Goth rock shock (not)

If you want to form a melodic goth band here's what you'll need, first off you need a front woman that can sing opera and who looks good in a laced up bodice, she needs to have long hair and be good at staring wistfully up at the moon in music videos.

Then you need a backing band that can play fantastically well but wants absolutely no recognition as said woman will be getting all the attention.

Get together and write keyboard heavy widdly metal about fairies, the moon, sad wizards, quests and the moon again as it's a subject that never wears out.

Enter Magica, a band featuring all of the above, except maybe the wizards as I didn't have the lyrics and you try deciphering this stuff, it definitely had the moon though. Magica hail from Romania, a land steeped in mystical history, however I suspect it's the rise to fortune of this genre rather than a burning desire to set myth to music that has driven them this far.

You probably have an idea of what you think Magica sound like if you've heard anything by Nightwish, After forever or that other band with the whinging woman and you'd be dead right. From the off were exactly where we expect to be and we stay there.

Sounds like I hate it doesn't it? Well I don't, the songs are well written and the production is as good as you could hope for, Ana has a good voice and suits the songs well, nothing sounds forced like they're trying to be something they're not and they drive along at a fair old clip. Too many of these albums slow down into badly aimed for sincerity and end up dull but this one keeps going with some great riffs and will have you singing along at the chorus.

It's just that it sounds like everything else, the female fronted goth band is in danger of being done to death , it takes you half a song to suss it out and you spend the rest of the album hoping to be surprised, which you're not. One word about the drumming on this, half the time I wasn't sure whether it was a person or a drum machine (I'm still not) as in places it is very mechanical, a bit more variation and flair in the drums would have lifted this to a better level.

If you really like this genre (Alana) then you may find it fits right in with your collection but if like me you're hoping to see something evolve in the market you'll be a bit disappointed.