Magica - Wolves & Witches
It's quite rare to hear from any Romanian metal artists. So rare in fact is it for any Romanian act to pass our way here at ME that we don't even have an option for the country in our list, used for profiling purposes! Magica are apparently the forerunning power metal group from the area and are the original creation of guitarist Bogdan Costea. His work makes up the real meat of the album Wolves & Witches, their most recent effort, but a strong focal point are the operatic and melodic vocals of frontwoman Ana Mladinovici. The band, by comparison, takes on elements of Nightwish, Epica and others of their ilk and maintains a strong sense of self despite being somewhat led by their inspirations.
There's much to be enjoyed across the album's 10 track span. Ana's vocals are very much of a classical vein, powerful and flowing like wine atop the chugging riffs and solid rhythm section, creating a potent contrast. The subject manner of many of the songs involves mythical monsters and creatures, your werewolves and succubus and the like. The majority of themes are more than summed up by the album's cover art. Early on, "They Stole The Sun" and "Hold On Tight" leave big impressions. "Maiastra" is a nice interlude, and a wonderful platform for Ana to fully express the soulful energy her vocals can conjure up. "Just For 2 Coins" is interesting in it's lyrics, expressing how so much of the world is interwoven through it's round-about words. Despite only being an instrumental, my favorite track here is "Chitaroptera", one that showcases some great progressions in chords and tempos, topped off witha bit of flute towards the end.
While this is no means groundbreaking or better than much of what it draws inspiration from, Wolves & Witches is a satisfying dose of melodic power metal that will no doubt please fans of hard rock and more mellow metal alike. It's greatest accomplishment is showing the world that Romania can stand toe-to-toe with some of Europe's bigger power metal groups.
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