Spitfire Records
Produced by: Ronnie James Dio

Released: MARCH 21 / Website
Closest Relative: Rainbow, Sabbath
GENRE: Heavy Metal

  1. Discovery
  2. Magica Theme
  3. Lord Of The Last Day
  4. Fever Dreams
  5. Turn To Stone
  6. Feed My Head
  7. Eriel
  8. Challis
  9. 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 - The Story

I am by no means a Ronnie James Dio expert. But I do have a couple of albums and I have heard a majority of the others. To be honest, the last couple I heard I hated, including the last Sabbath album to feature Dio on vocals.
I also felt that Ronnie had lost the plot with a couple of records that were just trying to be too heavy and almost a spoof of himself.
So a couple of years out of the loop and here is the new Dio album and no less than a 70 minute concept album. Possibly my worst nightmare of an album to review - dark, overly heavy and conceptual.
But you know what, this is a lot easier than I imagined. Mainly because this is a lot better than I imagined. Bloody good to be precise.
Dio seems to have totally regained control over his musical desires and this album shows that he is doing just as he wants to be doing.
Magica is a conceptual record, but the songs stand alone if you need to break it up a little. There is a little narration through the album and the final track is an extraordinary 18 minute mystical dialogue of the entire concept story.
The sound is heavy as expected, but more so the record sounds well produced and the feel is really tight, giving each instrument time to breathe. More importantly Dio's voice is in great shape and is also given room to shine.
Rather than scream his ass off, Dio has everything under full control and his voice sounds more powerful for it.
In fact, after a few listens the album isn't as heavy. There is some good variety in pace - not everything is pounding slow and heavy and not everything is 'pedal to the metal' flat out either.
On Magica, you will find plenty of solid vocals, good heavy guitar riffs, some symphonic keyboard / organ effects and a tight rhythm section.
BOTTOM LINE: Surprisingly restrained and very well orchestrated concept album that will no doubt delight any long time fans of Ronnie James and all things Dio.
Probably not a lot to convert new fans, but at this stage of any old rocker's career, holding the interest of the old fans is paramount and very hard to do properly. Dio should succeed doing that here.
ESSENTIAL FOR: All fans of Ronnie James Dio and some fans of Sabbath, Deep Purple & Rainbow

26/05/05: Robin McAuley -
Rating: 90
man, the intro to losing my insanity was supercool. challis & fd were also classic. Now if only there were a few more tracks like stadu p& shout or we rock or wild one or push, it would be a perfect for me!

23/04/05: Ehite -
Rating: 85
great album, highlights are Lord Of The Last Day, fd & As Long As It's Not About Love. still not good as glory days or ktd.

29/05/02: wdiv -
Rating: 98
Start to finish, this is an incredible (!) disk by Dio. Can't say that I follow the story he's trying to tell, but the powerful, dark emotion of the music and lyrics throughout make this an album you can't miss. It's an album that keeps growing on ya the more you listen to it. It was great to see him do the whole suite of songs live in concert back on the Magica tour.

09/04/02: Carl Johansen -
Rating: 90
A very strong album, no doubt the best since Dream Evil. The production is great, too, maybe Dio's best ever. OK, the story (it's a concept album) is pure rubbish, but what the hell. "Lord of the last day" and "Challis" are great heavy metal songs that were written and performed for eternity, not for the hit lists. Thank you for that, Ronnie. Highly awaiting the new album, "Killing the dragon", and the new tour, 'cause Dio still kicks ass live.

09/12/01: John -
Rating: 42
Did you know this is a theme CD ? it's a whole theme called Magica. I expected a HR/HM melodic CD. especially with the players. This CD drags and never starts. I wasted my money on this junk. I will never buy another DIO CD again. It's not rock , it's a rock opera. DIO is finished. R.I.P.

06/11/01: KEN -
Rating: 90
Very good solid return to Ronnie's roots--strong concept piece that will entertain you and take you to the world of Blessing!
All The Best,

23/01/01: Rockystar -
Rating: 90
ya era hora!!!! dio otra vez aqui...el autentico, el genuino, es el mejor disco de dio en muchisimo tiempo...pero todo tiene su parte negativa claro, demasiao cuentito, parte hablada y tontreria barata...pero los temas son brutales..enhorabuena Ronnie James Dio esta otra vez con nosotros

08/11/00: Brian Burgess -
Rating: 90
Holy shit, it feels like the 80's again! Metalheads of the world unite! RJ Dio's career has been full of twists and turns but the powerful voice and music savvy have always remained for this metal legend. Magica is an excellent CD with quality playing by a veteran band. It may take a few listens to really appreciate this CD but it is well worth the time! Dio's voice sounds as good as ever and he meshes well with his band. Goldy has always been a good(but not great) guitar player but his leads and melodies are consistent throughout this CD. Jimmy Bain and Simon Wright lay down a nice rhythm for Dio's powerful vocals.Is this guy really 53 years old???? Buy it and enjoy!

06/10/00: Bruce Alexander -
Rating: 80
Hallelujah Dio is back! His best album since Dream Evil (which also had Craig Goldie on guitar). Great hooks, excellent production, and Dio still has the pipes. I had all but given up on Dio after three bad albums. My only complaint is the hockey story which is a strange mixure of Christianity and Star Wars mythology. But after downloading several songs on Napster, I knew I had to have the Japanese version with the bonus track. And I was not disappointed.

19/09/00: Ritchie Blackmore -
Rating: 12
Don't waste your money on such sad thing. RJD should call it a day. I saw him live some months ago and he was PATHETIC. Instead listen to some modern music like Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock or Blackmore's Night - err.. not really sure for the last one !

07/07/00: Nicklas ! -
Rating: 100
He is the KING of Rock n Roll.

17/06/00: Juhree -
Rating: 99
I love Dio & I love this new album. Keep rocking Ronnie! Your die hard fans will stand by you no matter what the reviews say!

14/06/00: Bobby joe Crosby Joey -
Rating: 100
Great record, the new band , Craig , Simon , And jimmy have added a powerfull new sould to the already King of rock and roll! Ronnie James DIO , As a big fan I can say this record is well thought out with orchistra back ground , and Simon wright(drummer) attacking the Drums to give it a verry powerfull impression, the lyrics could not be better, I am verry proud of this record , the chemistry came together to produce a truley Magical Masterpiece, give it a listen , this record Thrusts DIO into the front of the pack , Ive saw live stuff from this Record, and they all were smileing , verry pleased with the Responce from this OPUS indeed! A nice bunch of people , and a damm good record! you rock my friend!
Joey Crosby

04/06/00: alliedforces -
Rating: 20
Good to here RJD back but what the hell is this.Metal monster and rob hake reviews above tell the whole story.Most of the songs are way to long and go nowhere.Holy diver 2 as reviewd somewhere else...No even close..A tip do what i did download it using napster so you dont waste your money....AF

12/05/00: Metalmonster -
Rating: 65
The hoopla is over and the newest Ronnie Jame Dio lp is here, but is it any good? Sad to say that it really isn't. For those looking for Ronnie to return to the former glory days of his first three solo releases, or even the 'Strange Highways' lp for that matter, should look else where. Craig Goldie is back and while he's certainly a talented player he just can't over come the goofy concept laid out here. And just what is that goofy concept? Just access the last track to here the story in detail. There are some nice moments on Magica, "Turn to Stone," "Feed My Head," and "Lord of the Last Day" among them, but not enough of them to carry this misfire through.

24/04/00: Rob Hake -
Rating: 77
First of all, I would like to say that it is nice to see RJD return the style that made him famous. This album definately returns the more melodic early-Dio style and it is a welcome return. So why did I only give it a rating of 77? I absolutely hate the digitized computer voice that introduces several of the songs. It completely destroys the album flow. And for a concept album, I think you couldn't pick out the storyline if you had to. Thankfully the story of Magica is written out explicitly in the liner notes and spoken by RJD on the albums' last track. On the bright side, Dio's voice sounds great. "As Long As It's Not About Love" is a great track. And we can all have hope that everything comes together a little smoother on the next album. Definately a step in the right direction.

18/04/00: Daniel Dressel -
Rating: 95
I love this album! Cant stop listening to it since i got it! The only complaint that i have is that the guitar seems to be more laid
back than on his other albums. But hey, this is a hell of a lot better than AM.