Whatever happened to the NWOBHM? To many people’s ears it’s truly dead and buried. Well, if this is true then Tokyo Blade will certainly be at the forefront of the NWOBHM-revival with this storming debut album.
As with many of today’s young heavy metal hopefuls the material on show here is flowing with Iron Maiden influences, the difference being the fact that Tokyo Blade do it far better than most.
Formerly known as Genghis Khan, this Salisbury quintet already have three singles to their name; the latest being ‘Powergame’ which opens side one of this platter – a fast paced heads down, no-looking-back number reminiscent of Maiden in their heyday. ‘Break The Chains’ continues in the same vein, while ‘If Heaven Is Hell’, the band’s first single, is one of those metal-with-melody gems that boasts a chorus line that is embedded in the brain forever after just one listen. ‘On Through The Night’ (really original song titles these!), a strong medium paced rocker, closes side one and again gives a fine display of Tokyo Blade’s metal with class.
‘Killer City’, the first of four cuts on side two is another fast, heavy riffer, followed by ‘Liar’, a more melodic rocker that reminds me a lot of Heavy Pettin’.
‘Tonight’ in all honesty is a bit of a commercial plodder and is my least favourite track on the album. However, things are restored with ‘Sunrise In Tokyo’ and yet another metal extravaganza of furious riffing and soaring lead breaks that fade out into a crazy rendition of ‘Blue Ridge Mountains Of Virginia’. Hardly heavy metal, but who cares?
Tokyo Blade may score zero for originality in song titles, but they certainly gain full marks (well nine out of ten anyway) in my book for producing the best British heavy metal release of the year.
Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 2 (1983)