Album Reviews

Tokyo Blade – Thousand Men Strong

Released by : Fastball Music

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: NWOBHM

Links: http://www.tokyoblade.com


Line Up:

Andy Boulton (guitar)

John Wiggins (guitar)

Andy Wrighton (bass)

Steve Pierce (drums)

Nicolaj “Nick” Ruhnow (vocals)

Tracklist:

01. Black Abyss

02. Thousand Men Strong

03. Lunch-Case

04. Forged In Hell’s Fire

05. No Conclusion

06. The Ambush

07. Killing Rays

08. Heading Down The Road

09. Condemned To Fire

10. Night Of The Blade


The enigma of the NWOBHM genre strikes again. We don’t normally review many of these rarity albums when they are release, partly because the genre given it’s history and state of the music business in general just doesn’t release many of these type of records anymore. I was really surprise that the band Tokyo Blade who had not made any music in a long 15 years span, decides to release a new studio album. I remember hearing the most recently Tank record which featured vocalist Doogie White on leading the helm and was actually a little taken by the quality of the music there despite being another come back album from a NWOBHM band. So with an open mind and not really being the biggest fan of the genre, I popped a copy of TB’s new record titled “Thousand Men Strong”.

Most of the band’s original line up has remained intact, except for lead singer Nicolaj Runhow who takes first bite in the vocal department. Other members that are back include both Andy Boulton and John Wiggins on guitars once more. I guess it helps to have most of the original line up back, but we know that many past acts have tried this formula twice before and results have varied. With these precarious facts in hand I approached this not so biased listening metal experience.

From the meticulous crafted ear screeching intro of the opening slab of metal “Black Abyss” you are suckered punch in with a thundering affray. The more maiden-esque churner “Lunch-Case” tops any of the other speed demon songs which features some high octave pyrotechnics vocals from Runhow. Loved the fast pace to bluesy solo in “Forged In Hell’s Fire” a nice change of pace for a killer epic tune with a focal point on the building evil vocals once more. The dark nature of Killing Rays” has a nice premise but the production on it feels  a bit underwhelmed in spots which in terms takes a bit away from the record overall.

Tokyo Blade certainly makes a case for why in the hell did it take them so long to release a record. The band’s undeniably chemistry is shown on each song, and even though the production is a bit garbled in spots, with the addition of a new singer and most of its core line up in effect, you have a decent record in which portrays the band’s prolific sound era their classic hit “Night Of The Blade” back in 84.You’ll also find some catchy ingredient in terms of keeping a genre alive that seem like only hardcore fans are into anymore these days. I like it enough to recommend to not just fans of the band but any metal fan in general. Knock it back mother truckers.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   7/10


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