No Place Like Alone


The only information I could find on the band came from their record label. "Since […]
February 10, 2023
Xysma - No Place Like Alone album cover

The only information I could find on the band came from their record label. "Since the late 1980's when a new form of metal started to emerge from the ashes of the speed and thrash metal movement, XYSMA were there making a racket. They've gone a long way from the pus-oozing Grindcore of "Swarming of the Maggots" (1989) to the death rolling groove of "Deluxe and Lotto" a few years later, becoming an internationally revered cult band over the years. Recently the band thought it best to end a 25-year sabbatical and announced that there's a new album in the works. The album has ten songs.

"Well Seasoning" is the first. This band used to be Grindcore? They have come a long way since then. This song sounds like AC/DC, right down to the guitars and vocals. Is this their second coming? Sprinkle in some open melodies and it has a distinctive edge. "Model 670" is another short song with a raucous riff and vocals. This is AC/DC with a little more flair, a little more darkness at times, and a lot more melody. I'm not sure exactly how you label it but the sound is fun so far. "Midnight Call" sounds more like an 80's Pop band with some real melodic sensibilities. There are keyboards, ambient moments, and thumping bass notes.

"Mr. Fulltrade" is a somber and depressive jaunt with interesting chord progressions. The harrowing sound is accentuated with vocal screams. He sounds more like Udo than anyone else in this song. "Final Episode" swirls with a magnanimous electronic sound, like traveling to outer space. Five songs so far, and each one has a different tinge to it. This trippy little number is a melodious as it is psychedelic. "Earthrise" is the longest, at over seven-minutes. That Udo snarl is back in the vocals once again, and the song present some strong melodies. They urge you to sing along with them, and are so energetic and inviting. "Rowdy Barrel" is a super-charged jaunt on an open highway with your car top down, racing in and out of the lanes.

"Sigh for Sore Mind" has some piano and thick bass notes, along with smooth and mellow vocals, and a catchy guitar riff. "Moose & Gutbucket" is another short romp, with energy, melody, and great keyboard work. The riff is as bossy as hell, citing "move or get the fuck out of the way." The growls are great. "Encounter at Dawn" closes the album. Cool, smooth tones open the song. The backing vocal harmonies are a nice touch, in this smoky and sultry offering. It picks up with anger and outright rage from the vocals and instruments, but the melodies are not lost.

One of the best things I can say about reviewing albums is how pleasantly surprised I can be at some releases. I saw the description, and thought to myself, "oh, great. Another band who has been out of the game for decades...what could they possibly offer today." Boy, was I wrong. I can definitely see why they have such a strong cult following. This album was a hell of a lot of fun, original, and perhaps most important, modern. I never thought I would be so enthralled with this band and album. Welcome back gentlemen, indeed!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








"No Place Like Alone" Track-listing:

1. Well Seasoning
2. Model 670
3. Midnight Call
4. Mr. Fulltrade
5. Final Episode
6. Earthrise
7. Rowdy Barrel
8. Sigh for Sore Mind
9. Moose & Gutbucket
10. Encounter at Dawn

Xysma Lineup:


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