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Review: Xysma - First & Magical
First & Magical

Label: ComeBack Records
Year released: 1993
Duration: 31:13
Tracks: 10
Genre: Death/Grind

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: August 9, 2021
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
First & Magical

Rated 4.71/5 (94.29%) (7 Votes)

First & Magical was the oddly titled follow-up to Xysma's groundbreaking debut, and it certainly wasn't the end of their endless experimentation. It's already clear on this release that they were trying to distance themselves from the blood-soaked realms of Grindcore to something much more individual, as they leaned even heavier on the elements of '70s Prog, Death'n'Roll, and early Sabbath in their sound while also incorporating softer musical ideas similar to The Beach Boys of all bands. That might sound like a band pushing their experimentation too far too early, but they clearly didn't give a rat's ass, and neither do I, because they had both the balls and the talent to actually pull their deranged ideas off and become one of the most eclectic bands the scene has ever seen, whether it be the Sabbathine grooves of "Turning" with its unforgettable chorus or the airy, psychedelic flourishes of "Clouds Give Me Consolation".

This release is especially notable for having what I consider to be Janitor Mustach's best performance as a vocalist. He sports a raspy, clear edge in his performance that does a lot to make the material on here so infectious. He'd keep up the harsh vocals a little while afterwards, but they just weren't the same, so I don't blame him for going fully clean on the later Surfer/Garage Rock material (I told you this band is weird!)

This is the last release of theirs I think you could call strictly Metal, which may change depending on how the new material they're working on turns out, but this strange and challenging album certainly ended that era of their bizarre and inimitable careers on a high note. Magical indeed.

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