MAGICAL HEART – Another Wonderland
The melodic hard rockers that are Magical Heart from Germany recently released this 11-track debut offering of theirs via the ever-reliable Fastball Music, but although the record boasts some titanic-sized riffs, huge choruses, and a solid dose of testosterone, it lacks something in the vocal department. As such, it is one of those rather frustrating releases that contains an awful lot of potential and some great ideas, but the execution is simply not entirely there and the whole thing never really takes off. Having said that, there is plenty of impressive musical skill on display here, and these guys know how to vary their song material and infuse it with atmosphere and conviction.
The rhythm section is pretty damn solid and the dynamic guitar duo consisting of Gernot Kroiss and Christian Urner sounds inspired and draws on everything from Def Leppard to Thin Lizzy and further on to Bonfire and even Judas Priest. However, Urner’s vocals come across as strained in places and somewhat lackluster. The passion and intensity are not all there. Musically, the band cover just about everything from the raw and raunchy to the epic and balladry, yet very few of the tunes truly stand out and hardly any of them linger in the back of one’s mind even after repeated listens. There is a fresh and lively vibe to "Another Wonderland", but it never turns into one of those enchanting rock ‘n’ roll affairs that you cannot stop spinning, which is a bit of a shame.
It simply lacks real bite and charisma. Magical Heart possess confidence and you can tell that their songs have all been lovingly crafted, but that does not change the fact that this album of theirs is neither infectious nor memorable. Still, these dudes could potentially turn into hard-hitting force to be reckoned with some time down the line, but they need to sharpen their songwriting skills even more and attain a musical identity and expression of their own.