Magica - 'Wolves & Witches'

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Magica - 'Wolves & Witches'

This album adds little significant to the band's arsenal.

‘Wolves & Witches’ is the fourth album from the Romanian band fronted by Ana Mladinovici and their second for AFM Records, following on from last year’s critically-acclaimed ‘Hereafter’. For those of you with an aversion to the Metal Female Voices scene, it’s worth pointing out that this is pretty much a power metal album with an operatic singer; having only recent seen Power Quest (and with their songs still in the mental i-pod), Steve Williams’ band would be a pretty good point of reference. For evidence, check out the pacey opener ‘Don’t Wanna Kill’ or later cut ‘Chitaroptera’ where Mladinovici pops off to, I don’t know, go shopping for shoes or something, and the boys deliver a tasty heads-down work-out with Bogdan Costea and 6 Fingers (probably not his real name!) furiously soloing away on guitar and keyboards respectively.

Elsewhere ‘Wolves & Witches’ is pretty standard MFV fare. Band leader Costea claims that “Only a short time after releasing ‘Hereafter’ I already had new ideas coursing through my head…” and therein lies the problem: it might have been worthwhile taking stock rather than rushing to record a new album quite so quickly. There’s nothing wrong with ‘Wolves & Witches’ – well, one gripe aside – but to my mind it doesn’t have the impact of its predecessor and that is a great shame. Magica have made great strides since their ‘The Scroll Of Stone’ debut album in 2003, and although their future still looks pretty rosy this album adds little significant to their arsenal.

The gripe, by the way, is that the drum tracks appears to have been produced and/or mixed by someone with their head in a bucket which has bequeathed to the drums and cymbals a dull resonance at times, leaving a couple of songs with the ringing tones of Cristi Barla seemingly building a shed in the recording studio’s garden.

John Tucker

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