Dark Diary

Written by: TL on 20/09/2010 17:55:38

If you read the review I posted prior to this one, then you know already that the release in question isn't exactly one that has had me gluing my headphones to my ears. Rather it has haunted the back of my mind, like that trivial household task you know needs doing, yet you've been putting it off for days.

Now how can that be? Well, it's actually relatively obvious when the band in question is Magica, an outfit that have barely had an audible change to their output since the first time I heard them some two albums ago. The genre is female-fronted power-metal and the formula is not up for discussion. It's the same old and familiar type of fantasy-metal lead that races away on galloping drums, while singer Ana Mladinovici belts out one impossible note after another, with precision that only a classically trained Tarja Turunen clone can.

Now, I realize that it sounds like I have it in for this band, and indeed for any of their kind, but facing the fact that this exact type of record has been released a hundred times already, with barely anything to tell one from another, can you really blame me? It's hard to shake your default "heard-it-before" facial expression, even when, as it turns out, Magica aren't doing all that badly. Seemingly taking hints from Nightwish and Dragonforce, they have put the pedal quite consistently to the metal here on "Dark Diary", and for the most part that results in songs that are quite effective and easily enjoyable. However, strong cases of the former also reveal the band's struggles when it comes to making it in mid-tempo cuts, which a drag of a song like "Wait For Me" exemplifies. They do occasionally get it right, like on the hard rocking "My Kin My Enemy", but overall, I'd say the faster tracks fare the best.

None of this really matters though, because "Dark Diary" is above all else proof of how sometimes, you really can judge a book by its cover, seeing as its songs sound just as similar to each other, as the entire album sounds similar to prior ones of its kind. It's a good, no-nonsense manifestation of the genre, but by God, if there are details hidden here, that sets Magica apart from the many, many other generic CFS metal (classic female singer) bands, then they are utterly lost upon a rather casual appreciator such as myself.

Download: Tonight, My Kin My Enemy
For The Fans Of: Nightwish, Amberian Dawn, Leaves' Eyes,

Release Date 28.05.2010
AFM Records

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