Some feel that Dio got a little off track with this (originally released in 2000) ambitious concept album about aliens and magicians and the battle between good and evil, and relatively poor sales caused it to go out of print years ago. But hardcore fans have kept the legacy of Magica alive by circulating bootleg copies and now they can finally once again own the real deal along with a nice batch of bonus material.
The beginning of the album is the trippiest as it leads off with a sort of "does not compute" spiel from a robotic voice, a showcase for guitarist Craig Goldy in the brief instrumental "Magica Theme" and the lurching prog-rock of "Lord of the Last Day."
By the album's fourth cut though Dio heads into more familiar (and commercial) territory as he brazenly recycles the riff from "Man on the Silver Mountain" for "Fever Dreams." Mid-album gem "Challis" recycles a riff too; a lift of Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever" propels the powerful, made-for-radio rocker that's filled with fun, evil-lite lyrics like "I might marry the devil's daughter!"
"As Long as It's Not About Love" is the album's quiet number and "Losing My Insanity" begins as traditional English folk music but quickly morphs into classic Dio as Goldy's guitar and Ronnie's vocals kick in; the jazz-tinged metal of "Otherworld" essentially ends the album although it is followed by reprisals of "Magica Theme" and "Lord of the Last Day."
The included CD booklet has an explanation of the Magica story but this deluxe edition's second disc also includes a nice touch, Dio's reading aloud of the "Magica Story." Musically the bonus disc features "Annica," previously available only as a Japanese import, "Electra," a cut that was supposed to be on the never-completed double disc effort Magica 2 & 3 and five live "official bootleg" versions of songs from the original album.