TOKYO BLADE – Fury (2022)
Despite several splits and line-up changes, cult ’80s rockers TOKYO BLADE refuse to die. Their upcoming new album “Fury” sees band leader Andy Boulton leading the charge with 15 new tracks of classic melodic metal, topped with the anthemic vocals of Alan Marsh.
Asked about the current state of Tokyo Blade, Boulton is upbeat: “While some folks took up a new hobby or pursued existing ones, us Blade types were happy to seize the opportunities afforded by the furloughs and self-isolation to write and record this album. Despite the struggles we have faced to keep Tokyo Blade alive, music is our driving force, we enjoyed writing and recording it and we sincerely hope you enjoy it for whatever reason.”
And bloody prolific they were: we have here 80 minutes of punchy classic metal / hard rock ranging from razor melodic stompers to groovy midtempos. No place to ballads here, however it’s a varied and entertaining disc all over.
Tokyo Blade is the epitome of underground survivors. Theirs is a classic tale and very similar pattern of many other bands of the time. Coming hot out the gates during the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal the band had considerable success. Then is a well-intentioned play for a broader (ie, North American) audience the bands sound evolved. It is a story as old as time itself and a trajectory that many bands followed.
The difference between Tokyo Blade and the wasteland of bands that failed and/or quit in the mid-90’s, is that Tokyo Blade kept going under the auspices and sheer will-power of founder Andy Boulton.
The band did indeed keep going despite several ill-fated attempts to reinvent themselves and a revolving door of singers. At a certain tipping point the band transcended their lost years and became a respected heritage act.
Ex-members rejoined the fold. Small retro tours and festival appearances were booked. Reissues hit the market, new record deals emerged and over the course of ten years Tokyo Blade has put out four solid albums, “Fury” being the latest.
Tokyo Blade is now on Dissonance Records owned by Cherry Red so that has provided some stability. Four-fifths of the, dare we say ‘classic’ line-up is intact and has been for about a decade now.
“Fury” is indeed is pretty furious. These new songs sounds as good as anything from the 80’s material. The album starts with a one-two-three punch of fast songs before easing off the gas a little. Album favourite? Likely ‘We All Fall down’, mid-way through the record, with it’s creepy intro and driving pace.
‘Rhythm Of The Gun’ is another rocking favourite. Lyrically the band is slightly darker these days, as well, maybe a mean edge showing they still have something to prove, maybe as evidenced by the spoken word intro to ‘Message On The Wall’.
With the current line-up together for more than a decade, TOKYO BLADE works like an oiled machine of no frills, classic old-fashioned rock n’ roll.
01 – Man In A Box
02 – Blood Red Night
03 – I Am Unbroken
04 – Disposable Me
05 – Eyes Wired Shut
06 – Cold Light Of Day
07 – We Fall Down
08 – Heart of Darkness
09 – Kill Me Till I’m Dead
10 – Life Leaves A Scar
11 – Message On The Wall
12 – Nailbomb
13 – Rhythm Of The Gun
14 – Static
15 – When The Bullets Fly
Alan Marsh – lead vocals
Andy Boulton – lead guitar
John Wiggins – rhythm guitar
Andy Wrighton – bass guitar
Steve Pierce – drums