Magica - 'Center Of The Great Unknown'

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Magica - 'Center Of The Great Unknown'

Magica know what they're doing and they deliver it with gusto.

And that's Magica! Not magic, you notice. Even prestidigitational Paul Daniels would have trouble distracting from this music. Like a conjuror who does the hoary old sword trick with the assistant in the box, this seems outmoded. Magica formed around the turn of the decade to play Metal and Melodic Rock; well, there ain't much sign of that now. What's left is a folky Metallic brew with Ana Mladinovici trilling away.

Working closely in a genre assures you the fans you had but doesn't snag any new ones. Stuck in stasis, this album treads water. OK, some will marvel at the energy, the righteous riffing, gentle softness of the folky sections, the massive, swelling choruses and they'd be right. But is that all?

Well, apart from a thinner, galvanising guitar line redolent of the Cult and a nasty rocking sound giving the folky moments a wedgie on ‘Mark Of Cain’ which becomes a lot like Firewind and ‘One Angry Gaia’ which really only has its immense size to recommend it but certainly shows heft to spare - very little. Magica know what they're doing and they deliver it with gusto. The mix is loud and proud, but with enough air to let the gentler moments thrive. The performances are excellent. There's clearly nothing wrong here; it's simply the aspiration that's lacking.

Excellent example of a great genre or musical mediocrity? Your decision. As Paul Daniels might say "You'll like this..."

Steve Swift

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