Released: 2010, AFM Records
Reviewer: Theis Rytoft
One can only wonder why Magica has not got their breakthrough yet since they have an appealing power/melodic sound. One thing you notice from the first track, “Anywhere But Home”, is the wide array of the female voice. People have for years - Magica released their debut in 2003 - compared them to popular colleagues such as Nightwish. I personally think that comparison, especially with their later material, is non-descriptive. But that’s another story.
The beautiful, high pitched, female vocal flows through DARK DIARY as a gentle ocean. But oceans can also create waves and be intense. Similarly vocalist Ana Mladinovici blends differing expressions throughout the album which to some extent produce the necessary diversity. The negative part is that this vocal feels too overwhelming for the duration of 11 songs. Not because it is uninteresting, it just becomes too identical. “Used To Be An Angel” is a nice track showing how she and the band is capable of doing exactly what I am asking for. More of that please!
Magica has found a good balance between the strong vocals which can easily take up too much space on an album like this and the instrumental parts. These are well varied and on one level they did not bore me through the 3rd or 4th listening. On another level everything seems too replicating: The power and partly the melodic elements fast muddle together and especially the riffs seem too indistinguishable. If the instrumental part could diverge a bit more, it would also support the female vocals to become less monotonous. An aspect which really suits the band’s sound is the male vocals that also growls here and there. It does not fill much on DARK DIARY and if it was featured on 2 more tracks or so it would be great!
DARK DIARY is a good handcrafted album and features 11 tracks where none fails or are uninteresting. There are some flaws but compared to the qualities they are not that serious. Thumbs up from here and I hope they will get their big breakthrough soon.