"By the Corner of Tomorrow"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Spice is one Christian Sjostrand, who was the lead singer for the noted retro rock band SPIRITUAL BEGGARS and who's also in the heavier leaning KAYSER. BAND OF SPICE is the group he reserves for more "personal" sounds and projects. This guy has got talent to spare, both as a vocalist and a guitarist, but "By The Corner of Tomorrow" is a very schizophrenic album that is very clearly split down the middle.

The first half of the album is rooted very much in an early 80's metal kind of sound, similar to the early OZZY albums and Dio-era SABBATH. "The Fading Spot" and "Call Out Your Name" coming belting out with a crisp, aggressive attack and good melody. Spice has got a clear, powerful voice that serves him well. "Tehom" has more of a thick and grungy sound not a million miles away from his work with SPIRITUAL BEGGARS while "The Sharp Edge" lives up to its name with more robust melodic metal.

Then the bottom falls out. The title track is the sort of modern, semi-acoustic rock that you could hear clogging up any bland radio station. Inoffensive and unremarkable. "Midnight Blood" starts out reasonably well, but the middle of the track devolves into the most incredibly stupid soundscape of boiling water and babbling voices that you could imagine. Any forward momentum is killed deader than a doornail and the track never recovers. I cannot for the life of me figure out the reasoning of putting such a break in the song. "Reglutina" is slow and dull. "Cold Flame" allows the album a brief comeback with a snappy if commercial hard rocker, but then the album ends with a laidback and lethargic ballad "Rewind the Wind". They should have called it "The Wind Leaves the Sails". Spice's voice is strong and the playing is always sharp, but the second half of this album drastically flattens out.

I should really hate myself, but the album could really use more....spice.