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Review: Tokyo Blade - Night of the Blade...the Night Before (2021)
Tokyo Blade
Night of the Blade...the Night Before (2021)

Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2021
Originally released in: 1998
Duration: 40:12
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: June 2, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (8 Votes)

Night of the Blade – The Night Before is the "original" version of Tokyo Blade's second album, 1984's Night of the Blade. It features the original lineup, including singer Alan Marsh, who was sacked by Powerstation Records prior to the album's release and replaced with Vic Wright to try and make the record more commercially appealing. Wright may or may not, depends on your preference, have had a better voice, but either way the material was clearly written with Marsh's delivery in mind. The songwriting remains a notch below the debut, the dreaded "sophomore slump," but Marsh's presence turns songs like "Warrior of the Rising Sun" from the somber slog it is on Night of the Blade to an almost epic, Maiden-esque track. This song was meant to be a metal song, not an attempt to manufacture a "hit." "Night of the Blade" and "Unleash the Beast," some of the best songs on the original album absolutely crackle with NWOBHM energy with Marsh at the microphone, driven by galloping bass and traded guitar solos. Songs like "Someone to Love" and "Lovestruck" remain attempts at commercial acceptance and aren't much better than on the original album. In line with the original release of this album in 1998, there are several songs here that aren't on the 1984 release such as "Madame Guillotine" and "Attack Attack," some better than others, but all nice inclusions for the Tokyo Blade/NWOBHM collector.

Night of the Blade – The Night Before remains a step down from the band's debut but it is superior to the Vic Wright version and it is the one I'll be reaching for when I want to hear some classic Tokyo Blade.

More about Tokyo Blade...
Review: Midnight Rendezvous (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Night of the Blade (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Night of the Blade (2021) (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Thousand Men Strong (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with Andy Boulton (guitars) on April 9, 2011 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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