MAGICA’s debut “The Scroll Of Stone” 2004 had been a pretty good first try to combine influences between NIGHTWISH, RHAPSODY and STRATOVARIUS, with some valid points of criticism, like lack of originality and the at times a bit too high and too weak vocals of Ana Mladinovici. Only a few months after this album the Romanians are back with “Lightseeker” now and they show a big step forward, in most ways!
That in the case of MAGICA it is the keyboarder and guitarist, who are responsible for the song writing is clear from the start, as both instruments equally lead the compositions, but still they combine furious instrumentation with orchestral atmospheres and very good melodies. After the short intro “The Circle“ they set out fervently with “Bind You Forever“, with dizzying keyboard runs and accompanying guitars, before they gear down a bit and bring in Ana’s voice, who has worked a lot on her vocals, carrying more power and thankfully still avoiding the typical soprano!
“Bittersweet Nightshade“ then adds some more orchestral elements, while “Witch’s Broom“ gives the guitars some more room and heaviness, which is a good counter part to the relatively calm vocals, especially in the chorus. “Curse For Eternity“ surprises with a lightly folky touch, while “Inluminata“ brings up the rear with completely Romanian lyrics, starting out with a calm piano, then turning into a dynamic, melodic song that should satisfy any Symphonic Metal fan!
Compared to the debut they show themselves a lot more mature and even they still should not aim for any originality prizes, the mix of melody, energy and symphonics can really convince and the a bit indifferentiated production is the only really remaining point of criticism, which the strong song material more than makes up for. (Online May 29, 2005)