Company: AFM Records Release: 2008 Genre: Power, Symphonic Reviewer: Raising Iron
Trods the trails already covered by a myriad of adventurers
Romania's Magica rushed onto the scene with 2002's The Scroll of Stone while already well-established bands such as Nightwish had taken this style of metal into the mainstream. Six years later and already their fourth studio effort, Magica's Wolves and Witches continues to bear the banner of female-fronted melodic pop-metal for their home country; and rightly so, as they are far and away the best band Romania currently exports regarding the genre.
Now, that being said, the magical fairyland inhabited by such bands has all but lost its, er, uh, magic. The band continues to deliver more-or-less straight forward metal revolving around wizards, witches, sorcery, and magical beasts; less insistent on symphonic elements than many of their co-patriarchs, and vocalist Ana Mladinovici soars as operatically and smoothly as any of the dozens of bands lodged in this corner of make-believe. Yet, upon arrival at the end of this forty-five minute quest, you've merely trod the trails already covered by a myriad of adventurers who've traveled before. Is there any treasure still to be found on such expeditions? A little, I suppose, as the opener "Don't Wanna Kill" will have your head bobbing along, as well as "Hurry Up Ravens" and the best track, "Just For 2 Coins", which, despite its semi-sophomoric lyrics, has a melody that twists and turns in undulating joy. "Dark Secret" launches with the riffiest of riffs to be found on the disc, relenting come the somewhat boisterous chorus. The album is rounded out by a quiet, two-minute interlude and five other tracks that ultimately are filler.
Die-hard fans of the genre are sure to revel in the merriment here, despite its paint-by-numbers conjurations; and that's not all bad, as the band plays the formula well, but at this point in the game, what's the point, really?