Dio - 2000 Magica

ALBUM: Magica
LABEL: Spitfire Records
SERIAL: 6-70211-5020-2
YEAR: 2000
CD REISSUE: 2013, Niji Entertainment, NEG017

LINEUP: Ronnie James Dio - vocals, keyboards * Craig Goldy - guitars, keyboards * Jimmy Bain - bass * Simon Wright - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Discovery * 02 Magica Theme * 03 Lord Of The Last Day * 04 Fever Dreams * 05 Turn To Stone * 06 Feed My Head * 07 Eriel * 08 Challis * 09 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


While the rest of us have moved on, Ronnie James Dio has apparently been off to some place called 'Magica'. This is the first release for a few years, but rest assured this is still a typical Dio album with a sound very reminiscent of the Black Sabbath, Rainbow and early Dio of old.

The album boasts some impressive artwork with an alternative cover and a story line 'insert' that sets the science fantasy theme for this album. This theme is continued with a synth intro track complete with 'computer analysis' voice-over before heading into some traditional Dio metal. That is: slow plodding guitar riffs and inane lyrics that make no sense whatsoever. For instance: 'When demons drag the night across my eyes', 'I have been father and son, I cry for children of the night'.

The Songs

Yes Mr Dio, a 14-year-old in the 80's might have thought that lyrics like this sounded cool along with the movie 'Krull' and 'Gor' books. But I think you will find that todays audience has matured a little and expects a little more than a cliched revamp of yesteryear science fiction fantasy crossed with the old metal sound.

The album sounds very dated. Technically it's quite sharp, good variations with a mix of acoustic interludes and instrumental passages along with some chunky guitar riffs while nice melodies punctuate the story line. In the 80's this album would have been an above average album, but these days it ends up sounding like we've heard it all before.

If you were hoping for something new then I fear you will be disappointed, rehashing the old will not do. A rehash of the same old things and the lame lyrics just seal it's fate. Thirteen tracks of good vocals, good artwork and a theme still doesn't make up for it.

In Summary

Maybe Dio has been stuck in a time warp or something in Magica? I would suggest then that this is for die-hard Dio fans and metallers living in the past only.

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