TOKYO BLADE – Thousand Men Strong

TOKYO BLADE - Thousand Men Strong
  • 8/10
    TOKYO BLADE - Thousand Men Strong - 8/10


Fastball Music
Release date: March 18, 2011

User Review
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Thirteen years. That was the period of the time that the underrated NWOBHM band Tokyo Blade refrained from working on anything in the studio. The year 2010 began the journey once again, and with a new vocalist by the name of Nick Ruhnow, Tokyo Blade began the new decade with a promising message that NWOBHM is still out there and still standing tall.

The band’s new album, Thousand Men Strong, is a good piece of music that will remind some of you of the glorious days of the NWOBHM movement — that once local scene that started the Metal madness and spread it across the continents. As if the 80s never left their minds, the members of Tokyo Blade have created musical compositions that might sit well next to almost any of their other albums, and the band came out strong with new material that never seems to age.

The new material includes a nice display of harmonious and (in several occasions) classic Halford-like vocals, vintage acoustic sections that even raise a few memories of Iron Maiden’s old “Strange World” … brutal, in the classic sense, solos of steel, hard bass lines that share the dominance with the kind of drumming that includes its fair share of 80s and late 70s patterns. You can see that the sands of time didn’t affect the band with their particular touch of evil. Not surrendering to modernity has its privileges and fortunes.

The album’s best moments include: “Heading Down The Road”, which is closer to the old Judas Priest classics and is the band’s best traditional output, “Killing Rays”, which has an important theme that discusses the human race’s state, and “Forged In Hell’s Fire” and “Thousand Men Strong”, which stand as the heaviest NWOBHM examples. These four, and the rest of the others, bring back so many good memories of the band’s past, and with the remake of one of the band’s hits, “Night Of The Blade”, those memories are even sweeter.

Unlike many other comeback NWOBHM bands, Tokyo Blade might look like they are just another group with the wish to preserve the same sound that lifted and brought life into their music in the past. Maybe so, but the efforts by the band and its production crew must be acknowledged and credited because they did it well. Many newcomer bands have wished to protect the Traditional Metal soundscape, and have also wished to have lived in the 80s. The Thousand Men Strong album is not a super album, yet it does capture the magic of that era, and includes plenty of inspiring material (unlike some of the rest of the stuff that you hear out there today).


  1. Black Abyss
  2. Thousand Men Strong
  3. Lunch-Case
  4. Forged In Hell’s Fire
  5. No Conclusion
  6. The Ambush
  7. Killing Rays
  8. Heading Down The Road
  9. Condemned To Fire
  10. Night Of The Blade


Nicolaj “Nick” Ruhnow – Vocals
Andy Boulton – Guitar
John Wiggins – Guitar
Andy Wrighton – Bass
Steve Pierce – Drums


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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