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Review: Tokyo Blade - Thousand Men Strong
Tokyo Blade
Thousand Men Strong

Label: Fastball Music
Year released: 2011
Duration: 46:16
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: March 29, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Thousand Men Strong

Rated 4.14/5 (82.86%) (14 Votes)

Back in 1983 the U.K.'s Tokyo Blade was an up-and-coming NWOBHM band and their debut, Tokyo Blade (release with different tracks in 1984 as Midnight Rendezvous here in the U.S.), showed a ton of promise. The next 27 years proved unkind to the band with constant lineup changes, management troubles and sporadic releases, some which were never intended to be Tokyo Blade albums, interspersed with long periods of inactivity. Well, the Blade is back. Original members, guitarists Andy Boulton and John Wiggins, have recruited a new lineup and together they've created a winner with their new album Thousand Men Strong.

The sound of Thousand Men Strong is an updated, heavier version of the loose, garage-y feel of Tokyo Blade's debut. Legendary producer Chris Tsangarides has struck the perfect balance between all the instruments and even the bass of Andy Wrighton is given room to be heard. As a result, Thousand Men Strong has a full sound that hits you in the chest with every riff, not unlike recent albums by Ravage or Crystal Viper. Singer Nicolaj Rudnow is a find. He is cut from the same cloth as the Metal God Rob Halford in both his clear, strong mid-range and high pitched screams. While the sound and style are in line with the times, the spirit of the NWOBHM is not forgotten. It can be heard in the twin guitars of "Thousand Men Strong" and the harmonized choruses, such as "Heading Down the Road." Tokyo Blade caps Thousand Men Strong with absolutely killer remake of the title track from their second album, Night of the Blade. I felt like I was back in 1984.

The entire album is excellent, even though a couple of songs in the middle drag a bit. Considering how long it's been since Tokyo Blade has sounded this good, Thousand Men Strong can be forgiven the occasional weak spot. Overall, it approaches the "Accept-Blood-of-the-Nations" class of comebacks. Pure, awesome Heavy Metal, with a nod to the NWOBHM, from a band that's been around for a long time is what you can expect. Thousand Men Strong should finally get Tokyo Blade some of the recognition they deserve. Highly Recommended.

Other related information on the site
Review: Midnight Rendezvous (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Night of the Blade (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Interview with Andy Boulton (guitars) on April 9, 2011 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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