a mix of vocalist Tim Hockenberry's vocals that were recorded in his garage and later in the studio[12] and the only extended guitar studio contribution to TSO by Alex Skolnick[13].


  1. ^ Nutrocker (track listing). Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Lava Records. 2009. PRCD 522312.
  2. ^ Allmusic - review
  3. ^ Night Castle credits
  4. ^ SeaofTranquility, October 27, 2009
  5. ^ Storyline of Night Castle
  6. ^ Heavy Metal Cosmos, October 2009
  7. ^ MetalKaoz, 08/10/2011
  8. ^,November,2009
  9. ^
  10. ^, December 24, 2009
  11. ^ Night Castle credits
  12. ^ A Conversation with Tim Hockenberry
  13. ^ A Conversation with Alex Skolnick

External links[edit]