|Review: Magica - Dark Diary|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: June 27, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Rated 2.6/5 (52%) (5 Votes)
I really want to hate this. It's painfully generic, just like Magica's last album. This band has never been anything original, and calling them a Nightwish clone is an insult to the levels of creativity in other Nightwish clones. Yet, for some reason I can't pinpoint, Dark Diary is charming. It shouldn't be that way, though! The Romanian quintet has released a collection of very similar sounding songs that sound concocted and saccharinely put together. They really aren't separate from any other power metal band: verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo structuring, guitar-less verses focusing on vocals, all leading into triumphant choruses. All this adds up to a very forgettable release, and while I certainly won't remember this album a year from now, it isn't terrible.
Obviously, if you want something new, stay far away from this album, because it's very run of the mill and lukewarm. But at the same time, much in part due to Ana Mladinovici's soothing vocals. It's not often that metal vocals are relaxing, but they certainly are here. Even in songs that feel hackneyed and forced (which is pretty much most of them), Mladinovici's voice provides a unique, subdued layering to them. Like most female-fronted power metal bands, Magica use their choruses to invoke a feeling of elegance. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don't. Magica knows their limits and doesn't try to clutter their music with bombast like most power metal, and instead holds back, minimally focusing on Mladinovici's limited but calming voice.
This isn't anything special. In fact, it's very mediocre. But for some reason, it has an intrinsic delightfulness that translates to catchiness.
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