There is a debate whether Dio’s Magica is a masterpiece or a misfire. Regardless of the chatter, this concept album, originally released in 2000, contains  some of the band’s greatest work. Unfortunately, it has also been out of retail distribution for years. That’s a strange thing considering songs like “Lord of the Last Day,” “Fever Dreams,” and “Turn to Stone” should be recognized as a significant part of the band’s best-of.

On Magica, Dio’s musical songwriting is often prime and guitarist Craig Goldy’s doom riffs are spot-on for the theme of the album — and, quite frankly, the next best thing to Dio’s voice.

And there are worthwhile extras: a sign of the horns-inducing live show of Magica material and a great would-have-been song (“Elektra”) of Magica continuations. However, the Ronnie James narration, “The Magica Story,” would even make George R. R. Martin squirm while listening to the story’s character development and plot complexity. But the Shatner-like narration (read: melodrama) will please all the D&D geekheads out there. Confession: I fell asleep to it. After all, it’s the music that counts. And with Magica, that’s all you really need to know.