Dio - Magica ©2000 Spitfire Records
1. Discovery
2. Magica Theme
3. Lord Of The Last Day
4. Fever Dreams
5. Turn To Stone
6. Feed My Head
7. Eriel
8. Chalis
9. As Long As It's Not About Love
10. Losing My Insanity
11. Otherworld
12. Magica - Reprise
13. Lord Of The Last Day - Reprise
14. Magica Story

The big comeback album! Excitement! Hype! Letdowns! Dammit.

So, four year passes from the rather hokey Angry Machines and the godfather of soul returns! But enough about James Brown, how about Mr Elf? He's basically back somewhere in the 80s and 70s. Black Sabbath, early Dio, Rainbow. Somewhat more modern riffing. Welcome to Magica.

This is a concept album about who knows what, which basically means you have to hear some stupid robot voices between some tracks, and get an eighteen minute track of Uncle Ronnie telling you a bedtime story. Aside from that, it's as Dio as Dio can get. This is all well and cozy, but unfortunately the music isn't quite up to par. The band is tight and the production swell and heavy, but about half the songs just lack oomph. Early on you get a hat trick of great heavy metal anthems, in the hard rocking "Fever Dreams", tight and stomping "Turn To Stone", and the mildly complex "Feed my Head". Cool riffs, great vocal melodies, almost perfect arrangements. Boy was I excited when I heard all this. "Dio's back! Yay!" I exclaimed. In Norwegian. To myself.

Then "Eriel" started. Cool riffs! Yay! Uh-oh. Worst vocal melody ever! And amazingly enough, the quality of the songs just seems to steadily decline the farther into the album you get. Coincidence? Probably, but depressing nonetheless. "I am a rock, and you are glass!" Yeah!

The hardcore Dio fans out there will probably enjoy this quite a bit, as it is a big step up for ol' pops. But for the rest of us, this is probably best approached with some caution. Magica is worth picking up if found cheap, but about halfway into the disc, the cute bunny that is Magica starts losing its joyful hop'n'bounce and starts half-heartedly dragging its paws through the fields.

Review by Řystein H-O

Review date: 03/2002

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