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Tokyo Blade – Night Of The Blade (Reissue) Award winner

Tokyo Blade
Night Of The Blade (Reissue)
by Mike McMahan at 13 June 2021, 7:17 PM

I don’t really know what the issue was… In listening to this re-release of TOKYO BLADE’S second album, “Night Of The Blade”, I find myself asking the questions a lot. “What the hell happened here?”, and “why were TOKYO BLADE not absolutely gigantic?” are the questions, and I STILL haven’t been able to define an answer to either. These guys had the sound and the look, and certainly ample musical ability throughout the band. With this second release, original vocalist Alan Marsh was replaced by Vicki James Wright, giving them more of a universal appeal with a more melodic approach. Certainly not less edgy, however, as “Night Of The Blade” rocked as hard as the first release. Formed in the late seventies, on the heels of bands like SAXON and IRON MAIDENTOKYO BLADE went through a couple of name and lineup changes before releasing their debut in 1983. With the release of “Night Of The Blade” in 1984, the band soon found themselves opening for the likes of DIO and SCORPIONS, as well as working popular festival gigs. This record is, in my mind, the best of the lot from that early era, and I am very happy to see High Roller Records’ re-release it for vinyl. It should be required listening for any fan of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement.

Opening with the solid “Someone To Love”, the record takes very little time in getting things hot in a hurry. The song is a rocker, solidly written, both musically and lyrically, and features some great lead work from Andy BoultonWright’s input is also very good, and he presents a strong vocal performance on this opener. The entire band is 100% on point, here, and the song leaves you waiting for more. It isn’t a long wait. The title cut is a MONSTER. An incredible, driving rhythm punctuates Boulton and Wiggins’ heavy riff work, and the guitar solo on the track is, on its own, worth the price of admission. These are the moments where I question exactly what went wrong with this band.

I could talk about each individual track from this record with an equal passion. As stated, they were an incredible entity in their day, and I am very happy to find that they are still working to this day, with Marsh back and handling vocal duties. This re-release has certainly rekindled an old fire, for me; and you can be certain that I will be revisiting them often.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Someone To Love
2. Night Of The Blade
3. Rock Me To The Limit
4. Warrior Of The Rising Sun
5. Unleash The Beast
6. Love Struck
7. Dead Of The Night
8. Lightning Strikes (Straight Through The Heart)
Vicki James Wright – Vocals
Andy Boulton – Guitars
John Wiggins – Guitars
Andy Wrighton – Bass
Steve Pierce – Drums
Alan Marsh – Backing Vocals
Record Label: High Roller Records


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Edited 08 February 2023

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